The American Korean community is the second one in its number (1 million 630 thousand people, as of 1995.), and at the same time it is largely unique, not like the communities of Japan, China or Russia.
These differences are mainly due to the fact that the Korean community in the United States is the result of quite recent emigration, which has not been completed and still. The resettlement of Koreans to Russia ended around 1925. (taking into account the former Japanese South Sakhalin – in 1945.), in Japan – in 1945., In China – about 1950., Therefore, the most ethnic Koreans living there are emigrants of the third, fourth, and at times – and the sixth-seventh generation, which, from the birthplace of their distant ancestors, they usually do not associate any personal bonds. Among the American Koreans were only 28% born in the United States, and the rest – that is, the vast majority – emigrated there from Korea.
Little Koreans came to America from the end of the last century. Some of them were political exiles, but most Korean immigrants accounted for those who went to work on the Hawaiian Islands. In those days, there were a lot of contract workers from the countries of East Asia on plantations of sugar cane. The entry into the territory of the continental US was then very difficult for Koreans, he was prevented by American immigration legislation, which in those days was drawn up in such a way as to stop "Necheless" Immigration in the USA.
Therefore, the truly mass emigration of Koreans over the ocean began quite recently, after 1965., When in the United States were canceled by the racist quotas that limit the number "yellow" Immigration. The resettlement of Koreans to America continues and now, although its scale in the last 10-15 years has noticeably decreased, which is understandable: life in the Korea itself is improving, and an increasing number of Koreans are ready to look for happiness behind the seas. In addition to emigrants, the noticeable part of the Korean community is the former students who, having graduating from university in America or, more often, graduate school, found a good job there in the specialty and decided to postpone return home for an indefinite period. Some of them with time are still returned to Korea, and others remain in America forever. Another specific group – the Korean wives of the US military who met with their future husbands, when they served in Korea, and then left them in the US. Now such marriages have become somewhat less common, but in the seventies they were commonplace.
Since American Koreans are immigrants quite recently, it is not surprising that they retain much more close ties with native places than, say, Koreans of China or the CIS. Flying to relatives across the ocean is not so expensive for them, and, and that it is important, they have to fly to: the rare American-Korean family does not have sisters, grandmothers or aunts somewhere in Seoul or in Cheolla province. Koreans, especially the first generation, are vividly interested in all what happens to their homeland.
Compared to Russia or China, others were the causes of emigration to America, other was the composition of emigrants. In Russia and China, in due time left the peasants who saved from the need, sometimes – fighters broken in battles with the Japanese Korean military units and partisan detachments. Once in a new homeland, these people usually started doing what they are accustomed to home, that is, agriculture. Over time, however, respect for education, so deeply rooted in Korean culture, gave himself to know, and the grandchildren of the past peasants became doctors, professors and lawyers, but for this required a considerable time. In the America, they also rode people with education, to a certain extent owned by English. They settled almost exclusively in large cities. 96% of the US Koreans – citizens, and among the remaining 4% there are practically no those who worked on earth. Immigrants were not always possible to get a specialty (there was not enough knowledge of language and local characteristics here), so the Los Angela shopkeeper with a Korean university diploma in his pocket – the phenomenon is not so rare. However, in any case, the farmers did not become the ruins, and the second generation of emigrants went to universities in the mass order, so now Koreans compete with the Chinese and Jews in the struggle for the title of the most educated national group in America. Very popular among young Koreans Medicine, which in the United States applies to the number of most prestigious and well-paid specialties (the doctor receives the doctor there as much as high-ranking bank employee).
However, the main occupation of the first (and part of the second) generation of immigrants is a small business. About 40% of worm-age koreans has "His job". According to American standards, this is a very high indicator. Mostly Koreans own grocery and vegetable benches, as well as dry-cleaners, filling stations, auto repair shops. Often it is the Koreans who keep shops in Negritan regions, where few people still decide to trade due to chronically high crime. It is clear that the population of the black ghetto does not matter successful merchants, and from time to time trying to loud their shops (usually encountered with well-organized and armed resistance). At the same time, among the Koreans is extremely low, the proportion of those who live on benefits to the notorious "Welfer", So, alas, popular among our former compatriots.
The Koreans of the United States live mainly on the Pacific Coast, although in the last decade Korean communities in all major cities of the country are rapidly growing. About a third (in 1995. — 588 thousand) All American Koreans live in California. The largest center of Korean immigration – Los Angela, where there is a whole Korean district, "Korea Town". Recently, Koreans began to appear and on the Atlantic Coast. In particular, very large (almost 200 thousand people!) Korean community is in New York. In these cities and in California, newspapers and magazines come out in Korean, and television broadcasts, and, of course, hundreds of Korean churches work. In many large American cities there are areas where you can live, absolutely not knowing English and safely bypassed one Korean. It is not by chance that almost half of those Koreans, which is employed by employment, work in firms that belong to Korean businessmen. In such firms, as a rule, all staff are Koreans, often – who came very recently and with sin in half speaking in English.
One of the features of the US Korean community – this huge role of Protestant churches as the chief organizer of the Korean diaspora. The ancestors of Chinese or Russian Koreans left the peninsula before Christianity became in Korea the dominant religion. The American Koreans were already leaving from a predominantly Christian country, and naturally that the churches were the centers of the organization of all "New" Korean communities. Most believing Koreans are supporters of the same directions of Protestantism, which are common in the US. However, despite this, Koreans rarely become members of existing "General American" parishes, but prefer to create their own, purely Korean. These churches are for them the main centers of communication and mutual assistance.
However, the success should be paid, and, as it turned out, no connection with Korea, nor the short history save the Korean community in the USA from assimilation. In all other countries where Koreans – USSR / CIS / Russia, Japan, China – local authorities spent no one in relation to them "National Policy". Sometimes she was in encouraging assimilation (USSR and, at times, China), sometimes – on the contrary, in support of Korean cultural centers and publications, which would simply have not survived without government subsidies (China and, at times, USSR), sometimes – in rejection Koreans, all the insulation of them from "Basic" Societies (Japan). In America, no "National Policy" no, Koreans themselves choose, in which language to learn and what newspapers read. However, anywhere, perhaps, the assimilation of Koreans does not go as fast as in the US. Only a small part of those Koreans were born in the United States, able to read and write in Korean, although many many people own a collaborative language.
Assimilation is a lot of payment for success. The reason is simple: to a greater extent than other ethnic groups, American Koreans orient their children to receive higher education and professional career. Therefore, the young Koreans are eager to master not only special knowledge, without which the university does not enter, but also by the English language and American culture, because without the free ownership of the English and understanding of American society, it is very difficult to achieve serious success. Of course, there can be no speech about the purely Korean school, because Koreans, who received even the best education in the language of their parents, would still have experienced enormous difficulties in university entrance exams, and in the universities themselves. At best, parents send children to the Sunday courses of Korean, which exist in many church parishes. It is clear that as a result, young people have no time or the strength to study the Korean language, for reading Korean books. In addition, many of them do not see any particular need to learn the language on which they are told – in quotes — "ancestors", After all, it takes a lot of time, but does not give any everyday advantages (rather, on the contrary). As a result, the second generation of Koreans in the United States does not speak Korean very well, and in relation to life much different from their American peers.