[Letters] The benefits of international marriagesNowadays many international marriages occur not only in Korea but also around the world. But Koreans think of themselves as just one ethnic family. With the number of men increasing disproportionately to that of women, the number of international marriages has increased and most are arranged marriages with people who live in underdeveloped countries. Because of this, arranged marriages with people who live in other countries are looked down upon. However, this is not good for Korea in this age of globalization. International marriages have a lot of benefits.
Eight years ago, my brother went to India to study. After five years, he brought his girlfriend to Korea and plans to marry her. Because of this, my brother often makes me call her. I learn not only English but also Hindi by calling her. She also learns Korean by calling me. At first, I had concerns about communication between my brother and his girlfriend, but it is not a problem because they communicate using both English and Chinese. I can use English and Hindi by talking with them, so international marriages can help you learn other languages.
Secondly, I have learned not only Hindi but also the culture of India while talking with my brother and his girlfriend. I can understand many thin gs about India directly from them. For example, some Indian cultural practices include eating food with the right hand and performing toilet business with the left hand.
There are many animals on the roads and a variety of spices used in the food. Five years ago, I had a chance to visit India for volunteer service. Although I went there with many people, I was probably one of the only who accepted Indian culture quickly. While many people had a difficult time eating food with their hands, I knew how to live there thanks to my brother’s girlfriend’s advice.
I could also extend my sight about the world and understand other countries well. As we approach the global age, experience that increases world knowledge is important and international marriages can help in this regard.
Thirdly, many people talk about their children after international marriages. In Korea, many people say that a multicultural family’s children may have difficulty, but I disagree. Recently I have worked as an assistant in the Global Multicultural Bridge Program supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. I teach and also play with about 30 multicultural children.
At first I thought that many multicultural children had difficulty living in Korea, but many of them are exuberant, self-confident and very creative. One of them comes from a Chinese mother and a Korean father. He had a good command of Korean and Chinese and got along with many friends. He is not the only one. Many children from different cultures make friends with each other. I realized that a multicultural child could learn about both cultures and languages from their parents and it would be advantageous for the child.
When my brother said, “I will marry an Indian girl,” someone said to him, “Are you going to marry an Indian girl not a Korean girl?” But my brother said to her, “Why should countries contribute to the love between a man and a woman? There are little problems and international marriages have a lot of benefits.”
If you marry a person from another country, you can learn a lot of things. International marriages will bring a lot of benefits for you and your family. If you look down on international marriages, then you need to change your thinking.
Park Sang-woo, undergraduate student at Kaist
*Letters and commentaries for publication should be addressed “Letters to the Editor.” E-mailed letters should be sent to email@example.com.