Monday, January 4, 2010

Korean American Couple #2




My DH and I are an anomaly in the U.S. Army.  We're both Korean Americans with strong ties to our cultural background.  Throughout the last five and a half years that we have been together, I have never met another Korean American* couple until today.

It was just so strange!  Here was another living breathing couple who actually understand the acronym "MiTT" and the words "Kimchi".  This couple was stationed in Fort Carson at the same time as my DH and we know people in common separately from my past and from my DH's past (people we met before my DH and I even met one another).

There is a very special bond between each and every military spouse because we can truly understand and sympathize with one another about all the positive and negative aspects of the military.  I am really glad that I got a chance to meet D and S today.  Just the knowledge that another Korean American military couple exist is amazing to me.




* Now just to be clear, my DH and I have met other Asian couples in the Army.  We've also met other Korean couples in the military.  However, we have never met another Korean American couple and yes! There is a difference.  I identify myself as a first generation Korean American woman for the following reasons: 1. My parents came over to the US from Korea, making me 1st generation**.  2. I was born and educated in the U.S.  3. I speak both Korean and English.  However, there is no universal definition that categories you as a "Korean American."  The above are my own personal explanations to why I identify myself as KA.

** I know that being born here would mean that I am 2nd generation according to other Americans.  However, Koreans do things a bit differently.  If you were born and educated in Korea and move to the U.S. as an adult (our parents) you would be identified as Korean.  If you were born and educated in Korea as well as the states and moved to the U.S. as a child, you would be identified as a ".5 generation" or a "F.O.B." (fresh off the boat).  If you were born and educated in the U.S. to Korean parents or parents of .5 generation, then you are typically considered "1st generation" or Korean American.

2 comments:

Aaron, Donna, Kairi said...

I completely understand, as I consider myself Vietnamese American since my parents both came from Vietnam, even if they went to school for a bit here. That is really cool that you can share your culture with someone who understands, my husband is completely lost, but he is open to it at least! I do remember back in grade school when kids would call me FOB, even though I've never even been on a boat let alone in Vietnam lol.

Armywife101 said...

I totally understand. I know african americans are probably more common in most areas but I know what it's like to go somewhere and not see anyone who looks like you. I get along with anyone and when it comes to military spouses we are really all one but it is nice to see someone who looks like you and understands.

Great post!

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