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I knew Koreans in their younger ages all the way up through their 40s and 50s find ways to argue about almost anything and can sometimes be viewed as a little over-emotional or a bit too passionate. However, a few days ago, I encountered my first time in public (on the subway to work) a couple literally in their 80s fighting as if they were 2 wild cats or a “very passionate” couple in their 20’s arguing about who was cheating on who. The grandfather literally ripped the grandmother out of the subway car when it came to a stop. After he pulled her out, everybody started staring their way only to see that she started walking away after screaming some obscenities towards him. He looked like he was about to walk up the escalator, but after she walked away, he didn’t look pleased and started to yell some words back to her.
I turned back around when the subway continued to my destination after watching this ruckus for a bit thinking to myself hmmmm…that was a bit disturbing, but eventually started to laugh. Why? I was thinking it was just so unbelievable … that it was funny. So, I started giggling to myself. The lady in front of me gave me a dirty look probably thinking I was evil finding the incident humorous, but I just didn’t care what she thought at that point. Instead, I wondered are Koreans “passionate” about almost everything or is it “irrational behavior?” I was wondering down deep, but is it in the genetic make up of Koreans to be passionate or irrational? I guess it depends on who you ask.
In terms of economic supremacy, I’d have to argue for the former because they’ve found some way to control the emotions enough to compete with many of the world’s super powers. There’s no way this small country with it’s population (approx 25th in the world) and size (approx 108th) could be the 11th or 14th largest economy in the world (depending on your sources) without the extreme desire to succeed and the “passion” of it’s citizens. If it was mostly “irrational behavior” in this country, there’s a good chance the country would be doing a lot worse. Just a random Korean thought…