TED Conversations

Jong Chan Park

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Do Western and Eastern countries define “developed country” in a same way? If not, how they differ?

Also, since there are many different backgrounds of TEDsters, let's share each country's perspective on developed country.

In my case, I'm from South Korea, and we think developed country as a perfect idealistic world, where all aspects, such as economics, environment, culture, military power, crime rate, etc are all the best. Such country doesn't exist, but we tend to compare us with USA when we talk about military power, Norway in case of environment, France in case of fashion, Japan in case of robot technology and so on. We always pursue the best in the world in each aspect of component of advanced country. This approach to see advanced country has made us to work really hard, but also given us a huge burden in Korean's mind.

In Korea, people need to define what an advanced country is, in my opinion.

What about your country? I am curious to know how your view is different from mine.


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  • Jul 3 2013: You need to step back and ask a more fundamental question, first:

    Do Western and Eastern countries define "Western" and "Eastern" differently?
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      Jul 4 2013: Thanks for your question, and in my humble opinion, your question is too broad and general.
      In my opinion, people (both Western and Eastern) consider that Western and Eastern are different in terms of geography, religion, race, language, culture, etc but they are same in terms of humanity, freedom, love, responsibility of parents, development of cities, etc. My answer is somewhat banal, and I want to see your brilliant answer as well.
    • Jul 6 2013: yes the definition of east and west significantly varies. As some one who had travelled across many of the eastern and western countries I can understand there is a bit of sterotyping being done probably due to lack of knowledge. Further despite many of the advancement information technology and internet penetration it is a still a matter of perception than out of substance and reality. West is certainlyl not cozy and east is certainly not ridden in poverty either.

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