Dear Oegukeen and Kimchi Man,
I have been admiring your little work here for quite a long time. I enjoy reading the questions and shouts for help that people give to you two. And I have to say that you deal with them pretty well. I never had the courage to talk about my problems to people I don’t know, but I feel like this is the last thing that could help me.
I live in a very white pride country. You will not see many other races walking around here. And guess what? My family is one of the people who have the biggest white pride ever. I feel a little bit like an outcast even in my own family, since I have the biggest respect for any race and love it like my own, but I get criticized for it and I am always left to be not understood. But I guess some people have the same problem at times.
Ironically enough, I have a big passion for Korean culture. When I was little at school in first grade I found a book full of pictures about Asian culture and habits, and I can tell you that book probably started my love for such amazing cultures especially for Korean ones.
I get teased for it a lot, something a lot of teenagers have gone through too, and from what I’ve read on this site is that Oegukeen, you had problems with it too and I admire how you kept your head up high for what you like and admire and it really gives me inspiration to keep on going. I’ve read about your story how you met Kimchi Man, and I find it very interesting and in a way funny. And I started to think maybe trying to connect with other cultures online would give me a chance to actually meet that someone special for me, of course that’s just every young teenagers dream, so it should not be taken very seriously, but I did anyway. So I visited your recommended site http://www.interpals.net, but the problem is I am very shy when it comes to facing somebody and I had very hard time on that site, I tried to connect with a lot of people not only Asian ones but people from other cultures too and I seem to have failed. I kept trying now for like five months, I guess that doesn’t seem much but I still have failed and I ended up with no connection whatsoever, I guess that is partly my fault because I can’t actually connect with people because I cannot get over my shyness and sociopath problem. I even tried to connect with my favorite type of Asians and those are obviously Koreans (so obvious) and once again I have failed and it ended only in a “Hi” and a “Bye”, which is the most embarrassing thing I’ve probably done. But I am still young I am heading over to be seventeen soon, so I have a whole life ahead of me to meet that one person, but I am afraid if I don’t start searching and suck it in and ask for help I will never get there where I want to be.
So, I am sucking it in right now and trying to get over the shyness that has got the best of me and asking for your help to maybe give me some tips on how could I possibly meet someone Korean or if that doesn’t work out try to connect with another Asian culture when I’m so shy and afraid to be judged and brought down? I really want to prove to my family that other races aren’t so bad and that my love for Korea is very big and that their culture and music is not that bad as they think, that it cannot give me that bad influence and that it is alright to bring home another person of a different race and even have a relationship with him.
Thank you for your kind words about our site and we are glad you got the courage to ask for advice. We might not be able to give you good advice but sometimes just talking about your problems can help.
It really is difficult to stick by what you like when you are being teased about it. However, if you do stick by it, the reward is that in time you will get to have someone by your side who knows who you truly are and not who you have to pretend to be. From my own experience I can tell you that it is incredibly sweet when someone loves you exactly for those things that others teased you about.
When people are bullying you about something you do or like, it is inevitable to start doubting yourself. I found a good thing to do is ask yourself: “Am I hurting anyone by doing this?” If the answer is a definite “No”, then no one has a right to encourage you to stop. There is nothing wrong with liking other cultures, and many good things can come out of it, so you just keep being yourself.
I probably tried to chat with close to a hundred people. If I had not met Kimchi Man it would have been a complete failure. :) At first I very carefully read everyone’s profile and tried to find someone who I might get along with. In the end I just sent ‘Hello’ to anyone, even if they had no profile. If I haven’t done that I wouldn’t have met Kimchi Man. So I think there is no right way to meet people, aside from not giving up.
Kimchi Man and I just talked about mundane things before we found what we have in common. I asked him why he’s saying he’s older than he is, did he chose to join the army (as you can see I was completely ignorant about Korea), so I don’t think I was particularly interesting at that point. Although, thankfully, Kimchi Man disagrees. :)
Most people on ‘Interpals’ are there to learn English so it is difficult to find someone who is willing or capable of chatting and making friends. Don’t take it personally if you are not able to go past “Hi” and “Bye”. On the other hand, Kimchi Man was also there just to practice English, so you never know.
I honestly believe that most people are lonely, and really look forward to someone reaching out to them. So you really shouldn’t worry about being judged and brought down. You will probably always remain the shy type of person, but as you get older it will decrease and you will get more and more confident. Maybe you will never have luck with ‘Interpals’, but if you keep reaching out, despite your shyness, you will surely be better off.
Readers, do you have any advice for G’Luck? What was your experience with meeting people online? Did you have to convince your family to accept other cultures?