[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Culture clashes

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[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Culture clashes

I must have rolled my eyes at least five times reading your article. As a half-Korean, half-American, I have a different perspective on “culture clashes” like the one you wrote about in “Another view” on Friday.
First, why is it that every such article starts with “When I was an exchange student in the US/Canada...”? (First eye roll) Yes, you were privileged to study in America, I’m sure everyone you meet is informed of this.
“Typical American girl”? “Liberal American”? Let’s reinforce Korean’s stereotypes about American culture! I know plenty of Americans who hate McDonald’s and have never watched “Friends.” Personally, I’ve never purchased anything at American Eagle. Yes, we’re all typical American girls who have sex every day with our boyfriends. Please. You write “I could not understand her love life.” Did you try? And how?
A reality check: Korean people can smell different than Americans. Every culture has its own distinct attribute and ― what do you know ― smell different! Even Korean-Americans, like my own family, smell different than other families. Shame on you, that you didn’t think that was a possibility and just assumed it was a lie.
It’s obvious to me that neither your nor your roommate communicated with each other. Probably in the name of being polite, you endured her guest as she endured things about you. Why do we always let things go too far before we say something?
Congratulations on painting a one-sided story, perpetuating an image of Americans as rude, sexually liberal, and racist. By the way, as an American woman living in Seoul, I can’t tell you how many Korean men I’ve met who thought I was only one thing ― an easy ticket to bed. Can you suggest how you as a writer could help change this image?
You were absolutely correct when you said, “The global world will not come to us without our efforts and open minds.” Please take your own advice.

by Susan Selin
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