WHILE South Korea is a highly regarded tourist destination, there have been many accounts of xenophobia and racism throughout the years by international travellers.

A report from The Star quoted from US News & World Report that South Korea is listed in ninth place out of 79 countries globally for racism.

An Australian woman recently shared how starkly different she and her Malaysian friend were treated while working at a restaurant sometime ago in South Korea.

A TikTok video by @jazmynjenningss shared that her Malaysian friend spoke fluently in Korean after pursuing her higher education in the country studying the language before working with Jazmyn.

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Despite the Malaysian woman’s ability to communicate with other South Koreans fluently, she was allegedly ignored and treated harshly.

“As soon as people found out that she was Malaysian, they instantly had a problem with her.

“They would just flat out refuse to speak to her. They would call me over - I couldn’t speak a word of Korean. I knew probably three words of Korean,” Jazmyn said in her video.

She added that despite being visibly ignored, the Malaysian woman helped translate what the South Koreans said to her and vice versa.

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The Malaysian woman, in Jazmyn’s words, “had tea towels thrown at her” and “sworn at” for doing nothing.

Another instance when her Malaysian friend was blatantly mistreated due to her nationality against was during a taxi ride.

“The taxi driver, he was quite old. After he found out what country we were from and he found out that she was Malaysian - same thing - (he) completely refused to speak to her.

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“(He) was only asking me questions and again, she was translating. It was disgusting to see the way people’s attitudes changed towards her as soon as they found out that she was Malaysian,” she added.

Jazmyn pointed out that such an attitude was more “prevalent within older Koreans” in comparison to younger Koreans who mainly do not subscribe to this perception of foreigners.

Netizens, mainly Malaysians, related their experiences of racial discrimination in South Korea while others commended Jazmyn’s friend for her patience and maintaining her composure during such awful moments.