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  National
Introducing Russian community
By Dr. Leonid Chechurin
Staff Writer
More and more Korean kids are getting puzzled when teasing a western-looking foreigner in the streets of Korea.

Mi gug in!! Mi gug in!!

Anyo

Canada!..

Anyo

???

Russia saram!

Ro shi ah?

It is a kind of tendency that lacks political correctness to call all people coming from ex-USSR as Russians. The community of those who came to work in Korea from ex-Soviet republics consists also of Ukrainians, Belorussians, Georgians . Surprisingly, we used to name Russians even ethnical Koreans who came from former Soviet Union to this country!

We stayed together within USSR for a long time and shared mentality, culture, social values, and, the most important, language. This fact leads us to keep in touch in Korea. So, as far as communication is considered, let me call this community Russians.

Most of people who form our circle are experienced professionals in research, hi-tech manufacturing or programming. Korea ensures them a way to apply professional knowledge while they provide teaching, generation of new ideas, products and technologies.

Since the number of ex-Soviet experts in Korea is getting bigger and bigger the deal seems to be fair. Moreover, Korean government issued a special program STEPI targeted at support of companies inviting professionals from ex-USSR countries. Most of them become a part of Samsung, LG, research institutions and universities.

Since all of us have computer-related jobs, we actively use Internet for communication. There are many web sites carrying bulletin boards, chat rooms, impressions and photos.

If you are capable of Russian you may check out some links: http://www.geocities.com/russiankorea/ (official site for so called Co-Russians, forum and chat); [www.shtengel.com/leonid; sic.agava.ru are sites with private impressions and photos )].

Around 70 people are united by ICQ Active List Russian Korea. Geographically, we are spread over this country. However one point of concentration is sure to be Seoul, more precisely, Suwon, where around 20 families live close to each other.

They enjoy a number of community activities. Playing soccer every Sunday seems to have become a tradition. Care to play a game? Just come to Suwon Mae Tan park by 11:00 a.m. Other great goings out are traveling, climbing, fishing, skiing and, of cause, outstanding Russian parties with lavish food and vodka.

We have the same activities and experience the same problems as all foreign communities might have in Korea. Definitely, the most of difficulties are related to employers family members. It is not easy for them to socialize themselves here, another big problem is kids education.

A lot of families have to send their kids back to Russia for school semesters. The reason is although there are few English schools in Suwon, they do not expect relevant education level their. Obviously, coming from Russia it is not easy to get accustomed to the enormously high population density, permanent traffic jams and ( I wonder how long have you been waiting for these words?..) yes, unbearable summer heat.

However we should confess that our problems are negligible to those that someone could experience in Russia or in another country. We are grateful to Korea for its pure and hospital people, our safe and comfortable life and patience to our loud singing while coming home late Saturday night.

Spasibo!




 

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