[잉그리드의 전주살이] Refugees
[잉그리드의 전주살이] Refugees
  • Ingrid 전주대 교수
  • 승인 2018.07.05 18:44
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When I was young, I asked a Sunday school teacher what kind of charity or volunteer work our church did. My teacher told me that if a member of our church needed help, we would help them, but we don’t anyone who isn’t Christian and not part of our church. I thought that was stupid. My Sunday school and church loved the story of the Good Samaritan. If you are unsure of what I mean, go to Luke 10:30-37.

As Christians, we must love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind. And our neighbor as we love ourselves. That means we should help others, because everyone is our neighbor. The story Jesus uses is about a man who was traveling and was attacked by robbers who stripped and beat him and left him half dead. A priest and then another man of the same religion as the man who was hurt, saw him, walked to the other side of the street and did not even check on him, let alone help him. But another man, a man whose group historically did not get along with the group of the hurt man, took pity on him, and bound his wounds, poured oil and wine over the wounds. Then he put him onto his own animal and walked to an inn and took care of him. When he left, the Samaritan left money for the injured man’s care, promising to pay whatever debt he incurred until the Samaritan came back. Jesus asked who of the three passersby was a neighbour, and the lawyer who wanted eternal life answered it was the man who showed mercy, who gave of himself. Then Jesus told him to go and do likewise.

Canada accepted 40, 081 Syrian refugees I read on a Canadian government website. We have more land but a smaller population than Korea. Mostly churches, with some government help, are sponsoring the refugees. There are only 552 Yemenis applying for asylum. Yes, there was some blowback in Canada by some people who hate Muslims but I know some Muslims, they are nice people. I get along fine with all of the ones I have met so far, many of them here in Korea. If the Yemenis were allowed in it would not change things very much. There is a large workforce of Muslin people here and their food and Mosques already exit here. Back when there were only three, one of those three was in Jeonju, not far from the train station. I don’t understand all the xenophobia. Koreans have relocated and live in almost every country around the world. I see Korean restaurants and writing in every country I have visited. So why is it that Koreans can go live in any country in the world but Korean should not share their country? The hateful nasty things people used to say to me are mostly, but not all, gone. I do pay taxes, many foreigners contribute to the Korean pension plan that will never be able to claim any money back, a lot of us spend lots of money here and do not ship it to our home countries. Many of us do volunteer work and contribute to the country is many ways. My Korean friends have learned from me but I have equally learned from them. Some tell me I am more Korean than them.

But I wish Korea could get over this racial purity obsession. If you think you are 100% Korean, take an ancestry test and prove it. My knowledge of history knows there is very little chance you can be. Think about how many invasions there have been on the peninsula in the last 5,000 years. Raiders abuse women and leave them pregnant. There were no abortion clinics back then. I doubt all of the blowbacks would have been killed. I celebrate my rich racial history from both Asia, Europe and very likely Africa. I am about mixed as you can get and happy about it. But even more than that, the Yemenis are not likely to richly change the Korean genetic code and Korea is the stingiest country when it comes to accepting refugees. Last year 121 people were accepted of the 9,942 who applied, or 1.2%. That is really low. I think, as the daughter of immigrants, it would not hurt Korea to open its racial profile a bit.
 


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