[Letters] Want to complain? Stop showing offAfter I read “Slow down, Koreans” [Letters, March 31], I came to think that in addition to the hurry-up culture Korea also has a show-off culture. This may be the main reason why the economy of Korea is bad.
I know that the word “bad” is a childish and vague word to describe the economy of a country. However, it is what I hear every day on the bus, in cafes, and even at home. People blame their “bad” financial situation on the “bad” economy of the country. They say this with a Starbucks coffee in one hand and a Louis Vuitton briefcase in the other.
Koreans try to disguise their financial status by showing off their extravagant belongings. They seem to find momentary comfort by doing so. The show-off culture can also be noticed in some of the products made in Korea.
The most appropriate example would be the new cell phone models. Additional functions, new vivid colors, various shapes and sizes are the pride of cell phone companies. These companies only focus on showing off breathtaking products. It seems their main goal is to show the world that Korea makes the best cell phone designs.
But where do all these newfangled cell phones go? They are most likely to end up [tossed aside], because a shimmering new cell phone appears on display windows. Ironically, customers prefer to look for cell phones that they can afford. What is the point of making luxurious cell phones when what the customers really need are practical ones with reasonable prices?
It is time for Koreans to see the big picture. Striving every day to impress other people will lead nowhere in the end. Extravagant and luxurious products should come after practical and economical ones.
Forget the coffee shop coffees and go to the nearest vending machine and you’ll get your caffeine in less than a minute. If our show-off culture became a frugal culture, our chances of growing out of the bad economy would gradually increase and Korea would be able to build a solid economy.
Da-young Kim, student,
Ewha Womans University