Even The Rivers: A film about educating South Korea’s multiethnic generation.

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, Videos on 2013-05-10 15:01Z by Steven

Even The Rivers: A film about educating South Korea’s multiethnic generation.

April 2013

Cindy Lou Howe, Director

Matt Kelley, Producer

Uikwon Lee, Researcher

“In 10 years, even the rivers and mountains change.”
—Korean proverb

South Korea has seemingly always known dramatic change. Created after Japanese colonization and a devastating civil war, the nation became one of history’s most remarkable economic success stories. Today, many South Koreans are proud that their former “Hermit Kingdom” is a global economic and cultural powerhouse, hosting the Olympics and exporting everything from Galaxy smartphones to “Gangnam Style.”

Despite this constant change, South Korea remains one of the world’s most ethnically homogeneous societies. According to recent statistics, just two percent of South Koreans are immigrants, the bulk of whom are ethnic Koreans from China. Many Koreans cling to a “one blood” national identity that emphasizes so-called “pure” bloodlines, a notion borne of nationalist and anti-imperialist movements from the turn of the last century.

This self-concept, however, is increasingly at odds with the nation’s changing demographics. Urbanization, immigration and one of the world’s lowest fertility rates have resulted in a multi-ethnic baby boom for South Korea. According to the 2010 Census, there are over 150,000 children in the country with at least one parent of non-Korean heritage. By 2020, the government estimates there will be over 1.6 million multi-ethnic South Koreans, including half of all children living in rural areas…

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