Tuesday, 2 February 2010

For Chinese Koreans, life is hard but still better in South Korea

The migrants are limited to jobs in restaurants, factories, construction fields or as domestic workers, but they are glad to be there. 'There is nothing' in China, one says.

Reporting from Seoul - Yin Shuilian is a fighter.

For more than 11 years, the 45-year-old ethnic Korean tried to leave her hard life in China, where she toiled in fields and in restaurants, and make her way to South Korea.

The move wasn't easy: She was repeatedly denied visas and cheated by unscrupulous brokers.

At last, Yin arrived here in 1998 lugging not only her belongings but also $80,000 in debts to her friends and family. When her husband followed eight months later, the couple faced the challenge of their lives: They worked for six years to repay what they owed and begin a new life in their chosen homeland.

"For us, going to Korea was like going to heaven, a place where money grew on trees," Yin says. "There is nothing [in China]. Here, if you want to work, you can."

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