While fishing around the web, I stumbled on a blog by a Westerner currently living in Korea. In this particular post, the subject is Korean Motorcycle Culture. As I scanned through the text, it dawned on me that this fella (a rider himself I believe) must be of the “upper crust” of riding society. This conclusion came to me since his views, experience, knowledge, and understanding of the biker world, of bikers in general, were very limited. All the things he found “amusing…and completely different from …American culture” are actually quite common and “normal” here in the States. Anyone who’s ever been to a rally, bike show, poker run, etc. would have to agree with that. However, it was not what seemed like a limited understanding of the biker culture that got to me, it was the underlying cause of his bias, the belief behind his perception. I believe it was his prejudice that confined his view and clouded his understanding…his prejudice only permitted his eyes to see what his mind had already perceived. Below is the part of his post that struck me as most bias;
“Being a biker in America is the ultimate form of individuality and self-expression. Each bike is unique, and each rider is unique in his physical appearance, dress, style, and attitude. Although many may wear the same motorcycle club patch, each rider is a distinct individual..…….Like American bikers, Korean bikers are individuals outside of societal norms. However, in contrast to American bikers, who are separate from society and different from one another, Korean bikers tend to be separate from society and different in exactly the same way.”
And…of course, I had to “comment” his post. Here’s some of what I wrote;
“I’m not sure why you “see” an open vest, hairy chested, beer gut hanging, bearded rider here and “feel” his individuality though his looks are about as stereotypical as stereotypes are gonna get as far as bikers go. On the other hand, you seem to “assume” that just because the Koreans may dress similar, they are just being clones and surrendering their individuality…
Bottom line Jeff….they look funny and out or place, in your eyes, because they are Asians and you’ve been programmed all your life, directly or unconsciously, to associate Harleys/Cruisers/Bikers as an American “thing”.”
You can check on the blog posting yourself –
I hope the few pics I’ve posted helps this guy expand his horizons a little. I mean, honestly, the whole issue of understanding and identifying with the “uniqueness” of the American Biker and the complete opposite feelings and lack of acceptance for the Korean Biker “clones” is just a LOAD OF SHIT! ....by the way, yes, I know not all bikers are dressed this way.
“same shit, different guy”