Most parents want to protect their children from the hardships of the world. and in South Korea This usually means continuing to provide them with a place to live even if they are adults.
“Be honest How can I let my precious son have a hard time?” said Lee Young Wook, 61.
His son, Lee Jeong-kyu, is 31 and still lives with his parents in the house he grew up in Bundang, a suburb of Seoul. Their house is not a mansion. But it’s a tiny apartment big enough for all three.
even though the space is cramped But the younger Lee had never moved out and lived alone before. And he doesn̵7;t intend to have a place of his own anytime soon.
he is a member of South Korea’s “kangaroo tribe,” a nickname used to describe unmarried men and women who have not moved from their parents’ homes. Even though they are in their 30s and 40s, the name conveys the image of an overgrown ventricle that has not left the mother’s pocket.
According to the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics of South Korea. More than 50 percent of unmarried adults between the ages of 30 and 40 and 44 percent of those aged 40 to 44 still live with their parents.
The report, which was released at the end of March. causing a stir in the country This gave rise to the popular image that the kangaroo tribe consisted of unsuccessful South Koreans. The report states that 42 percent of children living with their parents lost their jobs. And mainstream media coverage has portrayed tired, aging parents with mature, carefree children.
Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics.
However, despite recent media attention, experts say the opposite is true for the United States. Children in South Korea often live with their parents until adulthood.
Kye Bong-oh, a professor of sociology at Kookmin, said: “The kangaroo phenomenon is hardly a modern phenomenon in South Korea. Because adults in their 30s and 40s lived with their parents in the 1980s and 2010s, there wasn’t much difference,” the university said.
In addition, while the lack of economic independence is often a factor in keeping children from leaving the nest, But the truth is that many people still live at home for a variety of reasons. And the kangaroo tribal phenomenon is not common. aspects that often appear in popular culture
For some grown children The arrangement made it easier for them to care for their aging parents. while saving money for the future as well. Cited the parents’ conservative opinions as reasons not to move.
For example, Song Jung-hyun, 36, and Nang Yoon-jin, 33, have enough financial resources to live on their own. Both women work as teachers at a high school in Seoul. which is one of the most sought-after professions in the country. But their parents believed that women should only move out when they got married.
“My parents thought the world was a dangerous place for women to be alone,” Song said.
For many single people, living with their parents can be difficult. Both Song and Ms said they were satisfied with the deal. by emphasizing the practical benefits
“Mom still makes breakfast for me and pays for living and utility bills. Not much has changed from when I was a student other than where I work now,” she said. “Mom wants me to save some money for marriage.”
Song said that living with her parents saved her time and money. She doesn’t have to worry about doing laundry or other chores when she needs advice or wants to discuss important issues. Her parents quickly passed away.
Far from taking advantage of her parents’ generosity, she said the situation was mutually beneficial.
“It’s not just me who likes this arrangement. My parents really appreciate having me with me,” she said. They found some very challenging things, such as using smartphones and doing online banking. Since we are together, I can help a lot with those things. My parents always told me they couldn’t imagine living without me.”
The term “kangaroo tribe” entered the popular lexicon in South Korea in the early 2000s, when unemployment was high among young people. Many recent college graduates are still living with their parents because they can’t find work.
Between 1997 and 1998, the youth unemployment rate soared from 5.7% to 12.2%, before dropping slightly to 8.1% in 2000, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. at 9 percent
But as people used to despise members of the kangaroo tribe as being socially and financially incompetent, Kye said, the stigma began to decline.
“People are now realizing that economic independence is difficult to achieve today,” he said.
Lee Chul-hee, a professor of economics at Seoul National University, said the South Korean economy has attained financial freedom and a more challenging solitary life for the younger generation.
“House prices in major cities, including Seoul, have increased dramatically since 2000 as the job market is highly uncertain. With the number of temporary employment increasing,” Lee said, “these factors are all making it much harder for people in their 30s and 40s to move out of their parents’ homes and be independent.”
Because his son never had a stable job. Lee Young Wook is confident that he made the right decision not to pressure his son to leave.
“My wife and I want to be like a big mountain our son can always rely on,” he said. “I won’t worry about him until he’s at least 35.”