7 in 10 multicultural students see themselves as 'pure Korean'
By Yi Whan-woo
Seven out of 10 children from multiracial families identify themselves as Korean, the latest study for better understanding of biracial families showed.
The survey by the National Youth Policy Institute found that 73.4 percent of 1,502 biracial children responded that they’re a Korean citizen rather than a national of the country from which their parents came.
The poll was conducted among 11-year-old children from multiracial backgrounds in December.
Only 21.5 percent of them described themselves as “half-Korean” while the other 3 percent said they are “foreigners.”
The study shows 94.9 percent of the respondents have a foreign mother. This ratio was higher than the rest of the children whose father or both parents were from different countries.
“Our findings show that mothers play an important role in helping their bi-racial children form their racial, cultural, and national identities,” said Yang Kye-min, the leading author of the study.
The number of children born to a mother from Southeast Asia and a local father were mostly likely to show affinity toward Korea. For instance, 85.9 percent of 370 children with a Filipino mother identified themselves as Korean, the highest among the respondents.
“Southeast Asian women generally favor this country and encourage and nurture their kids to become familiar with Korean culture,” Yang stated.
A total of 243 children with a Korean-Chinese mother also came up with the same response, followed by the other 282 with a Japanese mother.
The level of education that the foreign mothers had was another key factor in forming the cultural identity of their children, according to the study.
The number of children from multiracial families was 151,154 in 2011, rising 3.4 times over the past five years, according to the data.
Yoon said he conducted the study to correct stereotypes against those children.