Monthly Archives: September 2014

Non-Summit (비정상회담) is not a reflection of multi-culturalism in Korea

Non-Summit (aka Abnormal Summit, 비정상회담) is a television program on JTBC in SouthKorea. The show features a panel of eleven non-Korean men, living in Korea, who debates on various topics and “Korean culture through the eyes of a foreigner,” in a talk show format, in the Korean language. It aired on JTBC, starting July 7, 2014, on Mondays at 23:00. The show’s format, presented with humor, is meant to emulate a meeting of world leader, like the United Nations, or G11. Non-summit is a variety show, that strives for peace and security, for the world’s youth, by speaking on agendas, and debating with abnormals, who insist they’re representatives.” When heated discussions break out, the entire group has to stand, hold hands, and sing Koreana’s song Hand in Hand.

The producer Lim Jung Ah said the show’s the show would include problem solving, coming up with “what’s better, together.” Lim said, “The cast of foreign people was because, although Korea is reinforcing its position on the global stage right now, it still is just one country among many others. And I though perceivinf the problems of Koreans who are in their 20s and 30s, in a universial perspective, was neessary.”

… According to Wikipedia.

I cited the above information about the program and I am honestly a big fan of the program. It is good to have feedbacks from people who have different societal, political and cultural backgrounds and while we, as viewers of the program, enjoy watching it without being serious about a topic, it would be absolutely good for Korea to incorporate those foreginers’ perspectives and feedbacks on topics like education into the society. Particularly, this kind of program will reinforce the process of breaking the Korean ‘homogenous’ society. Globalisation in action in Korea – people might think that probably this is one of the most typical examples of multicul-turalism in Korea. However, this doesn’t reflect multi-culturalism or what you might call ‘globalisation’ in Korea at all.

Despite the fact that most foreigners living in Korea are from East and Southeast Asian coutntries such as China, the Philliphines, Vietnamese, Mongolia, Russia, Thailand and Myanma, ONLY China and Japan are included in the panel. Those migrant worker population constitutes over 70 per cent of the total population of foreigners in Korea. Those migrant workers are the people who have filled our labour market and worked diligently to help grow our economy and yet, they are the most marginalised people. They have formed their own communities far earlier than those from the West and yet, they barely apperaed on television programs. This is very disappoting to me and please do not say that Non-Summit is a reflection of multi-culturalism in Korea.

Please Korea, at least come to a realisation that those marginalised people are the majority of migrants living in Korea