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Saving Face

Kun Ok Kim, a professor at Chung-Ang University wrote an article entitled "What is Behind "Face-Saving"
in Cross-Cultural Communication?" This article focuses on face saving in the Korean culture. THe article can be found at www.trinity.edu/org/ics/ICS%20III_1993/ICS-III-1-%20Kim.pdf or by searching google with the words saving, face, Korea, and Kun Ok Kim. This article provides intellectual incite into the experience we had with the UBF Koreans saving face to protect Samuel Lee and other leaders.

Excerpt # 1

"The self-effacing characteristic of the Korean culture is counterbalanced with a distinct disclosure of deference, priority, and consideration for a person in a higher hierarchy. In other words, the highest person in a vertical structure is given primary attention and fidelity. Koreans employ face-saving tactics in a completely reversed order; the face-saving mechanism for the sake of others, but not for the individual, A Korean applies the defense tactics in order to maintain and enhance the other's self-esteem and to give others credit for merits."

Thus, Koreans expect natives to give them credit for coming to their country to teach the Bible and raise Bible teachers. The Koreans place themselves higher on the UBF hierarchy than Americans, which requires Americans to be thankful, obedient, and gracious to the UBF Koreans.


Excerpt #2

"In a society where self-interest is taken for selfish, unethical conduct, the practice of taking blame for other's troubles is considered one of the virtues of social morality. It is taken for granted that a Korean mother takes the whole blame for her son's poor school marks before his teacher or his family. The Minister of Home Affairs of Korea bears the blame for a brutal murder and hands in a letter of resignation: this is done to save the face of his superior, the President."

Excerpt #3

"In an attempt to save another's face, a Korean is willing to deny a reality which is advantageous to himself, and willing to become a scapegoat. In an attempt to save another's face, he is eager to go along with others, despite the negative consequences. In an attempt to have the other's face without his realization, he is willing to be a victim of mistrust, miscomprehension; and sometimes leads himself to self-depreciation and self-destruction."

UBF Koreans would do anything to save Samuel Lee's face. Bonn UBF members would lie in court to save Peter Chang's face. Close relatives and friends of victims would lie to protect Samuel Lee's face.

Instead of going to foreign countries to spend the gospel, the UBF Koreans go to foreign countries to spread their culture and impose it upon all who participate in UBF. It is convenient that the Koreans place themselves above the natives which requires the natives to take all of the abuse, blame, shame, and guilt to save the face of the Koreans, who considers themselves great servants of God who only have poor numbers because natives are selfish and proud. The UBF Koreans use impose the gospel upon their own culture to justify abusing people.
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