Korea was a very poor country and was far worse than Nepal after the Korean war in the mid 90’s. However, due to their hard work and perseverance, Korea has now become one of the top economies in Asia as well as the world. They have been able to reach great heights in about a time frame of 50 years or so. Due to this reason, many Nepalese look up to Korea as a good role model.
These days, many Nepalese are opting to work in Korea since the Korean government grants work permits to Nepalese citizens. In this way, Korea is helping our country by providing job opportunities.According to Mr. Anmol Thapa who worked there for about 10 months in 2005, “Korea is a very nice country and the people are very friendly and polite. What I liked very much about them is that they treat their elders with so much respect, whether they are Koreans or foreigners. Even the taxi drivers there were so helpful and well mannered.” About his job experience he shares,”We had to work really hard, with the minimum working hours for my job being 12 hours a day and sometimes even 14 hours when we had to work overtime. If the company would be doing well in business, sometimes our boss would give all of the employees bonus in salaries and at other times they would give us a party. We were always paid right on time and we always got our full salaries.” Mr. Thapa felt the desire to go and work in Korea after he got good feedback from friends who had been working there.
Anyone who wants to work in Korea has to pass the EPS-TOPIK (Employment Permit System- Test of Proficiency in Korean) Test. There are over 2000 Korean language institutes all over the country as Korean is one of the most popular foreign languages in Nepal. More and more Nepalese are joining Korean language courses not just with the intention of working there but also due to the popularity of Korean movies, music and television dramas. Mass media has played a big role in the rise of popularity of Korean movies and music as CD’s and DVD’s are easily available in the market. Furthermore, the influence of Korean fashion can be seen in the way the youth dress up and do their hair and makeup. In addition to this, Korean cuisine has also gained immense popularity in the country and Korean restaurants are scattered everywhere in Kathmandu.
An avid viewer of Korean movies and television dramas, Miss Yashita Dewan shares,”The love stories are so beautiful,and in addition to having good acting skills, the actors are so good looking. They also have very good taste in fashion and the actors and actresses dress up very decently. My favorite movies/ dramas so far are Full House, Millionaire’s First Love, Shut Up Flower Boy Band, You’re Beautiful, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho and Boys Over Flowers and my favorite celebrities are ofcourse, Rain and Lee Min Ki.” Another viewer miss Zehrom Rongong states, “I guess one of the reasons why Nepalese like Korean movies is because when it comes to physical appearance, Koreans are similar to us. Furthermore, from what I have seen in their movies, they are very polite and humble. The story lines are usually simple but very heart touching and their stories are like fairytales where rich guys fall for poor girls. Such things may hardly happen in the real world, but it’s enjoyable to watch in the reel world.” She says her favorite movies and dramas are Full House, You’re Beautiful and Boys over Flowers and her favorite celebrity is Jang Geun Suk.
Korea has indeed made a huge impact on the Nepalese Youth. It is not just in Nepal but they have been gaining popularity all over the world. Even though they have become developed and modernized, they have not forgotten their culture and traditions. They are proud of their culture and heritage and they have preserved it well. While Nepal still has a long way to go, we can definitely learn a lot of lessons from Korea.