Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Treatment of foreigners
German Pastor Castigates Korean Treatment of Foreign Laborers
"Koreans must learn to live together with those social underdogs who come from foreign countries. Will you treat hard-pressed North Koreans after unification like you treat foreign laborers now?" Among the people preparing a hospital for foreign workers, there is a blue-eyed German. He's 44-year-old pastor Joerg Baruth, who hails from Potsdam, in what was once East Germany.
Baruth said, "I couldn't understand at all some Koreans who treat foreigners from developed countries like Europe and the United States well, but despise and mistreat blacks, Southeast Asians and even their ethnic Korean brothers from China... It's gotten much better than it was seven years ago, but [Koreans] still need to treat foreign workers better in the future."
Pointing to several incidents that have occurred in the last few years in which Korean travelers in Southeast Asia were beaten or killed simply on account of their nationality, he said, "Koreans must treat their foreign workers humanely and improve Koreans' image before it's too late."
Baruth came to Seoul in February 1997, along with his wife and three children. His most painful memory occurred soon after he arrived.
"About two years after we arrived in Korea, my children were begging us to go back to Germany every day. This was because the Korean children where treating them with contempt, throwing stones at their heads and spitting in their faces." He was barely able to convince his children, he said, by telling them, "Even in Germany, there are foreigners who are humiliated by extreme right-wing white supremacists."
Categories: SouthKorea, discrimination