ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on May 20th, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Korean Adoptee Receives French Cabinet Position

From the Chosun Ilbo:

Fleur Pellerin, a Korean orphan who was adopted by a French family when she was six months old, has been appointed deputy minister in charge for small business and the digital economy by France’s new President François Hollande. Hollande announced his 34-member Cabinet on Wednesday afternoon.

Born in Seoul in 1973, Pellerin was found on the streets of the capital when she was three or four days old and was sent to an orphanage. She was adopted six months later.

Pellerin passed her baccalaureate — the equivalent to a high school diploma — when she was just 16, two years earlier than most, and graduated from the prestigious ESSEC business school, Institut d’études politiques de Paris and École nationale d’administration.

She joined the Socialist Party as a speechwriter while working for the state audit agency in 2002 and worked as the IT aide to Hollande during his campaign.

French weekly L’Express said Pellerin was appointed not only because of her passionate attitude but also because her background fit with the diversity Hollande wants in his Cabinet. “My background as an adoptee was both my handicap and basis for my success,” Pellerin said in a recent interview with the Chosun Ilbo.  [Chosun Ilbo]

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  • Word on the street smart woman
    7:35 pm on May 20th, 2012 1

    No comment.

  • setnaffa
    8:59 pm on May 20th, 2012 2

    Apparently my link to Orwell’s Animal Farm caught the censor.

  • Tom Langley
    11:01 pm on May 20th, 2012 3

    Wow, France’s former President, Nicholas Sarkozy was the son of a Hungarian aristocrat, this lady Fleur Pellerin was an adopted Korean orphan, former Governor Arnold Schwarzneggar was born in Austria, & our president was born in Kenya, lol. Now that’s opportunity.

  • tbonetylr
    11:31 pm on May 20th, 2012 4

    So nobody wanted her in S. Korea aye? I bet she’ll have hundreds of Koreans claiming they are her parents now just like that American skier Tony Dawson. The father and kin probably wanted the mother to get an abortion but the mother’s family insisted on…

  • Jack
    12:58 am on May 21st, 2012 5

    Koreans will see her as validation of Korean genetic excellence. Expats will see her as something the Koreans didn’t want. Neither will pay attention to Hollande’s attempts at diversity in his cabinet in a country that gave the world the word “chauvinism”.

    Business as usual.


  • Teadrinker
    4:02 am on May 21st, 2012 6

    “Korean Adoptee Receives French Cabinet Position”

    She’s a deputy minister, not a minister.

    4:17 am on May 21st, 2012 7

    Nobody is probably going to claimed her just because of a cabinet position, may be if she had real substantial money like; Presilla Chen Zuckerberg. However the reporters and investigators are working on this story as we sleep to nudge whoever to come forward, they probably have already found her mother or some other close natural relatives but are just sitting on it to make sure they got all in order. This is news worthy. I would think it would encourage her birth mother or close relatives to come forward with tell from the crib. Somebody interest will be peaked because of her easy identifiable striking physical features. For some late fiftyish or early sixtyish yo woman and say this is my daughter she has her father nose and so on, that could be easily identified with recognizable features as kinship and alone with D&A for proof of purchased to linke someone in this world. Most likely South Korea. To be continue…………………………………..

  • Dr.Yu
    6:17 am on May 21st, 2012 8

    Poor Fleur Pellerine, in such an important moment in her life her name is remembered by expats in Korea just for korea bashing purpose …. Good luck mademoiselle :shock:

  • Tom
    6:52 am on May 21st, 2012 9

    And as usual, the Korea bashers have come out in full force spewing untrue nonsense.

    The truth is, the Korean media is using this story as an example to plead for, and to propel multiculturalism in South Korea. Read this nauseating piece.

  • Heretic
    7:01 am on May 21st, 2012 10

    There are plenty of ‘abandoned’ kids of great potential everywhere. So are parents with serious ethical (or monetary) shortcomings. The great lands of America are no exception. Being abandoned in the home country as a baby to be picked up by foster parents in the same place is just as bad (or good) as being sent to foreign parents.

    It’s also entirely possible, that if Fluer Pellerine continued to remain in Korea since infancy, she might not have reached the level of social prestige that she enjoys now.

    Let’s try to posit a simple example. A random Kenyan family could have offered one of their children to a relatively wealthy Korean family for adoption, so that she might enjoy a better life than they could provide. The bottomline is that we don’t know yet the exact circumstances under which she ended up in France, and it reeks of prejudice to instantly bash her biological parents for decisions that could actually have been one of the better courses of action available at hand.

    In another example, nowadays, the parenting obsession of Korean parents is so fierce that it’s creating problems of its own. Let it be known though that the vast majority of Korean parents only wished the greatest success for their children as do the vast majority of parents in other nations, always. Of course, like I said, their manner of implementation of their dreams for their children could occasionally be problematic, but it’s not always that we can find fault for their intentions behind it. It’s very statistically possible that Fleur’s case was just an extreme implementation of a dream that was righteous.

  • Heretic
    7:06 am on May 21st, 2012 11

    An important environmental background check: at the time of Pellerine’s adoption, Korea was one of the world’s poorest countries comparable to today’s Kenya while France was one of the wealthiest, as it still is today. Now backtrack to the first example that I presented in the above post.

  • Teadrinker
    7:28 am on May 21st, 2012 12


    Again, she’s a deputy minister, not a minister. So, although it isn’t a cabinet position, she’s probably the one running the show since most ministers are just figureheads.

    9:31 am on May 21st, 2012 13

    She was picked on her personal credential to give credence to some old bureaucrat that toed party lines for Holande. She will be his left side of the brain that think of new and innovative ideals dreams while he will be the right brain that will be driving force. Any way she will continue to move up the ministerial ladder. wish her luck she probably don’t need it, lol. The only luck that she need is to find her birth mother that sort of thing hunts a person every time he or she look in the mirror who am I? where did I come, who did I come from, are they are they alive, do they think about me. Who do I favor. Her motivation is so many questions .

  • Seoul guy
    5:53 am on May 22nd, 2012 14

    Well, she looks Korean but she is 99.9% French. Korean media is just full of it. I doubt Ms. Pellerin ever thought of herself as a Korean. It’s a pity but Koreans export their babies but always complain about low birth rate. Talk about hypocrits. I’m a Korean but my fellow countrymen are full of it. Not all but many are exactly full of doo doo. Pretty sad. Still, many babies are exported to foreign countries. Many babies end up in a terrible homes. Korean medias never talk about them either. Ms. Pellerin hit the jackpot when she met her French parents.

  • Seoul guy
    6:05 am on May 22nd, 2012 15

    If you don’t eat kimchi at least once a day, then you are not considered Korean. She proabably never ate Kimchi in her life – only cheesy stuffs.
    Anyway, kudos for her. Hope she continues to be successful.

  • Tom
    6:26 am on May 22nd, 2012 16

    “Seoul Guy”. You are not Korean. :lol:

    9:18 am on May 22nd, 2012 17

    I heard many time before from different sources that “ASK A KOREAN” the blogger. Is really a fake person as we know him to be however is a Korean book publishing company that side lines; as “ask a korean” to answer questions concerning korean culture and life style at their round table employee sessions.

  • hushpuppy
    5:22 am on May 23rd, 2012 18

    Koreans deserve to be bashed over this shit. Besides, Koreans bash every other country as being racist or whatever, these kinds of stories just shows that at least Koreans can become successful despite said racism.

    Can the reverse be said about Korea? Give some examples if you could please.

    Imagine, a half black dude becoming president of Korea!

    Simple fact is, Korean society doesn’t allow anyone like Benson Henderson, or the dude from the Steelers, or even this lady to flourish in Korea.

    These Koreans became successful in other countries and Korea didn’t want them.

    Yet when these same people make a name for themselves, Koreans start claiming them for their own.

    The opposite is generally true when a Korean does something bad. Suddenly, this person “isn’t really Korean”.

    That’s why Koreans get bashed about topics like this, and it’s deserved.

  • setnaffa
    6:48 am on May 23rd, 2012 19

    @16: Is “Tom” Korean or Chinese?

    @18: Most actual Koreans have no opinion on the subjects you mention. They never come up. They’re too busy trying to fit in and raise their family. “Netizens” are a different animal…

  • Heretic
    7:57 am on May 23rd, 2012 20

    I’m in my 20s and am half Southeast Asian and half Korean, born and having lived in Korea for about ten years. I’m able to use Korean as my mother tongue (그리고 잘해서 존나 자랑스럽다 ㅋㅋ), and have been well accepted as a part of Korea with no undue difficulty, despite my increasingly irrelevant skin color. The breadwinner of my half-Korean family when I was young had been a native Southeast Asian too from a third world country and he led a life as good as most Koreans. He was no businessman; he was just another salary worker winning his bread through pure hard work. Based on my and my fellow multi-ethnic acquaintances’ relative success in the Korean job market (we have Indians, Vietnamese, and Filipinos working white collar jobs that our fellow Korean acquaintances are just dying to get), I think the modern Korean society of the current and the coming generation is beginning to establish a more and more ability-based hierarchy than a skin-color or ethnicity based one (though of course, financial inheritance also does matter as it does in most other capitalistic society. But in this aspect, I don’t think a very rich foreigner would lead any worse life in Korea than a very rich Korean…or would he? ;-) ). Korea’s leading institutes and corporates are actually quite well known for their unusually geocentric method of management for what’s popularly regarded as a nationalistic and Confucian society, with good integration of foreign talents and methodology in their business that is increasingly approaching the world-class level.

    In general, most foreigners in Korea receive treatment equal to their level of station in the society based on wealth, educational attainment, nature of work, etc and also broadly by how they tend to view and treat Korea and Koreans. Koreans who shit and stomp on fellow Koreans get shat and stomped on in kind, as do foreigners who act the same. Financially unprivileged Koreans with bad communication skills or contacts get manipulated and ignored as those 3D Southeast Asians are. To give a more specific example to better illustrate how those internal factors of the person himself influence his synergy with the social environment, in the modern day where individual economic opportunities are pretty equal between Korea and western nations, a very poor, undereducated, unskilled laborer from a third world country who speaks not a word of English will hardly find any better chance at higher standard of life in countries such as US than he would in countries such as Korea. People who disagree with this proposition probably need to get to know more people who lead such a life in his own country. Maybe they could try to imagine living their lives themselves from their perspective. Immigrants in the US who lead lives comparable to how 3D workers in Korea live are actually quite numerous. Will the Americans, though, be as quick to fault the extremely capitalist society of America for their hardship? Nah, most of them will choose to blame the immigrants first. Of course.

    Admittedly, some degree of racism and ethnic discrimination had not been and can never be wholly eradicated from the Korean society. However, that doesn’t mean that Koreans with a genuinely unhealthy level of such a mindset constitutes the majority. No longer. Already the Korean society has become very self-aware and self-critical about its less perfect multiculturalism compared to western melting pots, and has began striving hard to change that. Certainly, the claim that ‘Yet when these same people make a name for themselves, Koreans start claiming them for their own’ does not really seem to fit the current trend in social development of Korea. Fleur Pellerin’s case has been well represented by the Korean media itself first and foremost as a proof of how France has a well working multiculturalism, a significant scientific phenomenon that Korea would do well to reflect upon to learn important lessons, and what Korea must follow as a role model for a better future. They unanimously attribute Pellerin’s success to France’s multicultural success, something that Korea should strive to emulate, not to her Korean heritage. The nationalistic Koreans praise the French for achieving something that they couldn’t. :lol: Can you imagine that? It’s a very positive sign of Koreans being self-trained to swallow pride and accept faults to gain an opportunity for learning, to remain progressive. That’s what Koreans should get recognized for, the willingness and ability to bring about a nationwide social change to achieve progress by slowly, but inexorably overcoming generational barriers. And I think they will deserve every praise and success that it will bring to them in the future.

  • Heretic
    8:29 am on May 23rd, 2012 21

    Oh and, the earlier revelation that a naturalized Filipina had become a parliamentary representative in the leading party is also a sign of gradual progress in Korea’s political multiculturalism. In fact, I don’t think it’s really beyond the realm of realistic possibility that a ‘half black dude’ could become the president of Korea in the next generations while some of us in this blog could still very well be alive. How long has it been since the US last had a black president? What about the US having an Asian president? Is the latter not happening because the US somehow failed in multiculturalism? Well, I tend to think it’s just because Asian Americans who belonged to the appropriate (baby-boomer?) generation for high-ranking political official was still too few. Statistically there’s tens of times better chance a white man would get elected. One Asian man could be elected for every ten white men. Lol, how many years would that take? Does that really mean that Americans had been, and continuous to be, fundamentally incapable of producing an Asian man among them to lead America? The answers you give to that question will be broadly applicable to Korea of the future that will also be radically different from how the country had once been. ‘Half-dudes’ with the proper set of skills, academic accreditation, and social connection will not be forced to lead any inferior life in Korea than what Korean men had. Once their population become sufficiently numerous the veracity of that forecast will become phenomenally apparent.

  • Tom
    9:53 am on May 23rd, 2012 22

    #20 and #21, excellent post that shut up all the responses from the expats who won’t let an opportunity to bash on Koreans to pass up.

  • Tom
    9:54 am on May 23rd, 2012 23

    #20 and #21, excellent post that shut up all the responses from the expats who won’t let an opportunity to bash on Koreans to pass up…

  • Casanova
    10:53 am on May 23rd, 2012 24

    #22, when you agree with someone on this blog it only makes their post look less credible. Your name is garbage on this blog, so if someone writes something that is good for the Korean cause, just STFU about it.

    11:03 am on May 23rd, 2012 25

    Some on these blugger’s are in front of the cart, some are behind the cart and some are surely on the cart. lol.,

  • Dr.Yu
    11:20 am on May 23rd, 2012 26

    #23 :lol: :lol: :lol:

  • Heretic
    4:21 pm on May 23rd, 2012 27

    Tom, I hope that means you agree that Korea’s multicultural accommodation should extend to Americans as it would to Chinese. Remember when I said foreigners are generally treated based on how they treat Koreans, aside from social status. The same rule applies to how we are treated by foreigners. Disrespect the foreign country, don’t expect to be respected back. And the US and Korea are two countries who need to maintain huge mutual respect for each other.

  • Tom
    5:57 pm on May 23rd, 2012 28

    Heretic, I only treat and talk about them as same as how they treat and talk about Koreans.

  • MTB Rider
    6:14 pm on May 23rd, 2012 29

    No, Tom, you Cherry Pick.

    What did Mark Zuckerberg ever say against Koreans, or Asians in general? Yet you accused him of having a 2″ penis… What was that all about? Or were you complementing him on having more than twice what you have? :razz:

    And you STILL refuse to talk about the North Korean Navy going rogue and committing an act of piracy in Chinese waters!

    Tom, you are a TROLL. Nothing more. And you never will be.

  • Heretic
    6:57 pm on May 23rd, 2012 30

    Are you aware how Chinese treat and talk about Koreans?

  • Tom
    8:24 pm on May 23rd, 2012 31

    Chinese are fine. The Americans on the other hand talk about crap all the time behind Korean’s backs because they have the white man’s superiority complex. They do this in practically all the Asian countries. It’s a sickness. As an example, just look at the

    Picture of the Day: Sydney Officially Designates “Koreatown” topic.

  • MTB Rider
    8:58 pm on May 23rd, 2012 32

    The Chinese are fine, Tom? I guess they must be, they totally didn’t mind when a North Korean Navy unit went rogue and committed acts of piracy against Chinese fishermen in Chinese waters, beat them, and finally returned them after… no ransom was paid? Or was it? Seems to be a bit of information gap there…

    The Chinese are totally cool with piracy, because they are cool people. At least with their North Korean buddies. But when a South Korean Coastguard Officer is murdered by a Chinese fisherman in South Korean waters, you can’t stop justifying the fisherman’s actions.

    There is a sickness Tom, and you have it. It’s called “China-itis.” A worship of all things Chinese, and as long as China says it’s OK, then it’s OK. That’s why after all these times I’ve called you out on this, you refuse to say anything about North Korean Government Sponsored piracy. Because China forbids you to say anything that shows a rift between “the teeth” and “the lips…”

  • Heretic
    7:28 am on June 5th, 2012 33

    What’s this… the Korean media’s leading ‘tabloid’ introduces a German-born naturalized Korean for his contribution to and thoughts on Korea’s tourism as the chief of Korea’s leading government agency for tourism.

    This… is absolute heresy. Wasn’t Korean multiculturalism supposed to fail? Foreigners should not have been allowed to lead and direct Koreans towards success in this funny racist country. Koreans couldn’t have possibly seen the ability sets and potentials brought by foreigners. To claim so is to break one of the fundamental tenets of the world that Koreans are to be treated as bad, bad people. It’s removing one important excuse that expats brandish to ‘prove’ that Koreans are that, no excuse (wait, what?).

    On a more serious note, Korea had always been very willing to integrate useful foreign talents into its society and national infrastructure (not just among private companies, but also among government agencies), for as long as it had the economic resources to spare to hire them. Generally, you don’t see skilled foreign workers working in poorly paid countries if they have an alternative. It was not Korea who was ‘ethically’ unprepared to accommodate foreign workers; it was mostly the foreigners who refused to come. An economically wealthy Korea will eventually become as much a melting pot as most developed countries with a high need for diverse human talents are today. Well that would exclude some countries like Japan, where economic fundamentals are either too cutting-edge strong or too weak to accommodate foreign workers, at least for the present. Japan traditionally had a very big population for a fully developed country, which was also very well educated, which meant no shortage of domestic human talents for generations. And now that it has need of foreign talents to cope with falling birthrate, its economy has grown too stagnant, too debt-ridden and too undynamic to invite a surplus of enterprising workers. When you read or watch the news either on TV or on the newspaper today, stories of Japan’s economy almost always revolve around how it’s entering a new dark age like most of the western world. But Korea is different… unlike Japan, it’s a highly vibrant country which recognized the need to assimilate foreign talents early on, and knew the right strategies to lure the needed foreign talents in with to avoid the same pitfalls as other ‘failed’ examples. It’s quite reasonable to expect that, faster than most people can notice (faster than most non-Koreans would notice, anyway), Korea will become an unprecedented multicultural success for a major Asian economy of once predominantly Confucian social characteristics in the next generation.

    Why, for example, is Korea’s tourism is booming better than ever before in a positive way for the Korean economy? Well, I know that the gradually succeeding multiculturalism and social globalism of Korea played no small part in it, that’s for certain. The chief director of Korea’s tourism sector was a ‘foreigner’ himself, elected by a panel of ‘high-ranking’ Koreans who are often accused to be ambitious, greedy, conniving, snobbish and discriminating. Well, it seems that ‘reality’ wasn’t always true. There’s always at least a little pragmatic aspect to every one of their decision making, which the succeeding generations of Korean managers learned to exhibit over the years. Koreans are becoming less nationalistic, less idealistic, and more rationality-driven and realistic. That’s a definite sign progress in itself.

    To conclude, a skilled foreign worker for as long as he does not forget his manners will always find places to stay in Korea with at least a few Koreans around him who’ll always respect him for the value he brings to the Korean society. There may be a few extremists who may give the impression of otherwise at first, but really, those extremists will quickly be outnumbered by their opposites. Today, most Koreans like Americans, Canadians, other westerners, and Japanese. And in reality, most ESL teachers and white collar foreign employees with the right set of skills and attitude/behavior (and I want to respectfully mention that I’ve experienced my own life as one of them, thus speaking from first-hand experience) lead a much much better life in Korea than a majority of native Koreans. Objectively speaking, most ESL teachers actually have very little to complain about their quality of expat life in Korea, social or economic. Knowing exactly how Koreans live, I can personally attest that Koreans ‘discriminate’ each other based on factors such as ability-hierarchy far more often than they even get the time and opportunity to register a foreigner fully in their brain as someone who they deserve to discriminate. I’m serious.

  • Tom
    8:43 am on June 5th, 2012 34

    ^ Herectic, may I ask what your ethnic background is? I thought I read that you are mix of Korean and South East Asian. I like your positive outlook, it’s a breath of fresh air amongst the angry mob here.


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