What Is Korean Culture

South Korea – Daily life and social customs

Instead of any cultural unity within the area, Southeast Asia is distinguished more by its disparities with neighboring countries than by any cultural similarities between them. The internal cultural variety of certain countries in this region is greater than that of several major world cultural regions. In fact, Indonesia may be considered a distinct cultural zone unto itself in many respects. In addition, each of the region’s hundreds of islands has its own own language and cultural group, which are often unconnected to other portions of the same island, much alone to other parts of the region.

To begin with, this region is home to considerable concentrations of practically every major world religion.

There are also numerous Chinese faiths to be found here, as well as Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhistism, and many other religions.

Nonetheless, some well-known religious traditions may be perceived differently in this context: Often, people in Southeast Asia would give faiths their own cultural twist and may even establish their own separate religious branches.

The arts

Instead of any cultural unity inside the area, Southeast Asia is defined more by its disparities with neighboring countries than by any cultural unity within the region itself. Several nations within this area have greater internal cultural variety than certain major international cultural regions, like the United States and Europe. In fact, Indonesia may be considered a distinct cultural zone in and of itself. In addition, the region’s hundreds of islands frequently have their own distinct languages and cultural groupings that are not linked to those found in other areas of the island – much alone those found in other regions of the world.

To begin with, this region is home to a considerable concentration of adherents of nearly every major world religion.

In addition, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, and many of the Chinese faiths may all be found in this region, frequently coexisting more amicably with one another than they do in other regions of the world.

In Southeast Asia, people like to put their own distinct cultural spin on religions, and they may even establish their own separate religious branches.

Think about the Aglipayan Church, which is a branch of Catholicism that is unique to the Philippines; and Islam as practiced in Indonesia is far more moderate than Islam as practiced in the rest of South-East Asia.

South Korea: Culture and Tradition

Korea is a tiny peninsula that lies between China and Japan on the Pacific Ocean. Korean territory was separated into two independent governments with distinct political philosophies after the Allies won World War II in 1945: the Republic of Korea to the south, and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the north, as a result of the Allied victory in the war. This effectively brought Japan’s 35-year dominance over Korea to an end.

Language

The Korean script is known as Hangul, which means “circle of life.” Korean is the official language of both South Korea and North Korea, despite the fact that the spelling, alphabet, and vocabulary varies somewhat between the two nations. Researchers think the Korean language is a part of the Altaic language family that started in northern Asia and has since spread around the world. In South Korea, there are five major dialects, whereas in North Korea, there is one major dialect. Despite the variances in dialects, speakers from various regions are able to communicate with one another.

Culture

Although political upheaval has led in the partition of the region, these two countries continue to maintain the same culture and traditional values despite the division of the territory. Korea is split by geographical borders, yet it is nevertheless bonded by culture and tradition. The civilizations of China and Japan have had a significant impact on Korean society. Confucianism, which developed numerous traditions that may still be seen in modern Korea, is a good example of how this effect can be seen.

Koreans also place a high value on honesty and loyalty, and they adhere to a set of rules when they gather, eat, worship, and even celebrate.

They bow as a symbol of appreciation and respect to the one with whom they are speaking.

Family Structure

Although political upheaval has led in the partition of the area, these two countries nevertheless retain the same culture and traditional values, despite the division that has occurred. Though divided by borders, Koreans are yet bonded by their shared cultural heritage. The civilizations of China and Japan have had a significant effect on Korean society. Confucianism, which developed numerous traditions that may still be found in modern Korea, is a good example of this type of impact. These traditions include adhering to an ethical code of behavior in social situations as well as expressing reverence for elders and members of one’s own household.

Unlike many other cultures, Koreans bow when it is appropriate to do so. They bow as a symbol of appreciation and respect to the one with whom they are speaking.

Religion

The three major faiths in China are Confucianism, Buddhism, and Christianity. Buddhism is the religion in Korea with the greatest number of adherents, and its teachings have had a significant effect on Korean culture, art, and lifestyle. Yungdrung is the most important emblem of Korean Buddhism, and it can be seen in all temples and religious buildings throughout the country. Because of the differences in governmental systems between the two Koreas, the partition of the country has also resulted in a divergence in religious life between the two countries.

Celebrations

Festivals have a significant role in Korean culture and society. Korean holidays are bursting with energy, color, and happiness, and they are enjoyed all year long. The majority of holidays and festivities are tied to the harvest and family. Because farming is so important to Korean society, many of their festivals are centered on ceremonies that pray for a successful crop. All of these celebrations and festivals have evolved into well-known celebrations and festivals that are conducted on a regular basis in Korea, such as the Hanshi (Cold Food Festival) celebration, which commemorates the beginning of harvest season.

Meals

Korean cuisine is mostly comprised of rice, noodles, veggies, and meats, with a few exceptions. Bibimbap, bulgogi, and dakgalbi are just a few of the well-known Korean cuisine dishes. Korean culture is built on the principles of civility and respect, which is seen in the manners used at Korean dinner tables. Here are some examples of proper Korean dining etiquette when dining with others:

  • Traditionally, Korean cuisine has been focused mostly on grains such as rice and noodles, vegetables, and meat. Kimchi, bulgogi, and dakgalbi are just a few of the iconic Korean meals. Korean culture is built on the principles of civility and respect, which is seen in the manners used at Korean dinner tables and in Korean conversations. Korean etiquette when it comes to eating together is as follows:

South Korean Culture

  • Tenacity
  • Face (chaemyoun)
  • Toughness
  • Hahn
  • Adaptability
  • Nationalism
  • Education

In 1945, Korea was separated into two separate countries: North Korea and South Korea. The North Korean dictatorship, which is unpredictable and frequently overtly hostile, continues to be a source of stress and anxiety for South Korea. Both countries have undergone a tremendous amount of misfortune since the war, and the people of South Korea have become greatly hardened as a result of years of political turmoil. Their life experiences influenced the development of new ideals in Korean society.

  • These current ideas have blended with traditional Asian customs, creating a hybrid culture.
  • Koreans have come to realize the misery, suffering, and persecution they have endured for a long time, which they refer to as’hahn ‘.
  • Excessive nationalism, a strong work ethic, and a keen concentration on Korean prosperity are all manifestations of the discharge of this energy (or expression ofhahn).
  • Indeed, Korean sociologists feel that Hahn has been a cause of much of the hostility and tensions that exist within the country.
  • The country is heavily ethnically divided, with more than 96 percent of all South Koreans speaking the same Korean language.
  • a smirk on one’s face (Chaemyoun) Face (also known as chaemyoun in Korea) is a notion that plays an important role in shaping Korean behavior and thinking.
  • In South Korea, the perceptual lens ofchaemyounis treated very seriously, and it is a very important lens.

Even while much effort is still taken to conceal one’s genuine sentiments in today’s society, many Koreans are less concerned with being entirely stoic and are frequently unable to conceal or control their emotions.

The look people wish to show to others in relation to their position and functions, particularly gender roles, in family and society, is given greater weight by the function chaemyoun().

divorce, unemployment, poverty, bad grades).

In the same way, people might lose and then save or build.

Confucianism In addition, Confucianism has had a significant effect on Korean culture.

It espouses the notion that interactions between individuals are unequal, and that people have clearly defined hierarchical positions (for example, ruler and subject, husband and wife, father and son).

However, in partnerships, this does not imply that the dominating person would get an endless stream of rewards.

The Confucian logic of obedience, responsibility, and adherence manifests itself in a wide range of Korean behaviors and attitudes, which are described here.

The social standing of an individual is determined by his or her position, occupation, and degree of education.

When it comes to Confucianism, the concept of “filial piety” refers to the value of one’s parents.

Nowadays, the value of one’s parents is generally emphasized more than the importance of one’s ancestors.

The younger generations of Koreans, in fact, have been heavily influenced by Western culture.

2 Shyness is increasingly seen less of a virtue and more of a restriction, and as a result, more outspoken communication patterns are becoming more common as well.

The society in South Korea, however, continues to be more and more conservative in compared to Australian culture, despite the infusion of new Westernized ideals into the culture.

As a result, society tends to place a great deal of stress on the relevance of a person’s education in terms of their overall quality of life.

Perhaps as a result of this early exposure to pressure and high expectations, staying active throughout one’s life is highly regarded and admired by others.

Yang Sun Geun, 2002; Kim, 2007; Yang Sun Geun, 2002; Yang Sun Geun, 2002; Yang Sun Geun, 2002; Yang Sun Geun, 2002; Yang Sun Geun, 2002; Yang Sun Geun, 2002; Yang Sun Geun, 2002; Yang Sun Geun, 2002; Yang Sun Geun, 2002; Yang Sun Geun, 2002; Yang Sun Geun, 2002; Yang Sun Geun, 2002; Yang Sun Geun, 2002; Yang Sun Geun, 2002; Yang Sun Geun

South Korean Culture

In 1945, the Korean peninsula was divided into two parts: North Korea and the Republic of South Korea. In South Korea, the North Korean dictatorship, which is unstable and frequently overtly hostile, continues to be a source of anxiety and uncertainty. Both countries have undergone a tremendous amount of misfortune since the war, with South Koreans particularly hardened as a result of years of political turmoil. They brought new ideals to Korean culture as a result of their experiences. A greater demand for adaptation, persistence, and education arose, as did a resurgence of nationalism.

  1. According to the country’s development, this new cultural mix has been beneficial, with the nation seeing a recovery and economic prosperity, as well as the beginning of psychological healing.
  2. Excessive nationalist sentiment, a tremendous work ethic, and an intense concentration on Korean prosperity are all manifestations of this energy (or expression ofhahn).
  3. Many social scientists feel that Hahn is to blame for much of the animosity and differences that exist among Koreans today.
  4. Despite the fact that over 96 percent of South Koreans speak the same language, the country is mainly ethnically divided.
  5. a sneering expression (Chaemyoun) Face (also known as chaemyoun in Korea) is a notion that has an important role in shaping Korean behavior and thought.
  6. It is very important in South Korea to consider the perceptual lens ofchaemyoun.
  7. Even while much effort is still taken to conceal one’s genuine sentiments in today’s society, many Koreans are less concerned with appearing entirely stoic and are frequently unable to conceal or control their temperament.
You might be interested:  How To Read Culture And Sensitivity

The look people seek to show to others in relation to their position and functions, particularly gender roles, in family and society, is given more significance by the function chaemyoun().

divorce, unemployment, poverty, bad grades).

People can also lose and save their money, or they can create their own house or apartment.

Confucianism Also having a significant impact on Korean culture has been Confucianism.

It espouses the notion that connections between individuals are unequal, and that people have specified hierarchical positions (for example, ruler and subject, husband and wife, father and son).

All people have roles to play, and the function of a “superior” is to defend and be empathetic to those under their command.

If one observes Korean culture, one will note that relationships are tiered, with one side expecting a certain amount of reverence and respect from the other – especially in business.

Age, on the other hand, is frequently the most important criterion in determining the degree of deference and respect that should be accorded to someone.

To practice this notion, individuals must show complete regard and respect for their elders/ancestors.

South Korea in the Twenty-First Century In the era of technology, even if Confucian and traditional values provide the foundation of society expectations, their impact is waning.

According to a 2007 research, more than half of Korea’s youngsters now value the judgment and opinion of their peers from their own age and social status group more than the opinions of those older and more senior to them in social status.

Aside from that, the majority of young Koreans reject conventional concepts of gender roles (which are an important element of Confucianism) and regard all genders and sexual orientations to be equal in their society.

Korea’s economic success has been fueled in large part by the country’s educational system, which creates a workforce that is exceptionally industrious and capable.

To ensure a bright future for themselves, children are under intense pressure to do well in school from an early age.

The good perception of a person who is under pressure in Korea is that they are hardworking and tenacious in their pursuits.

How Korean culture became a global phenomenon

oo35mm is a skin care haven located in a small boutique in midtown Manhattan, New York, that caters to the needs of skin care enthusiasts. The shop is the size of a corridor, and it is crammed with South Korean lotions and potions from floor to ceiling. Manager Winnie Zhong had a few faves, including Dr. Ceuracle Vegan Kombucha Tea Essence (which has genuine kombucha tea), snail mucus (which contains actual snail slime), and Angel Shark (which contains shark cartilage) (which is shark-free). When the business first opened its doors a decade ago, the majority of its clients were of Asian ethnicity.

  1. Cate Urena was on the market for a cleanser as well as sheet masks.
  2. “It kind of piqued my attention, didn’t it?” says the author.
  3. Winnie Zhong, the manager of oo35mm, stands among hundreds of Asian skin care items, the most of which are from Korean companies.
  4. The Netflix thriller “Squid Game” has soared to unprecedented levels of popularity.
  5. “Parasite” became the first non-English-language film to win the Academy Award for best picture last year when it was nominated for the award.
  6. As a result of its influence, Korean culture has had such an impact that 26 Korean terms have recently been added to the Oxford English Dictionary.
  7. The rise of South Korea as a cultural force has not occurred suddenly.

DAL YONG JIN, the author of “Transnational Hallyu,” explained that starting in the mid-1990s, the Korean government began to make an attempt to integrate the cultural sectors into the national economy.

As a result, the government approaches major firms and requests that they contribute to the funding of the entertainment sector.

In Jin’s opinion, “the spillage of popular culture is absolutely everything.” “Because of popular culture, they appreciate Korea and Korean products, such as their cellphones and semiconductors,” says the author.

As a result, Samsung and Hyundai establish their own film and television production firms.

And it is effective, resulting in increased investment in entertainment, particularly K-pop.

Moreover, the government establishes a Ministry of Culture and repeals censorship restrictions that prevent Korean musicians from performing in English.

And in 2012, Psy’s ” Gangnam Style” becomes the first video on YouTube to receive more than one billion views.

As a result, I think the combination of those elements is quite appealing,” said Suk-Young Kim, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles’ School of Theater, Film, and Television.

Additionally, it assisted in preparing people’s palates for more detailed depictions of Korean life: Consider dystopian television shows such as “Parasite” and “Squid Game.” A widening wealth disparity is explored in these stories, which take place in a country that has rebuilt itself after two world wars and a military dictatorship.

“Korea’s position as a sort of mid-power has its advantages,” she explained.

In today’s world, entertainment exports are one of the fastest-growing sectors of the country’s economy. It is worth $10 billion, which is only one-tenth of the country’s total semiconductor exports. However, what about the growing impact of Korean culture? That is just priceless.

PBS Online: Hidden Korea/Culture

Korean culture, like that of allagricultural communities, has long been concentrated on close-knit families. Enormous families have always been cherished in Korea, and throughout many generations, families have intermarried among themselves and among the many areas of the country to build large clans. This is reflected in the surnames of the family. A dozen surnames prevail, with Kim, Park, Lee, Kang, and Cho being the most prominent. However, Kims from the southern city of Pusan are not the same as Kims from Seoul, and all Kims are well aware of which group they are a member of.

  • Families and clans maintain thorough genealogical records that might date back hundreds of years in order to identify who is who.
  • In 1390 A.D., the Confucian system was introduced from China and adopted as the official state belief system, resulting in a very patriarchal society that was already male dominated.
  • Fathers are accountable for their families, and they must be followed and appreciated by other members of the community.
  • The practice is known as filiopiety, and components of it may still be found among Koreans today.
  • For example, during supper, the oldest person always seats first and eats and drinks first before anybody else can begin eating or drinking.
  • Using a first name to refer to an elderly individual, let alone a grandpa or grandmother, would be considered inappropriate.
  • Even in the current world, Korean values such as hard effort, obedience to one’s family, protection of one’s family, and properdecorum among family members are still very much in evidence.
Mrs.Kim teaches her grand-daughter the art of cooking
Womenand Village Life: Today,women are in every occupation, from government officials to businesspersons and professors. In traditional Korean society, women hadset roles. They were expected to stay at home, to raise theirchildren, keep house and prepare meals. In farming villages theyalso worked in the fields. When women married they came to livein their husbands’ houses, but always kept their own family names.Once in their husbands’ homes, they became part of the extendedfamilies. Not only were they to obey the eldest males in the familyand their husbands, but to take commands from the eldest woman.As in many traditional societies, the oldest women within thehousehold, a grandmother, for instance, had great power over therest of the women and children. And, more than one son would thinktwice about disregarding the wishes of a powerful grandmother.Theidea of cooperation based on a system of authority worked in theold villages. Villagers often banded together to help one anotherin times of need and for important events. If a member might needhelp in a harvest or perhaps house repairs all the rest wouldgather to help. When a village needed a new well or a bridge,for example, everyone pitched in to build them. For importantoccasions such as funerals, weddings, or major birthday party (usuallywhen a man reached the age of 60), villagers often pooled theirmoneys to make a grand party. That sense of solidarity with one’sneighbors and even one’s nation still flows through Korean lifetoday. Formore information on this subject:

Korean business culture and etiquette

In 1390 A.D., the Confucian system was introduced from China and established as the official state belief system, resulting in a very patriarchal society that was already male dominated. Confucian ideas According to Confucian philosophy, order and authority are essential. The responsibility of fathers resides with their families, and they must be followed as well as revered by their children. All of the ancestors are remembered and revered in this tradition. Filopiety is the term used to describe this tradition, which continues to exist among Koreans to this day in some form or another.

In certain cultures, the oldest person seats first and eats first before anybody else may begin eating and drinking with him or her.

Using a first name to refer to an elderly person, let alone a grandpa or grandmother, is considered inappropriate.

To welcome someone in this manner is a very old-fashioned custom. Even in the current world, Korean values like as hard effort, loyalty to one’s family, protection of one’s family, and proper decency among family members are still very much in evidence.

Age and status

The importance of respect for age and rank is highly valued in Korean culture, with hierarchical structures influencing many areas of social relationships. As a result of the hierarchical structure of society, everyone has a function to play, and it is critical that this position be respected. Koreans feel most comfortable dealing with those who they believe to be on an equal footing with them. Someone’s social standing is mostly defined by their position within an organization, the organization for which they work, the university they attended, and their marital status.

Business cards

The exchange of business cards is a necessary aspect of all first-meeting interactions. Korea’s position, title, and status are all immediately determined by Koreans while speaking with a foreign counterpart. While still standing, you should gently pass over a business card with two hands, and you should expect to receive one back. Instead of immediately dropping the card into a pocket, spend a few seconds to check the names and titles on the card. In the event that you are seated, set it on the table in front of you to be used for the length of the conference.

Gift giving

It is customary in Korea to demonstrate the value of a connection through the exchange of gifts, which are always accepted. It should be noted, however, that it is impolite to offer someone a costly present if you are aware that they will not be able to return in kind. Gifts should always be beautifully wrapped in red or yellow paper, as they are the colors of the royal family. As an alternative, you might utilize colors that are associated with pleasure, such as yellow or pink. Using green, white, or black wrapping paper is never acceptable while signing a card.

It is not customary to open gifts when they are received; instead, it is customary to do it afterwards.

Korean names

Korean family names are generally composed of a single syllable, whereas given names are mostly composed of two. The surname appears first, followed by the given name (Kim Tae-Woo, for example). Until you have established a strong working relationship with a Korean counterpart, it is best to address them by their family name, followed by an honorific (such as Mr.), whether you are speaking directly to them or speaking about them to a Korean. When dealing with someone in situations that need a high level of respect or formality, it is appropriate to use their official title and surname (Chairman Lee, for example).

Some people also consider their name to be a highly personal thing, and as a result, a recommendation to work on a first-name basis may be reluctantly accepted.

Bowing and handshakes

Koreans bow to individuals who are more senior to them as a welcome and as a sign of reverence. The bow is initiated by the junior person, who bends from the waist at an angle ranging between 30 and 45 degrees from the vertical. The more senior individual acknowledges the lower-key bow with a less pronounced bow of his or her own. Bowing is not as prevalent in Korea as it is in other nations such as Japan, for example. When encountering a group of Koreans, it is customary to greet the one with the greatest social rank first, followed by the oldest.

Typically, the person with the greatest social standing is the first to enter a room. Simply extending a handshake while greeting and departing is acceptable in Australia; but, don’t be shocked if you get a two-handed handshake and a bow over the course of your initial encounter.

Building relationships

In order to do business in Korea, it is necessary to establish ties with customers and suppliers. Relationships are formed through casual social events, which often entail a significant quantity of eating and drinking on both sides. Such encounters also provide an opportunity for both parties to talk business in a more casual and pleasant environment, such as over dinner, which is beneficial for both parties.

You might be interested:  What Is The Impact Of Texas Political Culture On Political Participation

Dress code

Koreans place a high value on appearance, and they dress more formally than their Australian counterparts. Traditionally, business dress emphasizes uniformity over individual expression, with an emphasis on conformity rather than unique expression. Men should dress in dark-colored business suits with ties and white shirts, according to the dress code. A watch and a wedding band should be the extent of men’s jewelry; anything more than that is inappropriate. Women should likewise dress conservatively and in muted colors, according to the rules.

Gender equality

Despite progress toward gender equality, males continue to predominate in the Korean workplace. Businesswomen are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that is deemed elegant and ‘feminine.’

Don’t be too pushy

Korean businesspeople are skilled negotiators, so be patient and courteous while maintaining your firmness. Also, make an effort to maintain your dignity and refrain from exerting excessive pressure. Expect a ‘price war,’ but don’t be tempted to give up lightly, since Koreans are known for their tenacity and respect those who share this trait.

Geopolitical sensitivities

Korea and Japan are at odds over the territorial sovereignty of a number of islands in the sea between their respective countries. These include the tiny islets known as Dokdo in Korea and Takeshima in Japan, which are both referred to as Dokdo. As previously noted, the water around these islands is referred to in two distinct ways by the two governments. It is important to respect local traditions and preferences in order to preserve positive business relationships with Korean stakeholders. This includes ensuring that you utilize locally produced and correctly referenced copies of any geographical materials (such as maps that might be used in a presentation to a Korean audience).

Maintaining face

Korea and Japan are at odds over the territorial sovereignty of a number of islands in the sea between the two nations’ respective borders. Included in this category are the small Korean islets known as Dokdo, as well as the Japanese islands known as Takeshima. It has already been mentioned that the water around these islands is referred to in a different way by the two countries. It is important to respect local norms and preferences in order to preserve positive business connections with Korean stakeholders.

If such delicate issues are not observed, it can create offense and even result in the termination of commercial connections.

Dining

In pubs and restaurants, there is a tremendous lot of opportunity for connection development. Dinner invitations should always be accepted, as this is the Korean’s time to judge your reliability and determine whether or not they desire to do business with you. Dinner is the most substantial meal of the day and is often served between 7pm and 9pm. Couples are often invited to dinner parties in other countries, but this is not usual in Korea, where business entertaining is reserved for those who are actively involved in the business.

  • Korean cuisine can be highly hot, however there are gentler dishes available as well.
  • Keep your chopsticks out of your rice bowl when not in use; instead, keep them at the side of your place setting on the chopstick rests.
  • A good-natured disagreement over who will pay for the lunch should be expected, despite the fact that the host is expected to pay for the meal.
  • There are a few more components of dinner etiquette to keep in mind:
  • The majority of Koreans prefer to concentrate on their food while they are eating, and to converse after the meal is over over a cup of coffee or tea. Unless your hosts bring it up first, refrain from bringing up business throughout your dinner. Make certain that you do not serve yourself or eat before the host does
  • Food should always be placed on your plate or bowl after it has been removed from the serving dish. Despite the fact that chopsticks are the most often used tools (along with spoons for soups and noodles), you may be able to request forks or knives while dining in more populated areas. Never eat anything that you have picked up with your fingers. Fruit is cut into pieces and eaten with forks.

Interested in learning more? Explore our other South Korea knowledge categories, or download the Korea Country Starter Pack to get started right away.

10 Korean customs to know before you visit Korea

Korean culture has persisted for more than 5,000 years, despite the best attempts of hostile neighbors to exterminate the people who practice it. The more you understand and appreciate Korean culture, the more enjoyment you will have throughout your time in Korea.

1. Kimchi is culture

Kimchi is thinly sliced cabbage that has been fermented with red chili sauce and anchovy paste, among other ingredients. It has a strong flavor that is pungent, peppery, and sour. Despite the fact that Koreans like eating it with every meal, it is typically served on the side, despite the fact that they also incorporate it into a wide variety of other cuisines. Kimchi is a representation of Korean culture in that it is powerful, unique, and defiant in nature. Some outsiders are unable to stomach it, but if you are able to do so, you will get the affection and respect of the locals.

2. Shoes off

When entering a Korean home, you must take your shoes off before entering. To do anything less than this is a show of extreme contempt. Koreans have a particular relationship with their floor, which is where they sit and sleep almost all of the time. Cleaning the floors in a Korean house is considered unacceptable; Westerners, on the other hand, are considered primitive for remaining barefoot in our living rooms.

3.Soju

Korea has a strong drinking culture, with its national alcoholic beverage being issoju, a clear, vodka-like beverage. To drink soju, you must use shot glasses, and, as with other liquor in Korea, it must be served alongside food. Drinking in Korea is done in loud groups with frequent clinking of glasses and screaming of geonbae! (cheers) and one shot-uh! Men will come out of norae bang (karaoke rooms) in the middle of the night and wobble along the streets, laughing, singing, and bickering with one another.

It is customary in Korea to never pour your own drink, and when serving someone older than you, place one hand on your heart or on your pouring arm as a symbol of respect for the person.

4. Rice

Rice is served with practically every meal in Korea, just like it is in Japan. It’s so deeply embedded in their society that one of their most popular welcomes isBap meogeosseoyo?, which translates as ‘Have you eaten rice?’ or something along those lines. The Koreans, in contrast to the Japanese, often eat their rice with a spoon, and they never lift their rice bowl off the table and place it in their mouth. Furthermore, chopsticks must never be left protruding from the rice bowl, as this mirrors the way rice is delivered to the deceased in Japan.

5. Do not smile

Rice is served with practically every meal in Korea, much as it is in Japan. As a matter of fact, it’s so deeply established in their society that one of their most typical greetings isBap meogeosseoyo?, which translates as “Have you eaten rice?” When it comes to eating rice, Koreans are more like the Japanese in that they always use a spoon and never lift their rice bowl off the table and into their mouths. Furthermore, chopsticks must never be left protruding from the rice bowl, as this mirrors the way rice is delivered to the deceased.

6. Beware of elbows

Korea is a densely populated country. It’s a cluster of rocky mountains with just a few valleys and plains on which to construct a settlement or fortification. Consequently, there will be an abundance of people in confined areas, and people will not hesitate to push and jostle in order to get aboard a bus, into an elevator, or to those perfectly ripe onions at the farmer’s market, for example. Never say “pardon me,” and be cautious of the elder ladies, known as asajummas, who may approach you.

7. Protests

In order to acquire the democratic society that they currently enjoy, South Koreans put out significant effort, and their country is among the world’s leaders in terms of exercising their freedom to protest. Dissension is still very much alive and flourishing. Koreans protest frequently and vehemently – on all political sides of the political spectrum, in fact. Angry students routinely strike riot police with large metal rods, which is a common tactic used by protesters. Other ways include the ludicrous and the violent (cutting off fingers, throwing animal dung, covering themselves in bees).

8. Hiking

Given Korea’s hilly terrain, it should come as no surprise that hiking is the country’s most popular recreational activity. Mountains may be found in even the most densely populated cities, providing a welcome respite from the frantic pace of the city streets below. On the mountain, Koreans are at their most impressive. They will grin and greet you, and they will frequently insist on you sharing their food and drink with them. Do not miss out on pajeon (fritter) anddong ding ju at a mountain hut restaurant while on your journey (rice wine).

9. Bow-wow

Some Koreans do consume dog meat despite the government’s attempts to close down (dog meat soup) eateries on an irregular basis in an effort to enhance the country’s “international image.” Dog meat is primarily consumed during the summer months and by males, who say that it increases their stamina tremendously.

10. Nationalism

Koreans are a proud people, and this pride may occasionally erupt into a ferocious sense of national identity, as in the case of North Korea. Sporting events, when hundreds of Korean supporters cheer their national teams on in unison, beating on drums and waving giant flags, are a good example of this nationalistic spirit on show throughout the country. As a result of Japan’s invasions of Korea on many occasions and occupation of the country as a colony for nearly half of the twentieth century, depleting the country’s resources and conscripting thousands of women as sex slaves, this nationalism rises to a boil anytime Japan is mentioned.

Finally, please remember the two following things:
  • There is no such thing as the Sea of Japan in the eyes of a Korean. The East Sea is the sole name given to the body of water that separates Korea and Japan
  • Koreans also firmly feel that Dokdo — the disputed islets between Korea and Japan (known in Japan as Takeshima) — belongs exclusively to their country.

A person would be quite foolish if they attempted to dispute with either of these statements, because Koreans do not believe them to be open for debate.

20 Tips on Korean Culture for Foreigners

(Above: A photo reel showcasing all of the activities I’ve been involved in while in Korea.) Text has been added to some of the photographs because they were previously uploaded on my Instagram account. It’s midterms week, and I’ve been in Korea for a total of two months at this point. Despite the fact that I had the opportunity to learn about many parts of Korean culture, the time seemed to have flown fast. For my midterms, I wanted to prepare a list of cultural contrasts between Korea and the United States — some of which would demonstrate how readily I am impressed by other people’s ways of living, and others which might demonstrate how much of a cultural adjustment it is to live in Korea!

  1. When greeting and saying farewell to seniors in Korea, you should bow to show respect for them.
  2. It is a basic etiquette to take your shoes off before entering a residence.
  3. Three, in Korea, crosswalks turn green at predetermined intervals, obviating the need to use the crosswalk button, which is reserved for those who are physically challenged.
  4. 4.
  5. When traveling, I’ve discovered that keeping tissues and hand sanitizer in my bag is a must!
  6. Paper towels to dry your hands are hard to come by in Korea, since most establishments rely on hand drying machines instead.
  7. 6.

Shower sandals are used by the majority of individuals, even in their own houses, because water gets everywhere when you shower.

Typically, waiters will provide you with a hand wipe with your purchase, which you may use before, and occasionally an extra one for after, your meal at most restaurants and coffee shops.

There is always water and glasses available for you to fill yourself, and it is usual practice to share some foods between everyone at the table as well.

You might be interested:  What Is A Culture

8.

In Korea, the most prevalent stores are GS25, CU, and 7/11, which sell a wide range of food at a low price.

They even frequently provide 1+1 and 2+1 offers, which are the equivalent of buy one get one free bargains in the United States (buy one, get one free).

Being a foreigner in public generally entails being a target of a great deal of attention.

However, on the train, especially when traveling outside of Seoul, it is more typical that being a foreigner makes me stand out more than the average person.

One day, while browsing in a bookshop in Busan, I noticed a small child glance up at me and express his astonishment verbally, which I thought was rather humorous and sweet.

10.

People frequently apply cosmetics in the midst of coffee shops and brush their teeth in public restrooms, to name a couple of examples.

11.

To be honest, it’s one of my favorite aspects of living in Seoul since it allows me to draw inspiration for my own aesthetic appearance from the aesthetic appearances of others.

While Americans are notoriously late in comparison to Koreans (which surprised me considering I’m a very timely person in the United States), “Korean time” refers to the belief that whatever time a Korean wants to meet is 10 minutes after that time.

14.

Keep in mind that it may strike you, and this isn’t done in a mean or disrespectful manner.

On buses, people scan their cards before getting off in order to make the departure process go more quickly.

I’ve had a waiter at a restaurant physically touch one of my tattoos to ask me about it rather than pointing, which would be considered invasive in the United States, but was considered innocent in this country.

On public transit, some seats are designated for people of a certain age and for pregnant women.

17.

Compared to other cities, Seoul’s streets are remarkably free of rubbish.

The presence of couples in Korea is far more prominent than that of couples in the United States, and it can be intense!

A large number of couples will be dressed in matching attire.

When it comes to texting, Koreans have a distinct culture than the rest of the world.

Knowing this will help you avoid coming out as impolite or just careless while communicating on the internet.

In addition, bath towels are significantly smaller.

As a foreigner in a foreign nation, it has been beneficial for me to recognize and accept these cultural differences for what they are. It has aided me in comprehending the intentions of others, particularly when their acts do not clearly transfer into my own cultural norms and expectations.

Why South Korean culture is a global hit

A photo reel of all the things I’ve been up to while in Korea can be found at the bottom of this page. Some of the photographs have text on them because they were originally shared to my Instagram account.) My exams are coming up this week, and I’ve already been in Korea for two months. It seems like time has flown by despite the fact that I have learned about many parts of Korean culture. During my midterms, I wanted to build a list of cultural contrasts between Korea and the United States — some of which would demonstrate how readily impressed I am by other people’s ways of life, and others which might demonstrate how difficult it is to adjust to living in Korea!

  • When greeting and saying farewell to seniors in Korea, you should bow to show respect for their dignity.
  • Because of this widespread use of house slippers, Three, in Korea, crosswalks turn green at predetermined intervals, obviating the need to use the crosswalk button, which is reserved for those who are physically unable.
  • 4.
  • My experience has taught me to always carry tissues and hand sanitizer with me!
  • 5 – Paper towels to dry your hands are hard to get by in Korea, since most establishments only have hand drying machines available.
  • The fact that Korea appears to be caring for the environment in this manner is wonderful to witness.
  • Bathrooms in Korea are not the same as those in the United States of America Shower sandals are commonly used even in private residences since water gets everywhere while you shower.

Typically, waiters will provide you with a hand wipe with your purchase, which you may use before, and occasionally an additional one for after, your meal at most restaurants and even coffee shops.

Drinking water and filling glasses are constantly available, and it is usual practice to pass specific meals around the table between the group.

I attempt to buy the majority of my meals in convenience stores on some days in Korea to save money.

You can find these stores in almost every city.

The fact that you’re a foreigner implies that you’ll get a lot of strange looks.

However, on the metro, especially when traveling outside of Seoul, it is more typical that being a foreigner makes me stick out more than the average Korean.

An funny and sweet moment occurred once while I was at a bookshop in Busan, when a small youngster looked up at me and openly expressed his amazement.

The look of many Koreans is more important than that of people in the United States.

Given the homogeneity of Korean society, there appear to be just a few fashion trends that everyone adheres to religiously so that they can be considered “normal.” 11.

To be honest, it’s one of my favorite aspects of living in Seoul since it allows me to draw inspiration for my own aesthetic appearance from the looks of others.

While Americans are notoriously late in comparison to Koreans (which surprised me because I consider myself to be a very prompt individual in the United States), “Korean time” refers to the belief that whatever time a Korean plans to meet is 10 minutes later.

Koreans are also not known for holding doors open for strangers in their homes.

15.

Bus passengers can scan their cards before getting off the bus in order to make the departure process faster.

One of my tattoos was touched by a server at a restaurant instead of being pointed to, which would have been considered invasive in the United States, but was considered innocent in this country.

On public transit, some seats are designated for people of a certain age and for pregnant women.

Continue to move about.

Finding trash cans can be difficult, and Korea may be a little rigid about where waste should be disposed of, which is fantastic for the environment but can be confusing at first, especially in urban areas.

Many times I’ve witnessed individuals picking up garbage on the ground, even if it wasn’t their own, which is both admirable and terrible to observe.

If you’re single, it’s difficult to avoid the dating culture that exists.

They also keep track of how long they’ve been together by the day and mark milestones such as their 100th day of being together with a celebration.

Leaving someone’s message on read is far more suitable in the United States.

20.

Besides being smaller, bath towels are also less expensive.

For me, as a foreigner in a strange nation, it has been really beneficial to recognize and embrace these cultural differences for what they are. It has aided me in comprehending the intentions of others, particularly when their acts do not directly transfer into my own cultural norms and traditions.

The wave first spread to other Asian countries

According to Michael Fuhr, the managing director of the Center for World Music and research assistant at the Institute for Music and Musicology at the University of Hildesheim, “Hallyu quickly conquered the Chinese market, but the industry always had their eyes on the US market, where it, however, faced many failures.” South Korea distinguished itself from other markets early on, according to Fuhr, who is presently pursuing a PhD in K-pop and has recently collaborated to a research project on K-pop fan culture with researchers from Liverpool and Seoul.

A grueling training system

The three largest organizations in the Korean entertainment business, YG, SM, and JYP, are notorious for choosing hundreds of young trainees and putting them through rigorous training programs in which they can spend up to 14 hours a day honing their performing talents. The BlackPink females went through the same casting and training process as everyone else. Girls’ Generation, created by SM Entertainment and popular in South Korea and Japan towards the end of the 2000s, as well as the boy band Big Bang, formed by YG in 2006, began to receive international prominence during the beginning of the 2010s.

A milestone with Psy

However, it was the global smash ” Gangnam Style ” by rapper Psy that marked the beginning of South Korean music’s great success in the West. Over the course of a few months, it received more than one billion views on YouTube, bringing the total to about four billion views on the platform today. In the words of Michael Fuhr, “Psy wasn’t a traditional representation of K-pop,” but “his worldwide success indicated for the first time that language was no longer a barrier to international success.”

The power of social networks

YouTube, as well as other quickly expanding streaming and social media platforms, had a significant role in the phenomenon’s development. Suddenly, record companies were no longer reliant on broadcasters to play their songs or films; instead, audiences could choose what they wanted to hear or watch on their own time. “K-pop fans are well-connected; the fan culture is very engaged, and the industry understands how to cater to them,” says Michael Fuhr of the industry. The agencies responsible for developing K-pop groups deliberately choose band members who have a variety of personality qualities in order to ensure that as many young people as possible can relate with them.

According to Michael Fuhr, the bands are also forced to maintain an active internet presence, which allows fans to feel as if they are a part of the life of their idols: “It’s a package that is being marketed.” Once the idols display themselves in public in a way that differs from what their admirers want, they are subjected to nasty remarks and pressure, which has already resulted in the suicide of some stars.

Additionally, the high level of production quality of the music and visuals contributes to its success.

K-pop bands are aimed at an audience that has probably had enough of American pop stars and is looking for something “fresh and interesting, but not too odd,” according to the band’s website.

Imagery borrowed from video games

Certainly, YouTube, as well as other fast expanding streaming and social media platforms, played a role in the occurrence. As a result, record companies no longer had to rely on broadcasters to play their music or films; instead, consumers could choose what they liked on their own. As Michael Fuhr notes, “K-pop fans are well-connected; fan culture is highly engaged, and the business understands how to cater to them.” Band members with a variety of personality qualities are intentionally chosen by the agencies that establish K-pop groups in order to ensure that the greatest number of teenagers can relate to them.

According to Michael Fuhr, the bands are also compelled to maintain an active online presence, which allows fans to feel as if they are a part of their heroes’ life.

In contrast, when idols exhibit themselves to their followers in a manner different from what they have come to anticipate, they are subjected to nasty remarks and pressure, which has already led to the death of several stars.

While “what you see there” may be “fresh” from a Western perspective, “what you see there” nevertheless “feels familiar,” argues Michael Fuhr, referring to Michael Jackson’s effect on the complex choreography of boy bands such as Take That.

Stories with a social commentary

According to Michael Fuhr, the concerns highlighted in the series, such as poverty, hustling culture, and the widening divide between the affluent and the poor, are global in nature. Even in this area, popular films and television series have provided a fresh perspective on long-standing societal issues, with “Squid Game” and “Parasite” acting as two of the more notable instances. Other than offering a glimpse into fictional universes, these stories also provide an insight into South Korean society, demonstrating how many citizens of the country live in poverty in cramped quarters with limited access to electricity and water, or in basements, like the poor family in “Parasite” who manages to force their way into the lives of a wealthy family.

It is common for families to go into debt in order to give their children with a high-quality education.

‘It’s a culture that’s been heavily influenced by capitalist principles,’ Michael Fuhr adds.

Last October, demonstrators demonstrating against the South Korean government’s labor market policy donned costumes and masks from the program as evidence that the fictitious realm is eerily similar to the actual world. The original version of this article was written in German.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *