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A Kosian or Onurian is a person of mixed Korean parent and other Asian parent, or a family which mixes Korean and other Asian cultures.[1] The term was first coined in 1997 by intercultural families to refer to themselves.[2][3] The term is most commonly applied to children of a South Korean father and a Southeast Asian mother; its use spread in the early 2000s as international marriages became more common in rural areas.[3] It is also used to refer to children of South Asian male laborers and South Korean women.[4] The term is considered offensive by some who prefer to identify themselves or their children as Korean.[5][6] Moreover, the Korean office of Amnesty International says that the word Korsian represents racial discrimination.[7] Thus, The Korean Language Refinement Organization managed by Nantional Institute of Korean Language suggest Onurian instead because of its negative effect on Korean society.

Although such children currently make up only 0.5% of children born in South Korea, some projections suggest that this will grow to 30% by 2020. This trend is partly due to the low birthrate in South Korea, and partly to rising rates of international marriage.

According to Pearl S. Buck International, there are approximately 30,000 Kosians in South Korea.[8] Kosian children, like those of other mixed-race backgrounds in Korea, often face discrimination.[9]

Notable Kosians[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "코시안의 집이란". Kosian House website. Retrieved 2006-11-01.
  2. ^ "KOSIAN Community". Ansan Immigrant Center website. Retrieved 2006-11-01.
  3. ^ a b "" '코시안'(Kosian) 쓰지 마라! (Do not use Kosian)"". Naver news (Korean language) February 23, 2006. Retrieved 2006-03-04.
  4. ^ https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236697220_Mixed_Race_Peoples_in_the_Korean_National_Imaginary_and_Family
  5. ^ "Myth of Pure-Blood Nationalism Blocks Multi-Ethnic Society". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2017-08-12.
  6. ^ "" '코시안'(Kosian) 쓰지 마라! (Do not use Kosian)"". Naver news (Korean language) February 23, 2006. Retrieved 2006-03-04. See English-language reaction on The Marmot's Hole.
  7. ^ "AMNESTY International South Korea Section 07" (PDF). Amnesty.or.kr. 2006. Retrieved 2017-08-12. Do not use the new word Korsian
  8. ^ "Ward's Win Brings 'Race' to the Fore". The Korea Times. 2006-02-09. Retrieved 2006-03-04.
  9. ^ "For mixed-race children in Korea, happiness is too far away". Yonhap News. Archived from the original on 2006-03-01. Retrieved 2006-03-04.

External links[edit]