Close

Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Korea: Kissing in Public Places

Kissing in public places can turn into a major issue and generate arguments.

연신내역에서 발생한 10대 키스를 보고 말싸움끝에 폭행을 한 어르신이 폭행죄로 법의 심판을 받는다고 합니다. 이 분은 전에도 10대가 담배 피는 것을 보고는 폭행했다고 합니다.

그럼 10대가 공공장소에서 과도한 애정표현과 술 담배등을 하는 것에 대하여 어떻게 생각하십니까? 참 어려운 세상에 사는 것 같습니다.

Watching teenagers’ kiss in a metro station, Yonsinnae, an adult beat the teenagers after quarreling with them verbally and will be tried for committing violence. He had also beaten a teenager who smoked in public.

What do you think about excessive love expression, drinking, and smoking of teenagers in public? We live in a difficult world.

After the news, a blogger writes how he (she) feels about others’ opinions about this accident.

어른들 앞에서 키스했다고 10대 연인을 폭행한 60대

실제로 보지 않은것이라서 10대든 60대든 난 그들을 비난 하지 않겠어.

하지만 난 댓글을 단 사람들에게 한마디 하고 싶어
아마 야후댓글은 20대~30대 이상들이 대부분이야
즉 성인들의 생각을 알 수 있는 곳이지

그런데 정말 보는 내가 화가 났어.
잘때렸다니..
오히려 상을 줘야 한다고?

요즘 아이들 요즘 아이들 이러는데
모두 부모들이 잘못 키운죄가 아닐까?

확실히 아이들이 싸가지 없어졌다고 한시기가
바로 인터넷 때문이라고 한다.
그런데 컴퓨터만 사주고 인터넷만 달아주고
어른들은 그에 따른 교육을 시켰나?
정부는 뭘했나?

아이들은 분명 어른들로 인해 그리고 환경으로 인해
자란 아이다
아이가 얼마나 태어났을 때 착할지 몰라도
환경이 나쁘다면 그 애는 따라 나빠지기 마련이다

난 절대 어린애들을 욕하지 않는다.

그들은 분명 나쁜 환경에 자란 피해자다.

그리고 애정행각이 그렇게 욕먹을 짓인가?

그리고 요즘 아이들 나쁘다 나쁘다 하는데
이건 학교 선생님들이 문제다…

그리고 요즘 아이들 그렇게 안나쁘다
다만 머리좀 기르고 좀 안좋게 보이지만
항상 학교에 피해자는 학생이였다.
정말 나쁜학생은 반에서 몇명 없다.
하지만 그 나쁜 학생도 분명 교육을 잘 못 받은 피해자.

이건 당연한 이론이다.
아이들은 어른들을 보고 자란다.

옛날엔 가진 폭력때문에 아이들이 숨겨왔지만
지금은 표현할 수 있는 시대
어른들을 따라하는 시대!

물론 이 뉴스에 나와있는 아이들이 풍기문란이란 걸로 잘못은 했지만
아이들을 싸잡아서 욕하는 어른들이 한심하고 내가 부끄럽다.

An old man aged 60 beat teenage lovers because they kissed in front of adults.
Because I was not there at that time, I am not going to criticize both sides. But I was stunned at checking other people’s opinions. Maybe they’re mostly age 20-30. Therefore, it is a place where you can see how adults think.
But watching their comments, I was so mad.
They said he beat them well and we’d better give him prizes.
They always say… kids nowadays…kids nowadays…
Isn’t it parents’ faults that gave such kind of education?
There is a saying about the moment that children get more rude is due to the internet. But those adults bought computers and installed internet. What did the adults do? What did the government do?
Kids are growing up under the circumstances that adults make. No matter how nice the kids are when they were born, bad circumstances can make kids bad.
I don’t blame children.
They’re victims who grew up under the bad circumstances.
And why is love expression criticized?
And people say kids are bad bad, but school teachers’ faults are more… first of all, the punishment should be prohibited at school first…. And then kids these days are not so bad. Even though they don’t look good due to appearances such as long hair, the real victims in school are students. There are not a lot of bad students and those bad students are also victims of bad education.
This is a sensible theory. Children grow up, looking at adults and learning from them.
In the past, children hid their violence, but the current period is the time to be able to express and the time that kids copy adults’ behavior.
Of course, these teenagers in this event made mistakes, but I feel shamed of adults who blame these kids without any knowledge.

It seems that the incident turned into a battle between teenagers and adults.

문제의 본질은 폭력입니다! 길거리에서 애정표현이, 길가던 생판 모르는 노인한테 얻어맞아야 할만큼 큰 잘못인가요? 왜, 아예 범죄라고 해보죠! 길거리에서 담배피는 학생을 폭행했던 전력이 있는 사람이라죠? 물론 그 때 담배피던 학생을 훈계하다 때린건 수긍할 수 있는 일입니다. … 이 사건은 단순히 타인의 애정표현을 가지고 문지를 일으킨 것이므로, 그 노인에게 전적인 잘못이 있는 겁니다! 솔직히 난 나이가 서른인데, 부딪치는 많은 이들 중에서 말세를 운운하기 좋아하는 4,50대가 되려 싹퉁머리없는 짓을 많이 하는 것을 겪어왔고, 2,30대 층이 예의바르고 상식이 통하는 올바른 행동을 하는 것도 많이 겪어왔기 때문에, 요즘엔 4,50대나 그 이상 연령층의 행동이나 생각에 도덕성이 심각하게 결여되어있다고 봅니다.

The principle of the problem is violence. Is love expression in the street so wrong it’s fine to be beaten by a strange old man? Why don’t you call it criminal then? Didn’t he have an experience of beating students who smoked on the street before? It’s understandable to admonish teenage smokers at that time…. But this incident is from the love expression of other strangers and so what the old man did was wrong. Honestly I’m 30 and encountered a lot of 40-50 year old people who have rude behavior, insisting on the end of this world, and a lot of 20-30 year old people who are polite and have righteous behaviors. Recently I feel that not a few people over 40-50 years old lack morality.

Another opinion:

학생이신가 보네요 ….기사내용 다 읽었어요?
일단 폭력은 잘못 되었습니다. 기사내용을 보면
할아버지가 애들한대 애정표현 한다고 훈계하다 근대 학생들이 무슨상관이냐고? 대들었다죠
길가다가 담배핀다고 바로 때릴만큼 그런 성인은 거의 없다고 보구요 거의 훈계하다가 애들이 대들어서 맞는거죠~~
10년뒤면 벌거 벗고 성관계하는데 왜그러나고 하겠네 ㅡㅡ

You must be a student… anyway…. Violence is wrong. But did you read the report? According to it, the old man admonished the teenagers about their love expression and those kids set against him. I don’t think there is an adult who beat teenager right away once running into them with cigarettes. Commonly the adults admonish them and kids are beaten because they set against…
Maybe 10 years later, teenagers who have sexual intercourse in public would set against adults who admonish them.

About this incident, a blogger shows a poll about the extent of physical contact.

가끔 인터넷에 떠있는 공공장소에서의 애정행각 사진에 눈살을 찌푸렸던 기억이 있습니다. 둘이 사랑하고, 그에 스큰쉽을 나누는 것은 이해하지만 왠지 공공장소에서는 자제했으면 하는 바램입니다.
그런데 대항생 10명 중 4명은 길거리, 지하철 등 공공장소에서 가벼운 입맞춤 정도의 스킨쉽을 한 경험이 있으며, 10명 중 1명은 진한 키스도 나눠봤다라는 설문조사가 나왔군요. 통행이 잦은 공공장소에서의 스킨쉽에 대해 설문 참여자 절바 정도가 가벼운 입맞춤 정도는 공공장소에서 해도 상관없다라고 응답했습니다.
스킨쉽의 수위는 ‘가법게 입을 맞췄다(43.8%), ‘손을 잡고 있거나 포용(30.6%)’였고, 특히 ‘진하게 키스해 본적이 있다’는 응답도 11.2%나 차지하고 있습니다. 반면에 자신이 해본 스킨쉽의 수위를 묻는 질문에 ‘공공장소에서는 애정행각을 벌인 적이 없다’는 응답은 11.4%에 불과합니다.
공공장소에서의 스킨쉽에 큰 거부감이 없는 탓에 다른 이들의 길거리 애정행각을 바라보는 대학생들의 시선도 관대해 공공장소에서의 애정행각을 목격했을 때 드는 기분에 대해 ‘적당한 수준을 지키는 스킨쉽이나 애정행각은 귀업고 사랑스럽게 보인다(44.6%)이라는 수치가 나왔습니다. ‘남의 사생활이므로 굳이 신경쓰지 않는다’는 의견이 19.3%, ‘안 보이는데 가서 하지(15%)’로 기타의견으로는 ‘보기에 민망하다,’ ‘말세다,’ ‘부모님은 아시나?,’ ‘부럽다’등이 있었습니다.
당당하게 연애를 하는 것도 좋지만, 과도한 애정행각은 눈살이 찌푸러지기도 하는데요, 가급적이면 연인들의 스킨쉽은 다른 사람들의 눈을 의식해줬으면 합니다.
사귀는 남녀 사이의 스킨쉽 허용한도는 남학생의 경우 ‘성관계’가 57.2%로 1위를, 여학생은 ‘키스’가 49.9%로 1위를 차지했다고 합니다. 물론 남들이 보지 않는 장소에서 말이죠.

When sometimes I see photos that were taken of the moment of love expression in public on the Internet, I am not comfortable. I understand that two people love each other and have physical contact, but I hope that they control themselves in public.
Surprisingly, four of 10 college students said that they have the experience of physical contact, such as light kiss in public places like streets and metro, and one of them even has the experience of French kiss according to a survey (targeting 854 college students).
The level of physical contacts ‘light kiss (43.8%),’ ‘holding hands or hugging (30.6%),’ and ‘deep french kiss 11.2%).’ On the other hand, only 11.4% said that they never had physical contact in public.
Now our society is getting generous. When they watch these kinds of physical scenes, 44.6 percent said that ‘love expression or appropriate physical contact looks cute and lovely,’ 19.3 percent said that they don’t care about others’ private lives, and 15% said that they’d better do it in non-public places. Others said that ‘it’s embarrassing to watch,’ ‘this world is problematic,’ ‘do their parents know about it?’ ‘feeling jealously.’
It’s good to date openly, but sometimes excessive love expression knit our brows. I hope that when boy friend and girl friend have physical contact, they are conscious of others.
According to how much physical contact is allowed, of male college students 57.1% answered sexual intercourse and of female students 49.9% answered kiss in a place where others can’t see them.

8 comments

  • It just sounds as though some elderly Koreans feel that the suppressed feelings that they themselves had to bear when they were young should be inflicted on the young people of today.

    Surely it’s far healthier for society as a whole to be promoting open expressions of love rather than suppressing them.

  • Robert

    What a primitive conservative society, indeed.

  • Ha, many students in China do so. But no one was hit. Maybe we have all accepted that commonplace phenomenon. And a lot of kissing young men in public, I believe, are influenced by the Korean romantic TV dramas. So popular here!
    See:http://bbs.csonline.com.cn/Archive_view.asp?boardID=56&ID=210269

    PS:reading your posts about life in Korea, I really find so many things in common with here. Resonance!

  • Michel

    Sounds like a horrible city? Give me Paris or Rome anyday, even London! LOL
    Do people in Korea smile much? On TV they always look sombre and miserable, or angry and violent.
    Anyway good luck, young lovers.

  • mahathir_fan

    Is that kissing a form of affection or lust?

    We do not have to kiss the mouth to show affection. Often, we can just kiss the hand.

  • I’m glad that the students in question chose to confront the man about their difference of opinion rather than just stop and apologize as the man probably would have preferred. Deference to elders when you don’t actually agree just causes repressed feelings and more conflict later.

    If anything, it seems like they may have reacted poorly though, at least if we want to give the attacking man any credit. They may have teased him or something rather than trying to discuss the matter rationally.

    Either way, it’s definitely surprising how strict the adult perceptions are around there, being bothered by a deep french kiss is understandable, but light kissing?

  • jbarl

    kissing in public? ‘as the east people’, we supposed to know that behaviour is prohibided especially in public. for some people, it’s very shameful behaviour. hello, we in the asia. if we in europe, america. that’s things no problem, right?

    kissing our partner is our right.come on, we live in the democratic world. everyone free express their expression. but it’s better if we not show to everyone that we’re in love. just we and our partner know how deep our love.

    Yonsinnae have a right to alert the teenagers not to do that (especially if he is one of teenagers family). the fault in Yonsinnae can not do his punishment to them. come on, how he himself as the teenagers treat same by somebody else like he do?

  • timsan

    You would be amazed by Korean society if you lived here. If this weren’t public news, I’d bet the old man would get no punishment.

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.