“Oppa” is the Korean term that I often use for Hugh as he is an older male. It can also be used in the context of our relationship as a pet name. Unfortunately in a crowd there are many “oppas” so Hugh often assumes it’s a woman calling out to another guy, and not to him. If I call out “Oppa” to him it doesn’t really get his attention. Calling out “Hugh” also doesn’t get his attention if we are in a loud place. Lately I’ve been calling out “oi” in a very Australian accent and have found it works so much better! Especially when I stress my Australian accent as he knows it’s immediately me. The word “oi” is used quite a bit in Australian English.
We try to focus on positive stuff but after being online for several years we thought we’d talk about some of the weird or mean comments we sometimes get, as well as what some people say in real life. We also wanted to give a space to other international/interracial married couples to talk about their experiences too. People usually comment more on YouTube to head over there to join the discussion.
People already love to judge the looks of interracial couples more than other couples and there can be extra scrutiny as we age. Caucasians in general seem to show the signs of aging earlier. There are plenty of jokes and memes online about the slower aging process of Asians but it is something you can start to see in your own life. Hugh still gets mistaken for someone 10 years younger than he really is, whereas I never would be. (Hugh is also older than me).
As with most comics this was a very real conversation we had in a lighthearted manner. The conversation continued with me lamenting my white genes, to which Hugh responded, “But you guys (white people) dominate everything, so don’t complain. That’s your punishment”. Hugh likes to get the white privilege jokes in haha.
I’ve been on some strong medication for health problems (Endo) which I feel is doing damage to my body and I feel like I can see it in my face. My mother looks amazing for her age so I hope I have some of those genetics to balance out what illness does to me.
For those also in interracial marriages: Do you get unnecessary comparison comments about your appearance?
We thought up this challenge because after being married for several years I think we are comfortable confessing to some secrets or how we feel about some things in each other’s cultures. And I guess the challenge is not to descend into an argument! Haha! What food do we not like? What do we think is weird? What did we lie about?
We’d love to see some other couples do this challenge.
If you are completely unfamiliar with Korean culture and respectful terms, this comic might be a little bit difficult to understand.
The longer we’ve been back in Korean culture, the more Hugh likes being called “Oppa”. Since it was my birthday recently, my age “caught up” to his. This doesn’t happen in Korean age because everyone’s age goes up at the same time at the start of the year. But in international age there are a few months where our ages are the same. Hugh pointed this out. In Korea if someone is the same age as you it means you are friends in the sense that neither person needs to use a respectful name for the other, because neither is older than the other. It allows for much more relaxed speech and manners usually.
So I took the opportunity to act like a “chingu” instead of a “dongseng” (the younger one in the relationship). Used to be an “oppa”, Hugh suddenly realised he had made a terrible mistake…
In English I am very free and comfortable and can tease him with no problems. But in Korean, in a Korean setting he suddenly realised how different it was if he wasn’t my Oppa anymore. Especially because I used the opportunity to be rude.
Hugh says: I was saying, “You are the same as my age now! Hahaha!” And making fun, but actually it’s not good for me. I still like to be called Oppa.
We get a lot of messages where people need advice and we do out best to answer them. We decided it was time to make a video talking about how we make our marriage work and what things we do to make a happy life together. The video was actually over 30 mins long but of course cut down, so there was many more things we had to say!
We wrote down what we wanted to say, but I ended up doing more of the talking because Hugh isn’t as comfortable in English for a more scripted video BUT if you get him in person he will talk your ear off!