The Student News Site of Saint Thomas Aquinas High School

The Raider Review

The Raider Review

The Student News Site of Saint Thomas Aquinas High School

The Raider Review

The Raider Review

Happy Korean-American Day!

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Since 2005, January 13 has marked Korean-American Day. However, the celebration can be traced back to 1903 when a boat of just over 100 Koreans came to the United States, starting America’s connection to Korea and its culture. By 1905, more than 7000 Koreans had arrived in America and continued until 1924 when America passed the Oriental Exclusion Act of 1924 banning all Asian immigration to the U.S. Only Koreans intending to study were able to immigrate and several went to various prestigious universities to contribute to America’s advancement. Following the Korean War (1950-1953) and the nullification of the Asian Immigration Ban, America received a second wave of Korean immigration which consisted of wives of army men, doctors, lawyers, and students who came to the US for a better life and economic opportunities. Currently, America is experiencing a third wave of immigrants which began after the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act was revoked, thereby allowing more Koreans to immigrate to America. Many came to reunite with their families, while others came as recruited experts and professionals from Asia. 

 

Today, Koreans make up one of the largest immigrant groups of the U.S., and their cultural influences permeate into American life. Samsung, a Korean tech company, is one of the biggest forces in the American smartphone industry. K-pop has quickly become a popular music genre not only in America, but on a global scale too. Korean shows and movies have been some of the most successful pieces of cinema in modern times. Parasite by Bong Joon-ho has become the only non-English film to win an Oscar, and the show Squid Games is the most viewed series on Netflix of all time. Korean food is in more demand than ever with many restaurants opening, and many popular chains such as Costco and Trader Joe’s are starting to sell Korean food. 

 

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Now more than ever, it is time for America to recognize and celebrate Korean-American Day as the connections between the two cultures blend every day. You can watch a Korean movie or listen to some Korean music, or even visit a Korean restaurant or store. There are many Korean stores in the South Florida area such as Myung-ga Tofu and BBQ  as well as Yum Korean in Weston or Kimich Mart in Hollywood. It is not hard to find a way to celebrate Korean-American Day.  An appreciation of Korean-Americans and their culture is sufficient . It’s everyone’s job to ensure that all people feel welcomed in America. As Vice President Kamala Harris said, “The American Dream belongs to all of us.” 

Photo credit: https://www.koreanculture.org/korea-information-culture-and-the-arts

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