It’s not a thing here, especially when the topic of Koreans comes up.
For some context, my highest level standard class talked about travel today, and one of the cities in the book was Seoul. One student, a recent high school grad, had nothing to say on the subject, but the older women had a little experience and pronounced it utterly unmemorable. Then, my newest student (today was her first day), Boogie, asked me if I could tell Koreans. I wondered if she meant by speech, but she meant faces, and I allowed that it was pretty hard for me. Maybe their faces were rounder than Chinese faces?
No, Gan said, men have rather square faces. And the women? “They have fake faces,” said Boogie. With a little prompting, she came out with a story about a friend’s Korean friend who had once told Boogie that the Koreans invented paper. As she told me this, she flapped the pages of her book to emphasize the nerve of this Korean girl. When Boogie asserted the Chinese claim on this essential material, the friend of a friend insisted that Boogie’s history teachers had it all wrong. Boogie lost it at this point and told the girl she was wrong, and moreover, had a fake face.
I was still confused here, but when Gan asked Boogie if the girl did, in fact, have a fake face, Boogie said smugly, “She didn’t deny it.” I guess South Korea is well-known for their plastic surgery.
That and their chauvinism. I had another student tell me a few weeks ago that the Koreans had the nerve to claim Confucius. “They steal everyone’s culture” was something more than a few students said in this class. In my spineless liberal American way, I suggested that perhaps they had been a tribute state to China and Japan for so long that it was a form of defiance to claim the conquerors’ culture, but today’s students weren’t having it.
I don’t know enough about Korea to go any further, but maybe someone would like to offer an opinion?