Rebellion is a part of teenage life anywhere in the world, and everyone has their own way of dealing with the tough life of being a teen. But there are a few very specific ways Korean high school students rebel. See what naughty Korean girls and Korean boys do to rebel against authority!
Note: Smoking and drinking are part of teenage rebellion in many cultures around the world. This article attempts to address very specific ways Korean students rebel.
Just as motorcycle gangs are glamorized in Hollywood movies, the same can be said in Korea. And so rebellious Korean kids get together in gangs of motorcycles and scooters to terrorize streets. Now these are not some organized criminal gangs, but rather a group of teenage Korean kids with bikes who may very well be angry with the world. Some rebellious Korean students get together in these gangs, some more than 50 kids deep, and cruise the streets recklessly. They’ll ride onward to oncoming traffic, harass pedestrians and other drivers, and just generally be jerks on the road. Many will have their friends riding on the back of the scooters, giving each other the moral support all rebellious students need. “Let’s be young and stupid together!”
Naughty kids around the world love to loiter. Rebellious kids hang out at parks, dark corners, underpasses, parking lots and just about anywhere else they can hide from parents and do things naughty kids like to do. Even if they’re not doing anything bad, rebellious kids would rather just stand around and do nothing than study. But for whatever reason, when naughty Korean kids loiter, many seem to be keen on squatting. If you ever run into a gang of Korea boys loitering around for no reason, you’ll see a ton of squatters as a result of long periods of loitering. Squatting is a very Korean thing to do, and if you’re loitering around, might as well grab an air seat with a nice Korean style bad boy squat! (Squats are also popular postures for smoking.)
A long time ago, Korean students used to have non-sanctioned fight tournaments to see who the best fighter in the grade was. Everyone would fight everyone, regardless of friend or foe, and the winner at the end of the day would be named the “king” (짱) of their class, grade or even the entire school. The best fighters would get the respect of all the kids, and no one in the school would mess with these mini Korean Chuck Norrises. These days school officials and parents have become stricter on these mini Ultimate Fighting Champion tournaments, but we’re sure there are still school wide brawls in some McDonalds parking lot somewhere.
Korean teachers and parents tend to believe that putting time into looking good is taking time away from studying. And that’s why make up is also a bit of a no no in Korean schools. Teachers and parents would rather children spend their time studying than putting on mascara. But that doesn’t stop the kids. Many Korean girls (both rebellious and non-rebellious) put on make up because they’re young teenage girls and they want to look good (who doesn’t?). But the most rebellious of Korean girls will put on the most make up as their way of standing out from the crowd and also making a public statement of their rebellion.
Korean public schools generally make all students wear uniforms. And nothing says conformity than wearing the same exact outfit as hundreds of other students. On top of being forced to wear the same school uniform as everyone else, there are certain standards that must be matched. And although the rules have become much more lax in recent years, Korean girls used to have the length of their skirts measured by a teacher with a ruler. Talk about a drag! So in order to stand out from everyone else and to add a bit of sex appeal, Korean girls hike up their skirts! They’re essentially breaking the rules and in the process rebelling against authority. Generally speaking, the shorter the skirts, the more rebellious the girl. It’s true in Korea too, Sexy = Rebel.
In addition to uniforms being standardized , Korean students have standards for their hair. It used to be a rule that hair must not be dyed nor should hair be long. Generally, for Korean boys, hair had to be short enough that it doesn’t cover the ears; for girls, hair had to be kept close to shoulder length; and of course, all hair should be that typical Korean color, black. The rules for this has also been changing in recent years, but teachers still strongly discourage students from being too fancy with their hair. And whatever teachers discourage, rebellious Korean students love to do. So often, Korean girls and boys will grow their hair past the standard length and will dye their hair as a form of saying “screw you!” to the world!
How do teenagers rebel in your country? Let us know by leaving a comment!
Keith Kim is a Korean-American living in Seoul, Korea. He likes espresso shots, photography art and he loves his Playstation 3. He started seoulistic.com as a hobby site, and is now in the process of turning it into a full-time business. Wish him luck! Check out his blog for an uncensored view on entrepreneurship, dating and life in Korea. Personal Blog: gyopokeith.com Facebook: facebook.com/gyopokeithkim Twitter: @gyopokeith Youtube: "Gyopokeith e-mail me anytime at: gyopokeith [at] gmail.com