This is just a sideliner's observation, so I apologize, I’m going off on an incomplete viewpoint. But if you’ll hear out what I’ve gathered from simply sitting on the bench, I think perhaps the reason why there might be a large "gulf" felt between the Korean community and communities of countries in "The West" (and our lovely Indonesians of course) is perhaps because everyone seems to be stretching themselves to learn Japanese, and very few users are applying themselves to learn Korean or English within either community? (I can’t speak for the Korean community, but I’ve met far more Korean users who can speak Japanese as compared to English. Though of course this is undoubtedly because Asian languages are easier to learn for those who have roots in another Asian language.) Regardless, I think this lack of an effort on both communities parts- as a whole
– is what causes us to feel so distant from each other? Aster and KANGDANIM and SYO and the lovely users who are working their butts off to bridge the difference are wonderful, but I think if it’s not a whole community effort, the gap is just that much bigger…?
Like, I know I haven't had very many run-ins with Korean users because I simply cannot speak coherant sentences in Korean- but I've had many pleasant run-ins with Korean users who speak fluent Japanese. (HARI-san for example.)
But you know, I think the different customs in Korea is a very valid point. Perhaps users in the West are less accustomed to Korean customs as opposed to Japanese customs? For example, most people are aware that -san is a polite suffix that should be attached to most anyone's name that equates to "Mister" or “Miss”, but I for one, forgive my ignorance, haven't the slightest lick of an idea as to what -nim means. (Same general thing, I would assume...?)
I think as SYO-san said, it is
more because we don't understand each others' customs. After that comes the language barriers. It is the language barriers that keep us from being able to explain
said customs and their differences. (But seeing as we are speaking in English here, can someone tell me this –nim business? I don’t want to refer to anyone as –nim without knowing what it means and end up looking like a foolish ignorant. orz)
That said, I think this entire argument is based off of a reaction (a seemingly entirely misunderstood reaction at that,) from a very small group of Korean users, and in my personal opinion, that's not quite enough to label the entire community as a group of people who 'dun did wrong'. That would be like the entire Western community being labeled as mannerless hooligans in lieu of some of our more notoriously rude users' actions. I know I wouldn't like being blamed for someone else's actions, so I think rather than extending this to the entirety of both communities, I think it should be made clear to both sides that this argument was something caused by only a small handful of people who weren't, like, elected to take up the tome of their community and say "I represent everyone in this part of the world." I think that’s part of what’s blowing this entire situation so out of proportion… xD;;
Sorry this post is so long- I'm used to writing long recitations for staff affairs on big forums, and you get your butt flamed to Mars if you don't write something that took you at least an hour to compose.... orz;; I hope I made sense and wasn't just floundering around in my ignorance. ;u;;;tl;dr:
We live in a world that's getting smaller and smaller, so let's understand that we all have differences in what is "OK" and what is "Wrong" and be a happy family?
And this is completely unrelated, but on the note of the Korean community being "closed off" I think they are far more open than the Chinese community. Heck, it took me four months to even figure out the Chinese community /existed/. xD;;;