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'Non-Summit’ panel discusses Korean ‘irrationalities’

  • Published : Jun 8, 2016 - 17:27
  • Updated : Jun 8, 2016 - 17:29

During its 100th episode, multinational talk show “Non-summit” discussed unique Korean behavior that they found irrational.

To mark Monday’s landmark episode, the JTBC TV show invited all 18 members of the program from past and present.

For the special occasion, the panel received random topic suggestions from the audience for their discussion, including “Am I abnormal to tell my kids they should have their first date after becoming legally adults” and “Am I abnormal to sleep more than 10 hours a day.”

During the show, one of the guests suggested that perhaps the multinational panel’s fluency in Korean affected their viewpoints, influencing them to think more like Koreans.

He asked members to talk about Korean customs that they had found to be strange on their first impression.

Canadian Guillaume Patry was the first to open up. He said, “Young people are considered less important in a conversation.” This was followed by Australian Blair Williams who said, “People have no consideration when they drive.”

More members soon chimed in.

Belgian Julian Quintart said, “Koreans aren’t used to giving constructive criticism. Rather than give out their own colors they try to follow the majority opinion.”

Meanwhile, Japanese Takuya Terada said, “Everyone tries to be in a group. Doing something alone is seen as strange.”

The discussion went on to weddings and marriage, with German Daniel Lindemann saying, “The wedding officiator emphasizes the job title of the bride and the groom.”

Ghanaian Sam Okyere added, “I don’t understand the Korean conflict between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law.

Korean work culture was also up for discussion.

“The only people who hate national holidays are Koreans,” said Guillaume, who was referring to how Koreans are either pressured to report to office or to attend family events that require as much work as their jobs.

Italian Alberto Mondi said, “Labor rights need to be properly upheld,” while U.S. national Tyler Rasch said, “Many people just stomach injustice thinking it can’t be helped in their younger or lower social position.”

Nepali Sujan Shakya added, “There is still lingering discrimination against people from poorer third-world countries.”

The show “Non-summit,” or “Abnormal Summit,” is a talk show run with a panel of foreigners who discuss social topics, sharing their native culture’s perspectives. The members of the panel all have a strong command of spoken Korean.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (kaylalim@heraldcorp.com)