September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document
Title:A Question of Loyalty: Korean-Americans face a dilemma as Korea challenges the United States in the World Cup
Body:Some Korean-Americans are finding themselves in an awkward spot as they await the World Cup match between Korea and the United States on June 10.
Although they will unquestioningly support Korea, most feel uncomfortable openly showing their desire for the defeat of their country of residence. Furthermore, some Korean-Americans who are U.S. citizens have responded to such concern by saying, Even though one cannot disagree with rooting for the mother country, Korea, it is unreasonable to regard the United States as the enemy.
Such conflict is experienced mostly by Korean-Americans who work at American companies or do business with Americans, Korean-American parents with second-generation children, and those who have been naturalized as U.S. citizens.
James Lee, 32, a 1.5-generation Korean-American who works at an accounting firm in Manhattan, said, ever since the United States defeated Portugal, which was considered the favorite, the World Cup has become the biggest topic of conversation at work, he said. Considering the atmosphere at the office, its difficult for me to publicly say that I want the Korean team to win.
Mr. Yoon, 43, who owns a dry cleaning service in Long Island, said, I talk to the American customers a lot about the World Cup. But Yoon also confessed that he tries not to talk too much about the match between Korea and the United States.
Furthermore, some Korean parents, although they consider Koreas victory against Poland as an opportunity to instill Korean pride in their second-generation children, think that it is educationally problematic to force their children to support the Korean team, since they have been born and raised in the United States.
Frankly, Im worried that my children might get left out by their classmates because of the match between Korea and the United States, said Mr. Park, who has children in both junior-high and high school.
Nevertheless, most Korean-Americans believe that, regardless of everything, Korea must win. Mr. Bae, from Brooklyn, said, Its crazy not to root for Korea just because youre intimidated by Americans. No matter what, Im praying for Korea to win.