Thursday, October 10, 2019

Korean Society At A Glance Essay

South Korea is located in the northeastern region of the Asian continent and occupies the southern region of the Korean Peninsula. It was established in 1948 after the splitting of Korea between the United States and the former USSR (U. S. Department of State, 2008). After the formal split of Korea, 4 million people from North Korea transferred to South Korea. This sudden increase in population was partly compensated within the next 40 years by migration from South Korea to Japan and the United States. However, many of those who emigrated eventually returned to South Korea (U. S. Department of State, 2008). South Korea possesses one of the most ethnically homogenous cultures in the world. Except for a small Chinese population, almost the entire Korean population has a common culture and language (U. S. Department of State, 2008). Half of South Korea’s population actively practices their religion. Christianity and Buddhism dominate the religion of South Korea. Only 3% consider themselves as Confucians and the remaining 1% practices the traditional religion of Shamanism and Chondogyo (U. S. Department of State, 2008). Imperialism in South Korea Imperialism had a major impact in the development of 20th century Korea. With some assistance from the US and Great Britain, Japan conquered Korea in 1910, which ended the latter’s existence as an independent state. Aiming to establish its own Empire, Japan modified Korean economy in order to manufacture its own agricultural products. Korean peasants were forced to leave their lands and by 1930s and 1940s, majority of Koreans were working in the mining or manufacturing sector of Manchuria, Japan, and Korea (Hart-Landsberg, 1989). Elite Korean nationalist movements staged the March 1st Independence Movement against the colonizers but to no avail as their attempt resulted to a violent suppression by the Japanese. The leaders of the uprising had no choice but to either leave the country or embrace Japanese rule (Hart-Landsberg, 1989). Ethnic Groups In South Korea South Korea is considered as one of the world’s most ethically homogenous nations. Koreans descended from the Neolithic people who migrated to the Korean Peninsula from the northeastern portion of mainland Asia (Peterson, n. d). Consisting the biggest minority group in South Korea are people with Chinese descendants. Local residents include an increasing number of foreign nationals, including migrant workers from South and southeast Asia, entrepreneurs, diplomats, and other professionals from various parts of the world (Peterson, n. d).

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