Monday, January 28, 2008

Panhandling in South Korea



The first time I saw a Korean panhandler, I was really shocked at the way they position their body. They are on their knees with their heads facing the ground with only their arms to rest on. It has to be unbelievably uncomfortable. The panhandlers I've seen on the sidewalks always seem to be wearing some type of waders which cover their legs and probably are meant to protect them from the elements. I have only seen panhandling in Seoul. They will be in the middle of very busy sidewalks and also on the steps going in and out of the subways. I've never seen them with a sign.

A panhandler in my part of the U.S. usually stands on a busy street corner holding up a cardboard handwritten sign. In Korea, I have often seen Koreans drop money into the panhandler's basket but I haven't seen the same in the U.S.

4 comments:

Helena said...

Some of those people that you see may not have legs. Or not functioning legs.

Irishlace said...

This does seem to me to be the neatest, cleanest panhandler I have ever seen. Does it seem that way to you?

I enjoy your blog. I tutor ESL students from both China and Japan so I am always interested in Asian life and customs.

Take care and thanks for sharing,
Becky

CreekHiker said...

Becky, This is so fascinating...it's like a position of shame??

Becky said...

Helena: That's what Curt thought but I'm just surprised at how many of them there are.

Irishlace: I think he is trying to stay out of the way so to speak. It was a really busy part of Seoul.

Holly: I have often thought the same thing.

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