I have let a few people touch my hair, because I see that it is out of genuine interest.
Perhaps I am guilty of condoning inappropriate behaviour.
I also had white friends who were amazed at my weave or braids. I was happy to be away from home and I was happy to be in a new environment, to be meeting new people, and to be living in South Korea. Emi Mwendapole, 27Nationality: American When did you first move to South Korea? I was here for a year and nine months then left and returned in August 2014. The only thing I see as negative is how people see black people—it’s surface-level based. No, I’d consider doing business here maybe and being between here and somewhere else. We were all from France but a lot of us are children of immigrants.
I was out with my friends (who are foreign) in Seoul once. This is why I have decided to stop dating Korean men. Since arriving in Korea I just wanted to marry a Korean. I’m sorry but in a country with the fastest internet speed; with no censorship laws like China for example and where young people have access to and are obsessed with American and Hip Hop culture.
My friends went in the club, I went somewhere else quickly. It was the only thing on my mind, it felt right to come back. Living in Korea as a black woman, what is that like? More men are interested because we seem more exotic. It’s nice to stand out in the Korean dating scene but it feels terrible to be fetishized. It’s good mostly but I have experienced some difficulties with a few companies that won't hire you specifically because you are not a white female. But then realised and accepted that I don't qualify in their eyes. I find it really hard to believe that the issue is still ignorance.
Moving to South Korea happened quickly so I didn't have time to research other black women’s experiences living in the East Asian country.
I was overwhelmed by all the paperwork and the thought of leaving my old life behind to start a new one.
I did watch a few You Tube videos on interracial dating in South Korea because I was interested in what was going to happen to my dating life, which was almost non-existent before I left South Africa anyway. It led me to start thinking about race and what life in Korea is like as a black woman. I began having conversations with other black women in South Korea. It was [interesting] getting used to the new environment and getting used to being othered. Well, when I first arrived a lot of Koreans didn't think I was American because I was black. The perception has been that black people are not from America. Since living in South Korea I have started getting modelling gigs. Young people would come to us with the “ Yo, what’s up,” attitude. So you left Korea and came back, what made you come back?