Korean Mexicans learn more of their Asian roots on visit to Southern California

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Los Angeles is a city where the large Mexican and Korean communities co-exist in ways that bring them together and separate them. They share the immigrant experience and communication barriers that come with it. But the different languages -- Spanish and Korean -- can also be an obstacle, writes Hector Becerra, who spent some time with Korean Mexicans paying a visit to the United States.

‘The teens and twentysomethings bear strong Korean features but consider themselves true Mexicans. Even their older chaperons, Fermin Kim and David Kim, 70 (not related), no longer spoke Korean -- though they are third- and fourth-generation Korean Mexicans who have no Mexican blood.


‘The group of 20 were to perform that night for Korean and Mexican dignitaries in one of the banquet halls. They practiced the Korean folk song over and over, as Korean Americans and Latino waiters looked on. They only really felt comfortable when they started to consider which Mexican song to perform.’

Read on about the Mexican Koreans in California.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City