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what is han?

The concept of han originates from Korea - it is said to be an inherent sense of rage and anguish that is essential to the Korean identity and a result of the forced occupation, oppression, and colonization of the Korean people by various nations around them. ​Though the term 'han'  may be specific to the Korean identity, this deep and powerful fury in the face of imperialism and white supremacy is something that resonates with many marginalized communities. It is a part of what unites us and allows us to better empathize and understand each other, so that we may forge unbreakable and fierce bonds that can overcome the systemic injustices of our world.​​​​


"Han is a feeling of unresolved resentment against injustices suffered, a sense of helplessness because of the overwhelming odds against one, a feeling of acute pain in one's guts and bowels, making the whole body writhe and squirm, and an obstinate urge to take revenge and to right the wrong."  


Suh Nam-Dong (서남동)

minjung theologist

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