Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Singles going steady

This Korea Herald article the other day had some interesting statistics:
The reservation rate for a single ticket is steadily increasing at CGV. It was 20.3 percent in the second quarter of 2008 but rose to 24 percent last year.[...]

The situation is similar for musicals and plays. According to Interpark, an online ticket seller, single tickets for various performances stood at about 96,000 in 2006 but increased to 141,000 in 2007 and 214,000 in 2008.
According to Statistics Korea, one-fifth of the households in Korea are one-person households.
Home meal replacement products such as instant lasagna or galbitang, or beef rib soup, are [popular, as] the sales of such products increased 60 percent this year, according to E-mart.
The statistic on the number of single tickets being reserved at CGV movie theatres was something I found interesting, especially considering the number of times I've been told that people in Korea never go to movies alone. Things are obviously changing, especially if "one-fifth of the households in Korea are one-person households." One wonders how many of these people are in the ranks of the elderly.

Korea Beat also translated an article about students' attitudes towards marriage:

A study of 1,039 middle and high school students nationwide conducted by the Korean Association of Retired Persons (한국은퇴자협회) found that three out of four male students said "I absolutely want to get married" (76.4%) but just half as many (55.6%) of female students said they plan to marry. 69.5% of male students said "if I get married I absolutely want to have children" but just 59.7% of female students agreed. The male students gave economic reasons as the primary reason not to get married, while female students mentioned the burdens of childrearing and housekeeping.

Clearly, changes are afoot. While it could be said that the self-centeredness that has grown out of (North) American individualism is not the best thing that could be exported here, on the other hand, with the adoption of apartment blocks as the place of choice to live for the middle class in Korea, the community found in the golmok neighbourhoods of the past has already been under assault (figuratively and literally) for decades. The construction of so many officetels over the past ten years has clearly had an effect on the makeup of households noted above.


Andy said...

That "Tom McGregor" guy is actually Tom Pauken Jr. (though he usually goes by "II" rather than "Jr."), the son of the proprietor and publisher of Dallas Blog, Tom Pauken.

See the comment threads here:

and here:

Tom Pauken Jr. used to teach English in Korea for about 6 years. He also wrote for some publications there such as "The Seoul Times."

matt said...

I guess that's him at the bottom of this post?

midknight said...

The golmok neighborhoods are my favorite part of Seoul/South Korea.

Without these, it would lose the majority of its charm and I'd consider leaving the country altogether for Europe