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White Woman Humiliated After Korean Friend Shames Her For Constantly Calling Her Cousin ‘Oppa’


Sometimes people really can’t take a hint.

How many times do people have to be retold something?

And why?

Listen and learn.

We’d be better off for it.

Case in point…

Redditor curious_georgie456 wanted to discuss her story for some feedback. So naturally she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for publicly shaming a ‘friend'”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I (21F[emale]) was adopted practically at birth from South Korea.”

“I was raised in the US by a white couple.”

“I grew up knowing nothing about my culture.”

“When I started attending college 3 years ago, I joined a Korean club.”

“It was mostly about learning the language, the culture and the cuisine.”

“There I made a female friend, let’s call her Anna.”

“Anna is white, but she is super into Kpop and Kdramas.”

“Nothing wrong with that.”

“Then a year later I was able to get into contact with my birth family in Korea.”

“I went there for 2 weeks and met everyone.”

“It was also pure luck that my older male cousin was going to come study in my college.”

“Well he arrived about a month ago, I introduced him to Anna and she started calling him Oppa.”

“It’s a name you use with older male relatives or very close male friends.”

“And it has a cultural significance.”

“It basically means that you are either related or very close, and that they are more or less responsible for you to an extent.”

“Well he is shy (not that confident about his English).”

“So he asked me to explain to her gently that she shouldn’t call him that. Which I did.”

“She would apologize, then do it again.”

“I had a private talk with her more than 10 times.”

“It was making my cousin very uncomfortable.”

“So when she did it again yesterday atg a party I just went off on her in public.”

“I can’t remember the words I used exactly, but I basically told her that she is not living in a kdrama.”

“My cousin is not her prop to use to live her fantasies.”

“And she is appropriating a culture she neither belongs to, nor understands.”

“She burst out crying and left in a hurry. “

“And now people are calling me an AH for shaming her in public.”


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA?:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors declared our OP was NOT the A**hole.

It’s a tricky situation.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“NTA. You talked to her about it privately more than 10 times and she kept doing it, so it was obviously intentional.”

“Nothing was going to make this girl stop but being publicly called out for using your cousin as her prop.”

“That’s exactly what she was doing.”  ~ efm270

“I’m really thinking it is a corollary of ‘it’s never wrong to publicly embarrass a racist.'”

“It is never wrong to publicly embarrass a fetishist (especially after you have privately spoken to them multiple times).”

“It seems to me that the racist and the fetishist are just two sides of the same coin.”

“Someone who is trying to fit another person into a script they wrote based on the other person’s race, ethnicity, sexuality, etc.”

“And, of course, NTA.”  ~ Downtown_Evidence_46

“NTA – If she didn’t want to be called out at a party then she shouldn’t have said it at a party, not after so many discreet warnings.”

“That said, the optics of your response look terrible.”

“The observers at the party didn’t see the lead-up so they only know you unloaded on her.”

“When doing this type of thing it’s more effective to look the offender in the eye.”

“But tone down the emotion and choose words for the onlookers.”

“Ask yourself… hat do these other people need to know to understand how much of an a**hole she’s being?”  ~ doublestitch

“Even if it is common, he made it known he was uncomfortable with her calling him Oppa.”

“And she acknowledged that, then turns around and continues.”

“That’s not misunderstanding.”

“That’s just full on ignoring someone else’s comfort and boundary because she seems to think that either she is living a kdrama or he’s her prop. NTA.”

“She could’ve just called him a Ching-gu (friend in Korean) & he probably would’ve been fine with that.”  ~ RndmIntrntStranger

“I would advise next time you have to do that.”

“To try get people on your side start with something like ‘Anna I have told you a ton of times already and you promised to stop, this makes my cousin uncomfortable…’ and then the rest.”

“That way you are giving context and a lot of people will realize that if you asked in private a ton of times and she keeps at it.”

“You were left with no other choice.”

“Some people will still call you the AH because God forbid that we shame those that should be ashamed of what they are doing. NTA.”  ~ SkyLightk23

“NTA – As a lover of Kdramas and Kpop myself, I thought people were self aware enough to not use Oppa/Noona if you are a foreigner.”

“It’s just not the same and cringy.”

“You do not have that level of closeness to be able to use those honorifics!!”

“Enjoy other cultures but don’t forget to respect them!”  ~ nymmyy

“NTA. Her little weaponized white tears are forever gonna make her the victim according to people.”

“You can’t win in that aspect.”

“Good on you for finally having enough and standing up for your cousin, some people only step back when they get publicly shamed.”   ~cultqueennn

“NTA ,and as a fellow Korean, your response brings me joy LOL.”

“I feel like as K-dramas and K-pop have become increasingly popular in the West, it’s also resulted in an increasing amount of non-Koreans (mostly white people in my experience) overstepping their boundaries.”

“Or devolving into weird fetishists.”

“Like I once had a girl tell me she only dates Korean men now because “K-dramas ruined regular men forever” for her.”

“So believe me, there’s been many times I’ve wanted to tell someone basically the same thing you said to her.”

“It might seem like a dramatic response to others, but when you’ve had to deal with something like that so often.”

“It really doesn’t feel that unreasonable.”  ~ mobpsychokiller

“NTA. Sounds like you were overdramatic.”

“You’re not in a drama either.”

“But at that point, the principle of it-you’re certainly justified in calling her out, on the spot, publicly, when she continued to disrespect such a simple boundary.”  ~ opinionreservoir

“Sometimes ‘fans’ get too overexcited especially if they suddenly see people who originated from South Korea.”

“This does not exempt her however from disrespecting the country’s culture especially when people are getting uncomfortable and you asking politely (several times) for her to stop.”

“NTA, you were left with no choice and it may be a good wake up call for her.”

“I might have been dramatic too if I was in your position.”  ~ singleusagi

“The ingrained racism, the arrogance of her clearly believing that her ‘version’ of the word made it an acceptable social greeting is sadly a reflection of the arrogance many feel.”

“It’s you who is misunderstanding their efforts type of a thing.”

“When in fact it’s not.”

“Anna was trying to push herself into your biological family and use terms that don’t have a direct version in english.”

“And so she can’t comprehend the responsibility of such a title.”

“Or the embarassment of its appropriation.”

“It may go better if by one asks or it comes up again to say… you are causing real offense when you using that term.”

“When we’ve asked you not to and explained its true meaning in Korean culture.”

“On a side note, congrats on finding your birth family and having what sounds like an amazing opportunity to grow roots in your birth culture whilst sharing your nurtured culture with bio relatives.”

“It sounds like it’s working for you and your family, I think that’s wonderful and special.” ~ HereComesTheSun000

“NAH. She wasn’t overdramatic, especially since she’s addressed the issue many times in private already and the friend knows it makes others uncomfortable.”

“After a certain point (or immediately) it does become cringe worthy and enough is enough.”

“Someone else’s culture is not a costume literally or figuratively both in words or dress.”

“As a person of color from a culture that has many words used like this I’d react the same way if someone did this. NTA.”  ~ tn596

“NTA. I have an older male Korean friend who said I could call him that but to be honest I still don’t feel comfortable doing it.”

“Not because I don’t respect the culture but it just isn’t my place to use the term.”

“She has a delusional mind set about the Korean culture and what it actually is.”  ~ dragonborne123

Well OP, according to Reddit, you did what must be done.

Some people need a loud talking to sometimes.

Hopefully this is a learning lesson for all.

Have fun in school.