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  • - You wore bralettes in Korea?

  • - Yeah, 'cause it's hot!

  • Ain't nobody going to Korea in the summer.

  • You gon' die out there, are you kidding me?

  • You need a bralette, I'm not gonna walk out there

  • with no T-shirt on in the summertime in Korea, you crazy.

  • - Your accent's coming out.

  • - Yeah, your accent's coming out.

  • (all laugh)

  • (lighthearted xylophone music)

  • -I'm here with my Korean-American friends

  • to talk about growing up in America.

  • ^- I was born in Louisiana, grew up in Georgia,

  • ^I came here when I was 16.

  • ^- So I came to America, 2010,

  • ^after I graduated high school from Korea.

  • ^I used to live in Orange County area,

  • ^and moved to Fullerton

  • ^and moved to LA about three years ago.

  • ^- I was born in San Francisco,

  • ^and I lived out in Korea since I was one,

  • ^and then I moved back here in second grade.

  • ^- I was born in Korea

  • ^but I moved to America when I was 12.

  • ^Since then I haven't been back yet.

  • (upbeat string music)

  • - I went to the dentist,

  • I guess they couldn't remember my name,

  • ^and then they wrote on there (speaks foreign language)

  • ^(all gasp) - Really?

  • They just wrote (speaks foreign language) because they knew

  • I was speaking English, and I was just like,

  • "Yo I'm Korean", like you know?

  • So I mean, that's gonna happen.

  • - But these days, there is a lot of people who go

  • out to Korea to teach English and stuff.

  • - Yeah.

  • - So you'll meet a lot of people

  • who speak English just as much as you do.

  • - There are a lot of foreigners living in Korea.

  • - So I speak Korean with my parents, fully,

  • but like because I did the growing up like here,

  • I feel weird speaking Korean to people like my age.

  • - Do you have an accent?

  • - No, I don't.

  • - I've never seen you talking.

  • - My Korean language is like elementary school level,

  • so I wouldn't know any of the new slang.

  • I wouldn't know what to say.

  • - I think when you go to Korea, the way

  • everyone grows up is different, so

  • - Yeah.

  • - Even though I was raised in Korea like

  • when I was young, and then I went back when I got older,

  • I still had a depression because it was so different.

  • (upbeat music)

  • I go both ways. - Yeah I go both ways.

  • - But I still kinda root for Korea.

  • - I think I would root for Korea more.

  • - Korea versus America, I would for sure root for Korea,

  • but America versus other countries, then of course America.

  • - Yes I think that way too, yes, yes.

  • - Well said.

  • I think that's what I was trying to say.

  • (quick piano music)

  • - So I watch more American TV shows,

  • but I laugh more at Korean shows,

  • it's just more relatable, it's funnier.

  • They way they react with each other on TV,

  • I feel like Korea has a really good reality program,

  • - Right.

  • - It's like so funny.

  • ^I love (speaks foreign language)

  • (all gasp)

  • - Oh my gosh, The Animal, that's like my favorite TV show.

  • ^- (speaks foreign language) For sure.

  • - Oh yeah, that one's funny too.

  • - Sometimes when I watch American shows,

  • I don't understand anything.

  • - Me too, I don't get their humor,

  • like the dry humor is not funny to me.

  • - I don't get the Korean.

  • - Really?

  • - Yeah, I have to look at the subtitles.

  • You know the captions when they come up?

  • - Yeah.

  • - I'm like "Oh, that's what they said".

  • - Korean reality shows are more like,

  • people suffering, like in a funny way, you know?

  • - Games.

  • - Yeah games, and like they living in small houses,

  • and like doing things challenges together,

  • and I think it's funnier to see people like

  • going through hard things,

  • but like, laughing through it.

  • - I find that like Korean variety shows it's more involved.

  • Only celebrities.

  • But in America,

  • there are some regular people involved in the

  • a lot of variety shows so I think that's, like that's cool--

  • - Reality. - Yeah.

  • (upbeat xylophone music)

  • - I grew up in Diamond Bar

  • and they have a bunch of like Korean people.

  • I definitely hung out with mostly all Koreans.

  • - So when I came here, I didn't know who to hang out with

  • because Harris County just, is black and white and then me.

  • You know, and my aunt, you know.

  • But she don't go to school with me, you know.

  • (all laugh)

  • It was just like "Whoa!" So overwhelming for me

  • so I had a really thick accent when I first came here,

  • and they're like "You have an accent".

  • I'm like, "No, you have an accent".

  • (all laugh)

  • And then I just felt kind of like,

  • kind of like stuck.

  • - One thing that really bothers me.

  • If you act like too Asian, if you have Asian friends,

  • if you look Asian, if you dress Asian,

  • ^you're called FOB, right?

  • ^- Right.

  • - And people look down on you,

  • people are like "why are you even in America"?

  • If you act American, or if you have more white friends,

  • or if you dress, let's say, not that Asian,

  • you're called whitewashed.

  • - Oh yeah.

  • - Ever since I dyed my hair blonde,

  • I've seen comments saying like,

  • "Oh she's whitewashed, she's trying to be white".

  • And maybe I dye my hair because I like the color,

  • maybe I want to have a change,

  • just like how everyone dyes their hair color.

  • Growing up, especially in middle school,

  • because of that FOB stereotype,

  • I think that's why I tried so hard

  • to hang out with American people.

  • And I wish I made more Korean friends there,

  • but I was so worried that I would be called a FOB,

  • and then now like, people calling you whitewashed

  • just because your acting not Asian,

  • it's like so not fair to be on each side.

  • I think we need to stop thinking

  • we have to be one way or another.

  • - But I think it's getting better than before.

  • - Yeah, for sure.

  • - Like these days I kind of feel that way.

  • - Yeah.

  • - I wish I came to American earlier,

  • because I came to America when I was getting into college.

  • So I didn't really get to hang out

  • with white or black or like hispanic

  • - Other races.

  • - Yeah other races.

  • I hung out with mostly Korean and other Asians

  • like Taiwanese, Chinese.

  • Whenever I meet other race friends in class,

  • they would find Korean-related thing

  • and they would only talk about like that.

  • - Oh, like K-pop and stuff?

  • - Yeah K-pop, or like "I've been to Korea",

  • like my friend is Korean teacher.

  • - You're good considering when you came by,

  • you came in high school?

  • - Yeah.

  • - You're really, really good.

  • - When I first met her,

  • that's like one of the first things I said.

  • I had no idea you came when you were 19.

  • - That's really young.

  • - That's crazy.

  • - You're lying!

  • (upbeat music)

  • - English.

  • - English.

  • - When I get really mad, just English.

  • - I don't cuss in Korea at all.

  • When I cuss in English, it doesn't sound bad.

  • - You know everybody says like (bleeps).

  • In Korean if you're like (bleeps)

  • (all laugh)

  • You know? It actually sounds worse.

  • (upbeat music)

  • - Tipping.

  • - Oh tipping.

  • Cause you don't tip in Korea.

  • - No, not at all.

  • - Now that I think about it,

  • cause in Korea you don't tip and that sounds so nice.

  • - But now I think in Korea they don't get tips,

  • so I feel bad for them.

  • - I literally taught my friend that's just

  • just visiting from Korea how to tip, I was like

  • (all exclaim)

  • you just times this by 15% or 20%.

  • - Yeah, yeah.

  • - Another culture shock.

  • This is a good thing but whenever like strangers

  • they smile.

  • - Yeah, when you walk by?

  • - Yeah!

  • - Like welcoming.

  • - Very welcoming.

  • - They don't like to talk to strangers in Korea,

  • but here they're like "Hi"! Or whatever.

  • - If you say hi to a stranger in Korea,

  • they're like "Whoa, do I know you"?

  • (all laugh)

  • - You know your age, you're one year younger here.

  • - Right.

  • - And it just sucks,

  • cause sometimes I go to Korea and they're like,

  • "How old are you"? I'm like "Oh, I'm, example, 24".

  • (all laugh)

  • Right? And then like I come here and I'm like,

  • "Oh I'm 24, oh just kidding I'm 22 or 23".

  • (upbeat guitar music)

  • - All of a sudden we're cool, but we were always cool.

  • - Yeah.

  • - You know what I mean?

  • - Yeah!

  • Without the K-pop, we're still us, like we're still cool.

  • We can still dance, we can still sing, like.

  • - But then again, that's what's making us more noticeable.

  • K-pop, K-dramas, definitely put like a big, big,

  • it does its job.

  • - But we were always cool.

  • - We were always cool.

  • - Everybody's just more aware.

  • - I'm really just thankful, though

  • that it's getting known here.

  • - Oh no, of course.

  • ^(upbeat music)

  • - Like you have to be brave and be ready to embrace.

  • - I think like when you first come,

  • you need to kind of feel out of your circle.

  • Even if you're uncomfortable,

  • try your best to learn English.

  • So adapt to this culture,

  • and then you can still keep your culture

  • where you came from, which is Korea,

  • that way you can really become like a Korean-American.

  • - Try to keep both cultures.

  • You don't want to grow up only speaking English

  • and forgetting the Korean side.

  • You want to keep the both sides.

  • - I think both cultures have amazing things.

  • - And I was a super shy kid when I was little,

  • I know it's really hard to tell now.

  • (all laugh)

  • - Hard to tell.

  • - There's a lot of mean kids out there,

  • when those kids would pick on me,

  • I would go home crying like "Am I