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Gireogi appa

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Flock of geese during autumn migration
Flock of geese during autumn migration

A gireogi appa (Korean: 기러기 아빠, literally "goose dad") is a South Korean term that referes to a man who works in Korea while his wife and children stay in an English-speaking country for the sake of the children's education.[1] The term is inspired by the fact that geese are a species that migrate, just as the gireogi appa father must travel a great distance to see his family.[2] Estimates of the number of gireogi appa in South Korea range as high as 200,000 men.[3] The word 'gireogi appa' was included in the report '2002 New Word' by the National Academy of Korean Language.[4]

Related terms

If the gireogi appa has the finances to pay for frequent visits to see his family, he is called an "eagle dad" (독수리 아빠) but if finances constrict his ability to travel abroad, he is known as a "penguin dad" (펭귄 아빠)[5] because he cannot fly and may go without seeing his family for years at a time.[6] If the man cannot afford to send his children abroad, he rents a small studio for his wife and children in Gangnam, an area dense with hagwon. That father is called a "sparrow dad"(참새 아빠). And if the man sends his children to elementary school in Daechi, he hires lodgings and is called a "Daejeondong dad"(대전동아빠).[7]

More than 40,000 South Korean schoolchildren are believed to be living in United States, England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia expressly to increase English-speaking ability. As of 2009, over 100,000 Korean students were studying abroad.[8] In at least some of the cases, a South Korean mother will choose to live abroad with her children with the additional reason of avoiding her mother-in-law, with whom a historically stressful relationship may exist due to Korean Confucianism.[9]

See also


  1. ^ Lee, Kapson (Oct 26, 2004). "Korean 'Goose Families' Migrate for Education". New America Media. Archived from the original on 2009-07-05.
  2. ^ "The plight of Korean 'goose families'". Asian Pacific Post. November 3, 2004. Archived from the original on 2008-07-04.
  3. ^ Kim, Eun-gyong. "History of English Education in Korea". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on 2011-05-20.
  4. ^ 국립국어원. "2002년 신어 보고서".
  5. ^ "Bad year for duck daddies". The Hankyoreh. Jan 28, 2008.
  6. ^ "South Korean 'Goose Dads' Face Sacrifice, Loneliness for Children's Sake". Chosun Ilbo. Sep 28, 2006. Archived from the original on 2009-07-07.
  7. ^ "Cafe mom, Daejeondong dad...neologism for school parent's distress (카페맘ㆍ대전동아빠…학부모고충 담은 신조어 백태)". yeonhap news. 2012-12-04.
  8. ^ Goh-Grapes, Agnes (2009-02-22). "Phenomenon of Wild Goose Fathers in South Korea". Korea Times. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  9. ^ Onishi, Norimitsu (June 8, 2008). "For English Studies, Koreans Say Goodbye to Dad". New York Times.
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