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정희수 칼럼

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  Dr. Joseph Chung - Column
 정희수 칼럼



3. The multiple division of the Korean community produces a situation where the common interest of the whole of the Korean community has  low priority; what is important is the narrow scoped interest of the small group of which one is a part. In other words, Koreans are not interested in the common good of the community as a whole; they seldom participate at seminar meetings unless the seminar is related to some immediate problems related to personal gains.

4. This situation invites a fertile ground for ambitious groups to get hold of the community. The behavior of these groups is motivated by three types of desires: monetary benefits, social prestige, political domination or simple jealousy. There is a group of people who become community leaders, because the position the position provides some money to spend for lunches and dinners, travels.

5. The position of the community presidency allows access to privileges: invitation by the Consulate General, invitation by the Korean government, being recognized as official representative in the eyes of outside world, the privilege of sitting on the front seats at official meetings. It is not a coincidence that when the Association has money to spend, many become want to become president.

There are some people who have unhealthy desire to dominate other people. This desire may be a part of human being, but in the Korean community in Montreal, there are one or two persons who have pathetic tendency to dominate others.

Koreans are known to be jealous of others. This unfortunate trait can be attributable to the historical legacy and social environment. First, as pointed out above, Koreans are exclusive in their perception of interpersonal relationship because of the legacy of traditional value system.

Second, the Korean society is extremely competitive. Right form the kinder-garden period the children are taught to win, because winning is survival. This winning psychosis makes loser aggressive toward the winner. There is old saying:  “My cousin buys land; I got stomach ache!”
Koreans have lived in highly exclusive, hostile and insecure environment.
This is the reason for generalized jealousy. The jealousy is even worse in the church because of easier revelation of personal secrets; it is so bad that some minister perform special prayers against the jealousy.

For all these reasons, some persons want to become president of the Association. There are some decent people who have served as president not for these negative motivations but for the good of the community. As a matter of fact, up until several four years ago, most of the presidents were decent people with very positive and constructive motivations; the Korean community owes them a lot. But in recent years, the situation rapidly deteriorated. In one case, the president was elected even by violating the bylaws of the Association.

Kim remembered very well the incident, because he was right there in the room where the new president was elected. The constitution of the Association stipulates that the election is one of electing the “president team” comprising the president, the male vice-president and the female vice-president.

There were two candidates Mr. A and Mr. B. Mr. A represented the liberal-minded group, promoting the integration of the youth into the Canadian and the Quebec society Mr. B represented the “conservative-minded” group, which was manipulated by one or two behind-the-scene leaders. This group prefers living as in Korea and little interested in promoting the integration of the youth.

Now, the president of the election committee presented himself in front of the room and said “Because of the violation of the election of the president-team, this election is postponed!”. The violation had four dimensions. First, the female vice-president candidate resigned so that the president-team was not formed. Second there was physical violence. A person supporting the camp of Mr. B attacked another person who was with candidate Mr. A; the person supporting Mr. A was hurt. Third, a local weekly of Korean language misreported the timing of the election”. The president of the election committee left the room.
<to be continued>