Subway fight: a teenager and a senior

I sometimes transfer to the green line (line no. 2) at Hapjeong Stn when I feel the need to take a nap on my way to work. This video is said to have happened in a train near the said station. A video clip has been circulating around the WWW showing a Korean female teenager and a grandmother in a cat fight in one of the cars of subway line 2.

The article has been posted on an English online news site:

A video of a violent fight in a public subway between a teenage female and a woman believed to be in her 60s appeared on various websites uncensored.
This short clip filmed by the public is being criticized as an invasion of right to privacy.
This video clip, titled ‘Subway Immorality,’ lasts 1 minute and 40 seconds and shows the elderly woman and the student aggressively pushing and grabbing each other by collar.
Full story!

The video didn’t show how the fight started but the girl said something that she should not have said to an elderly. She also didn’t use respectful language. However, the people just watched while the elderly pulled on the girl’s hair. Reminds me how scary ajummas can get and how sometimes people could be just mere spectators! The elderly or the ajumma in the video is simply living up to expectations ;(
I haven’t had a really bad encounter with an ajumma, just the occasional shoving that isn’t really something personal. In fact, I have received help from countless ajummas especially when my son was still an infant until he was a toddler. Sometimes, they would give up their seats for me seeing that I was carrying my son. Or they would give him treats (mostly ginseng candies) or play with him.
When in Korea, you don’t fight with an ajumma!


  1. some korean elderly are really to be scared of. they can be rude in some way. esp taxi drivers. the thing i never witnessed in japan.

    1. really?old taxi driver can be way rude in Korea? and i agree with you I also don’t witnessed a rude taxi driver in japan, they are very pleasant and old people will sometimes greet you “good morning”

    1. i always remember that and i always vow to myself that i will do everything in my power to avoid living up to the bad ajumma reputation…..kkkkk

      1. LOL! i was always called “miss” here until my preggy bump showed..
        such that I was a bit taken aback when a man asking for directions caught my attention by calling me “Ajummoni…..”
        i’m always on the lookout, especially the cleaning ajummas here in the complex. i always bring out our trash when i know they’re not around already. i’ve seen them shouting at the other tenants a couple of times already.

  2. age doesn’t give you permission to hurt or to be rude to others….the bystander was right when he said the young girl and the ajumma are just the same……i do believe that the BETTER person should have yielded anyway

    1. Cher, sa subway or bus talaga sobrang ingat ako.. na-encounter ko na yung uupo na lang ako may nahagis pang bag sa uupuan ko, pagtingin ko ajumma.. kkk…
      last saturday too, on my way to bupyeong, i respectfully asked the ajosshi kung pwede ba akong umupo na lang sa katabing seat na pinatungan nya ng bag nya (very obvious naman nang preggy ako). the elder man agreed right away. i didn’t know of course that the elder woman across him was his wife. for more than an hour, she didn’t fail to let me hear or see she’s annoyed that his husband is having a hard time holding their shopping bag. babying baby nya si ajosshi, kkkk…
      natakot nga ako eh… nakahinga lang ako ng maluwag nong bumaba sila mga 5 stations away from bupyeong…

      1. iniiwasan ko nga rin ang mga ajumma sa bus or subway, medyo ‘makwento’ kasi sila and and daming mga tinatanong, feeling close.

          1. true tapos lalakasan yung boses pag di ko naiintindihan, feeling ko sinisigawan ako..
            lalo ngayon, iniiwasan ko makipag usap kase ang sasabihin lang pala ang laki ko daw, baka nagkamali ako sa counting ng due date ko. kainis..

      2. @jehan: hay nku kpg ngbbus/subway ako at karga ko si zach i don’t give my seat to them…minsan ksi nd rin nman gnun ktanda tpos they expect you to give your seat to them…..lalo ako naiinis kpg nkpgmountain climbing gear pa tpos pgskay ng bus or subway eh ngeexpect na pgbgyan sa seats…eh grbe nman malakas pa sila ksi nkkpgmountain climing pa nga eh ako nd ko nga kaya yun…hahahahahaha

        1. Cher, dati yung Scot companion ko sa GnB (we were taking the same bus to and from work) at ako e lagi namin nigi-give up seats namin. pero may mas malapit namang younger koreans sa kanila, mga lalaki pa. kita ko naman in most cases nga mas madali for younger korean females to give up their seats compared to males. nong una pag nakikita pa ni Kip na maraming dala dala yung matanda as in tumatayo sya tinutulungan nya, kkkk…
          at may kasama ka namang bata so dapat lang wag mo ibigay seat mo no.. kkk…
          may naalala tuloy akong incident when Alex and I climbed Mt. Bukhan. PM ko sayo sa fb..kkk

      3. i remember when i was still new here in korea,i was sitting comfortably when an ajumma get on the bus,kinalabit ako asking me to yield the seat to her….very rude i thought..hindi na lang maghintay kung ibibigay ko o hindi e pasahero rin naman ako na nagbabayad at napapagod at saka hindi pa sya katandaan…

    2. Yes i agree. The ajumma could have just yelled at the teen-ager to express her anger. But no, she crossed the line by pulling her hair and making a wild scene! Yes, the teen-ager was wrong, but so was the ajumma, who stooped down on the level of the younger girl instead of acting her age. She’s much older, right? Then she should have been a little more patient with the girl, no matter how hurt or angry she felt. There are limits to punishing someone or expressing one’s anger.

  3. When I was living in Korea, I had this experience where I was sitting in the bus and then more people kept getting on the bus at certain stops until it got very crowded and there were lots of people standing. After one of the stops, the lady standing next to me just started reprimanding me telling me how can I be so comfortably sitting in my chair when there was an old man standing in the bus. When she said that I looked around and sure enough there was this old man in the midst of the sea of people. I immediately stood up and just gave my seat to the old man. I didn’t see him get on the bus. And I don’t think I was the only younger person who’s sitting down. There were other people closer to him who could have given up their seats. But yep, you don’t argue with an ajumma! I couldn’t argue with her anyway since my Korean speaking ability is very limited.

  4. Umm, You don’t mess with ajumma no matter what color of your skin, your age, or weather you’re male or female…. and no I did not say that as a joke either….

  5. “age doesn’t give you permission to hurt or to be rude to others….the bystander was right when he said the young girl and the ajumma are just the same……i do believe that the BETTER person should have yielded anyway” —> YES, I AGREE!!

  6. may ganyan din pala jan? hehe..
    after 4 years of continuously taking the train to and from school during my college days dito, ang dami ko ng nakitang ganyan.. yun nga lang dito hindi nanonood mga tao, napipigilan naman pag nagkahamunan na..
    still respect is respect.. and even in other countries, the elderly should always be repected..

  7. @jehan
    아주머니 actually comes from
    아이 -> child
    주머니 -> pocket
    so, as soon as a woman gets pregnant, she becomes an 아주머니

    1. hi Algol!
      thanks.. i didn’t know that… kaya pala…
      i don’t mind being called one though, as long as they pronounce or say it in a kind manner. not the way koreans do like they even don’t like to say the word at all, hehe..

  8. Wow! this is really something. I’ve heard a lot of stories about ajummas there in Korea from exchange students but it’s really different when you see them in action.
    Note to self: stay away from ajummas.

  9. I think, we don’t blame them. maybe the teenager’s mother had/has experienced pagmamaltrato from her mother-in-law then nakikita nya ito or nabibrrainwash sya ng nanay na wag magrerespeto sa mga matatanda or something like that,, or pinaramdam ng lola nya na ayaw nito sa kanya mula-t mula dahil sa sya ay babae,, karamihan kasi sa mga byanan, kapag babae ang pinagbubuntis ng manugang, kulang na lang tila patayin sa sama ng loob ang manugang..isa iyon sa negatibong comment ko sa kabila na namumulaklak sila sa mga advancement sa buhay..

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