[Q&A] Do Koreans value Europeans more than Americans?

Jessica asked:

So I have a question : Do Korean people value and respect more Europeans (more specifically continental Europeans) than us, Americans or British folks?

At my University, me and my buddies befriended few Korean exchange students (1 girl and 2 guys). The other day we were talking about Europe. At one point I asked them what they though about Europe, and if they liked America better. They all told me unanimously that they really liked America, but they preferred Europe (particularly Italy, France and Spain). I asked why, and they basically told me that Europeans are good looking, more cultured, better dressed, thinner than us Americans, and that basically Europe was old and beautiful with lots of different languages and cultures. So I laughed, and was like “alright, fair enough”. But I have to say that the way they answered my questions really gave me the strong impression that they really think Europeans are far better than Americans. Also, oddly enough: the guys seems to think that American and British women seemed more promiscuous than the European ones (ok that kind of pissed me off, and I don’t think I need to explain why… –_-)

It is true that Koreans in general have somewhat higher opinion of Europe than Do Koreans value Europeans more than AmericansAmerica. First thing Kimchi Man mentioned is that they think Europe has better welfare system.

I believe the reason that Koreans tend to romanticize Europe simply comes from being around Americans more. It is difficult to idealize something you know well.

Most Korean students that go study abroad go to English-speaking countries. Koreans and American have been having extensive relations for more than 60 years. As you probably know, there are over twenty thousand United States troops stationed in Korea right now, and most numerous westerns in South Korea are North Americans teaching English. There are countless other examples of South Korea being more connected to United States than Europe, but is it enough to say that I have never even heard of Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robins until I started spending time around Koreans?

However, Kimchi Man also made sure I understand that all this does not mean they have bad opinion about Americans.

I believe he knows what he is saying, since according to Pew Research Center’s poll in 2010, South Koreans have the 4th and 3rd most favorable view in the world of the United States and American people, respectively.

As far as the Korean male view of western women’s promiscuity goes you can read our previous answer to the question Do Korean men think western women are easy.

– Oegukeen



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16 thoughts on “[Q&A] Do Koreans value Europeans more than Americans?

  1. I almost agree with your opinion~. actually, there are lots of americans, teachers but also there are many of movies, dramas impoting from Unite states. I have never watched European movies, books another cultural things.(just one time in PIFF) that`s why I think one of the big reason korean people don`t know what they usually see, eat, sing like that.
    and second reason is that korean people think that if you want to study English or another things, you have to go to America or British. if not (tourism) you`d betther going to Europe(Spain, switsland and so on)
    that means Unite states looks practical and Europe looks romantic.
    that`s why koreans have little bit wrong impreesion(?) you mentioned.
    does anybody agree with my opinion?

    • United States has huge entertainment industry that gets consumed almost all around the world. Europe certainly has nothing that can measure up to, for example, Hollywood. I would not go as far as to say that Europe doesn’t produce “cultural things”, as you call them.

      But I agree that they probably view U.S. as practical and Europe as romantic. Neither of which is bad.

      • Excuse me??? Do you realize the stupidity of your comment? I’m from Europe (Italy), and our movies are waaaaaaaaaaay better than the ones produced in the US. Most likely our products are too intellectual for you guys. Your “entertainment industry” is always looked down by educated and intelligent people, it’s nothing but “trash”. So, for the “intellectually challenged” like you who find a French or Italian movie too sophisticated, I have one piece of advice: what about drinking less beer, eating less hamburgers, and reading a BOOK instead?
        This way, they might crack less jokes about you and your fat belly.
        OF COURSE Koreans have a higher opinion of Europeans, it has nothing to do with practical/romance, it’s simply called reality, and so do other nationalities. Just accept it and whine less.

        • Are you shocked that the US is making entertainment industry entertaining?

          That you allow yourself to so freely to insult a whole nation, just shows how popular and unbothered the US is.

          I’m European, by the way. Avid book reader who’s never had a beer in her life. Never even been to the US.

          It might do you good to get educated a bit, about history, about geography, about current events in the world, instead of trying to make yourself feel good by where you were born instead of what you do and say. It’s not working.

  2. I do not agree. Europe has more culture, art, architecture, cuisine and the best thinkers in the history of literature. That’s true, but does not seem right that they think badly of Americans for that.

    I find it very serious that you say you have not read any book by an author that all European and Western culture has its origins in Europe, at school you had to study for thinkers, writers and European inventors.

    The cinema was invented in Europe as a form of art and was exported to America to do business. And so on, while in Europe are concerned that their films have quality and depth, and in America that are commercial. That is very respectable because there must be something for everyone.

    In Europe, it is considered a very serious not have culture

    • I don’t think it’s fair to say that Europe has more culture, art, etc.! U.S. is a big country, which produces many things. You must understand that what reaches you are the highly industrialized and commercialized products. Hollywood and CocaCola may be some of the most famous products, but that does not mean there are no artistic films nor fine wines made in the U.S.

      And what you call good quality and deep films, others may see as pretentious and boring films (which might explain why they are not nearly as successful). But art can’t be measured.

      No one should feel superior because of the country they were born in.

      • I don’t feel superior because I was born in Europe, but you certainly feel inferior because you were born in a country that has zero culture. Seriously, you mentioned Hollywood and Coca-Cola. You must be kidding. Everyone with a little bit of brain and education knows that CocaCola is poison for our body and Hollywood only makes junk movies. As I wrote in the other comment, just because you are not educated and intelligent enough to fully comprehend European movies, you shouldn’t write that they are boring and pretentious.
        Most likely my comments will be removed by the moderator, and that will not surprise me. Ignorance is blessing, and god bless america.
        But you know what? I love that things are the way they are! Asians will always point their fingers at the fat-big belly – arrogant americans like you, and appreciate Europeans.
        Thank god I’ve met plenty of Americans (US) who are nice, educated and intelligent, nothing like you.

        • First of all, I’m European. I’ve never even been to the US.
          Second of all, your reading comprehension is abysmal (please re-read what I’ve said about Coca Cola and Hollywood, as well as European movies).
          Third of all, you are pretentious and rude.

  3. I’m sorry to say that but a lot of Asian people regard Europeans in a higher manner. This is mainly to the ignorance, lack of education, vulgarity, oversexualization, etc. that is happening in the USA. And sorry but american women really are promiscuous, very often ugly-mouthed and arrogant because this whole feminism movement took a lil’ bit of a wrong turn. This is coming from a woman, so save your name calling for somebody else.

    • Are you aware there are around 150 million women in the USA? And you are just fine painting them all with such broad statements? What about American women who were Korean or European women until recently? Are you including them too? I’m sorry to say this, but you sound very prejudiced and rude.

      You can’t say what American women are like, because no one in the world can say it. They are all different – individuals.

      I don’t know what feminism has anything to do with all this, but while women are getting payed less than men in every country of the world, and one of the biggest insults you can say to a boy is: “Don’t be such a girl.” I would say that feminists have not finished their job yet.

  4. Actually, I’ve got a question that is related to this topic and I trully hope that you could answer.

    I keep reading that some korean guys would rather meet european girls and some would choose northamerican (just called american) girls. However, I’ve almost never heard them to talk about southamerican girls?

    I mean, I’m not trying to generalize nor to star a fight. Just, that I’m intrigued that southamerica is almost as a nonexistent place for them.

    Thank you so much for your thoughts. I’ve read your post and find it really interesting.

    (Extremely shy colombian girl).

    • What perception do they have about southamerican girls and these countries in general? (that was the question, sorry) :)

      I’m learning korean and I was thinking to join interpals, but I don’t know the perception they have and i’m a bit worried since I’m so shy and don’t know how to start a conversation.

  5. Maybe it’s because most Koreans only know English as a second language?

    All I know is that when I met Kimchi Man he was flirting with South American girl at that time :)

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