Written by Erica Tomy.
The contemporary culture of South Korea was prevalent in the early Korean nomadic tribes. The ancient Korean culture was maintained for thousands of years and with the influence from ancient Chinese culture, South Korea split itself away from North Korean culture, since the division of Korea in 1948.
South Korea, especially Seoul, it’s capital underwent industrialization, urbanization and westernization. Hence, many changes were brought to the way the Koreans live. As a result, it led to a concentration of population in major cities, depopulation of rural countryside, etc. Today, most of the Korean cultural elements have spread across the globe and have become one of the most prominent cultures in the world.
1. Restaurant Etiquette
When their hands are dirty, the Koreans use toilet paper to clean their hands, which is unique. If they want to call the waiter or order food, they just need to press the button on the table, and they will be served quickly. In order to cut food, they use scissors instead of a knife as they believe it’s easier and safer to cut food using scissors. If they want, they can sit on the floor to have food. In most restaurants, the customers have to remove their footwear before entering.
2. Selfie Mania
Selfie sticks are rampant among the young and the old people in Korea. They are crazy about selfies and they take selfies all the time, wherever they are.
3. Samsung and LG
Samsung and LG rule the universe in Korea. Phones, cars, laptop, air conditioning, washing machine and so on, are all of the brand Samsung or LG. Other brands are not in demand in Korea and hence, Samsung and LG do not face any cut-throat competition in the market in Korea.
4. Matching couples
The couples in Korea match their clothing and accessories. Such couples are common there. It is often interesting to witness the matching looks of couples.
5. Double Hands
When bidding goodbye or a hello, the Koreans use both their hands. And when shaking hands with older persons, they should use both their hands and also that, the handshake should be initiated only by older people. While pouring a drink for old people, they need to use both their hands as a sign of respect and courtesy.
6. Different Age
When babies are born in Korean, they are considered as one year old, as the Koreans believe that they have lived for nine months, which is approximately one year, in their mother’s womb. Everyone gains one year on New Year’s Day, so if they are born on December 31st, the very next day they will turn 2 years. It is hard to guess the age of the Koreans as they look very young.
7. Socks and Phone Cases Stores
There are single stores for socks and phone cases. There are a variety of unique and trendy designs for socks and phone cases. Hence, visiting South Korea should be added to your bucket list as there are a lot of things to be discovered there.
8. Eating with Friends and Family
In Korea, people eat with family or friends. No one goes to a restaurant alone to have food. So, when you are eating food alone, the Koreans will find it awkward and wonder what has happened between you and your family or friends. Most restaurants in Korea, do not have the ability to serve a solo person. There should be at least two people to dine at a restaurant.
9. Sweet Food, yet Hot
Firstly, the Koreans find sweet food as complete and attractive, hence, they add sugar to cheese, bread, etc. They add sweet to most food items as they believe that it makes their meal very delicious. Secondly, Korean food is at the topmost position for the hottest and spicy food in the world.
10. The Magic Button
There is a button in the bathrooms in Korea which makes a relaxing sound that muffles the sound of you using the bathroom and also makes a peaceful environment. They can press the button as per their choice.
11. Clean Teeth
The Koreans brush their teeth at least 3 to 4 times a day. They carry a toothbrush in their bags. Even in school, the teachers and students brush their teeth after having lunch. Hence, after every meal, they Koreans brush their teeth to keep themselves clean.
12. The Girls
Women in Korea feel uncomfortable when they are being touched on their skin or body. Even if it is a close friend, Korean women will find it difficult when they are being touched. Putting hands on the shoulder or waist just for posing for a picture, also makes them feel uncomfortable. When you visit Korea at any time if you get the opportunity to take photos with Korean girls, do respect their feelings.
13. Time is Precious
When ordering food at a restaurant in Korea, the customers need not wait until the waiter arrives with the change. They can pay their bill directly at the counter after finishing their food. As time is very precious to the Koreans, they prefer not to spend too much time having food or waiting.
14. Love Drinking
All the Koreans including women love to drink beer and alcohol on every occasion, when their sad, happy or on celebrations. While drinking with their boss or older people, the Koreans have to turn around their neck without facing them and then have their drink, to show respect to their boss or older people. Korea is one among the top drinkers in the world and women in Korea have contributed to this as well.
Currently, various drinks including biologic drugs are introduced in the market as anti-hangover drinks. These drinks are added to highly alcoholic drinks before drinking and also consumed alone after drinking. The ingredients added to the anti-hangover drink suppresses alcohol absorption. It also helps to promote alcohol metabolism, reducing alcohol concentration in the blood. In addition, it represents the function of protecting liver cells from alcohol and preventing gastrointestinal mucosa damage and protecting the stomach by applying gastrointestinal mucosa.
By fact, religion in South Korea is characterized as the majority of South Koreans (56.1% as per 2015 national census) do not follow any religion. Protestant Christians represent (19.7%), Buddhism represents (15.5%), and Catholics represent (7.9%) of the population. And a minute percentage of South Koreans (0.8% in total) follow other religions including Won Buddhism, Confucianism, Cheondoism, Daesun Jinrihoe, Daejongism, Jeungsanism and Orthodox Christianity.
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Erica Tomy is a content writer at The Strong Traveller. Erica, apart from being a student of Bachelor of Commerce, she is also a model, an anchor and an artist, with the aim of becoming an entrepreneur someday. She is passionate about storytelling and making creative contents for various brands. She likes to do ‘smart work’ more than ‘hard work’!