Koreans in India

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Koreans in India
Total population
8,337 (2009)[1]
Regions with significant populations
New Delhi,[2] Chennai,[3] Mumbai,[4] Bangalore
Religion
Christianity[5]
Related ethnic groups
Korean diaspora

There is a small community of Koreans in India, consisting largely of expatriate professionals from South Korea and their families, Korean descendants living in India, as well as some missionaries and international students at Indian universities.[6]

Migration history[edit]

There was known to have been Korean migration to India as early as the 1950s; the Korean Association of India was founded in that decade in New Delhi by three South Koreans who had gone into exile after being released from prison in their home country. However, large-scale growth in the community did not begin until the 1990s.[7] In 1997, the Korean community in India numbered just 1,229 people, according to South Korean government statistics; it grew somewhat by 42% to 1,745 people by 2003, but then in the next six years it nearly quintupled in size, making them the 25th-largest Korean community in the world, behind Koreans in Guatemala and ahead of Koreans in Paraguay.[1]

Distribution[edit]

Chennai was the earliest hub of the Korean community in India, thanks to Hyundai's decision to open factories there in 1995. Koreans concentrated largely in the Kilpauk township, which has acquired the nickname of "Little Korea" as a result.[8] However, the centre of gravity shifted away from Chennai as later communities in Delhi and Bangalore experienced rapid growth in the 2000s.[7] More than half of all Koreans in India live in New Delhi.[2][4] Another fifth live in Mumbai, according to 2005 consular statistics.[4] The community in Chennai has also continued to grow; by 2009, media estimates suggested that as many as 3,000 Koreans might live in the Chennai area alone, up from about 700 in 2006.[3][9]

Business and employment[edit]

Most corporate expatriates come for maximum three- to five-year stints before returning home.[7] In New Delhi, major employers of South Korean expatriates include Samsung and LG Electronics.[10] In the Chennai area, many work for Hyundai Motors and its suppliers.[9] Some expatriates have also opened Korean restaurants, aimed largely at their co-ethnics rather than local Indians, in Chennai, New Delhi, and Bangalore, though not in Mumbai.[6]

Education[edit]

Roughly 200 Koreans are studying at local universities in New Delhi, mainly the University of Delhi and Jawaharlal Nehru University.[11] At Delhi University, with roughly 90 students from South Korea, they have even formed a Korean Students Union as well as a traditional Korean drum group.[12] The Korean Association, with an office in the Hauz Khas Complex, also holds extracurricular Korean-language classes for Korean expatriate children.[10] South Korean information technology students have also been attending courses at private institutes in the Pune area since 2002.[11] There are also some North Korean students studying in New Delhi as well.[13]

There is also an increasing number of South Korean primary and secondary students entering India on student visas; their parents send them unaccompanied to international boarding schools there in order to take advantage of inexpensive English-medium education, at roughly half the price of comparable schools in the United States or United Kingdom. In addition to language proficiency and cost, the reputation of Indian mathematics education, seen as even more rigorous than that in South Korea, let alone the US or UK, is another draw for parents. In 2006, there were 1,435 South Korean primary and secondary visa students in India, according to the Indian embassy in Seoul.[14] For example, South Korean children comprised 16% of all students at the American Embassy School in New Delhi, making them the largest nationality behind Americans, and 20% of the students at the Woodstock School in Landour, Uttarakhand.[2][14]

Unlike other foreigners, South Korean adult expatriates have enthusiastically joined in Hindi classes; about half of all foreign students enrolled in advanced Hindi classes or certificate or degree courses are Koreans, and major employers such as Samsung have organised year-long Hindi courses for their employees.[15]

Media[edit]

The Korean Association of India publishes a bimonthly magazine in Korean, Namaste India.[7]

Religion[edit]

Koreans have formed a number of Christian churches in India, including two in New Delhi, two in Chennai, and one in Mumbai.[5] Local Christian denominations also have Korean members, as in Pune, where the Church of North India began offering Korean-language services from 2005. Some Koreans also attend English-language Christian services, but where numbers permit, they have broken off to hold their own services in Korean.[16]

Sarnath, where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma, has long been a popular destination for travelling Korean Buddhists, as in the case of Hyecho's 8th-century pilgrimage there.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b 《재외동포현황》 [Current Status of Overseas Compatriots], South Korea: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2009, retrieved 2009-05-21 
  2. ^ a b c "S. Koreans drawn to India's business opportunities", The Daily Star, 2007-03-11, retrieved 2009-04-29 
  3. ^ a b Sanghi, Seema (2009-02-14), "Meet Chennai’s Kim Madam: Korean Kim Myoungsuk has successfully made the transition from Ansan to the Tamil Nadu capital", The Hindu, retrieved 2009-04-29 
  4. ^ a b c 《재외동포현황 - 아시아》 [Status of overseas compatriots - Asia], Overseas Korean Foundation, 2005, retrieved 2008-10-05 
  5. ^ a b "기타 정보 [Other information]", 《인도 투자핵심가이드》 [India Core Investment Guide], Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, 2006, retrieved 2009-04-29 
  6. ^ a b Doctor, Vikram (2008-06-08), "Food & flavour beyond Kimchi", The Times of India, retrieved 2009-04-29 
  7. ^ a b c d Bell, Melissa A. (2008-05-02), "The hurricane bombers: With a plethora of new Korean companies coming to India, Delhi and Bangalore are becoming the new hubs of Korean culture", Live Mint, retrieved 2009-04-29 
  8. ^ Venkatraman, Hemamalini; Sivakuma, Nandini (2009-01-15), "Growing expat community favour cluster accomodation (sic)", The Times of India, retrieved 2009-04-29 
  9. ^ a b Ghiridharadas, Anand (2006-09-12), "Foreign Automakers See India as Exporter", The New York Times, retrieved 2009-04-29 
  10. ^ a b Kowshik, Priyamvada (2005-09-12), "Seoul of Delhi: The 2,000-odd South Korean community prefers to lead a quiet life in the city", Indian Express, retrieved 2009-04-29 
  11. ^ a b Vaidya, Abhay (2002-04-07), "The Koreans have arrived in Hinjewadi!", The Times of India, retrieved 2009-04-29 
  12. ^ Shoba, V. (2008-12-28), "Beating their drum: A band of Korean students from Delhi University is drumming up some attention", Indian Express, retrieved 2009-04-29 
  13. ^ No, Jeong-min (2009-02-17), "김용환 인도한인회 사무국장-북한 "힌디어 배워라" 김일성대 교수 파견/Kim Yong-hwan, president of the Korean Association of India: Kim Il-Sung University professor dispatched to India", Voice of America, retrieved 2009-04-29 
  14. ^ a b "India Draws More and More Korean Students", Chosun Ilbo, 2008-02-28, retrieved 2009-06-18 
  15. ^ "Korean professionals seeing big 'I' in BRIC", Korea.net, 2007-01-08, retrieved 2009-04-29 ; cites Mukherjee, Anuradha (2007-01-04), "Koreans invade DU Hindi class", Hindustan Times 
  16. ^ Deshmukh, Vinita (2005-03-26), "Korean mass at Deshpande church", Indian Express, retrieved 2009-04-29 
  17. ^ Jan, Yun-hua (1966), "On Hyech'o: The Korean Record on Varanasi and Sarnath", Korea Journal 10 (9): 28–31 

External links[edit]