Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Boys Will Be Boys

Boys will be boys. This phrase has a certain meaning back in Canada, but here, it means something completely different.

My male students are really close with each other. And when I say close, I mean really close. One of their favourite things to do is cuddle while watching movies. They sit in each other’s laps, gently brush their fingers through each other’s hair, rub the back of each other’s necks, lightly stroke each other’s earlobes, and playfully slap each other’s bums. Outside of the classroom, they always walk hand-in-hand or arm-in-arm, and it’s not uncommon to see a student give another student a piggyback from one classroom to the next. I’m told it’s not like this everywhere in Korea, but it’s extremely common in more rural communities where the students have known each other for their entire lives. They aren’t homosexual, but they’re also not in any way embarrassed to express homosexual tendencies with one another. This type of behavior can make a lot of foreign English teachers uncomfortable, but for me, it was interesting to see how these kids defined an intimate friendship.

- Ken

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ken, My friend from India once told me that boys there do the exact same thing. Boys will hold hands or put there arms around each other. When I first moved back to Canada, I thought most boys were quay when out at a school dance since many boys danced together. It was really strange to have your friend approach you and asked you to dance. In New Mexico, I would have been beaten up if I would have been caught dancing with another quy.