Culture Shock in South Korea



Any expat in South Korea will find its culture solid and unique but colorful at the same time. This is viewed as a reason for its society’s progress not only as an economy but also as a people that have slowly warmed up to the Western culture.

With many expats moving to South Korea each year, the country has become even more vibrant and less homogeneous, although local traditions remain.

The traditional Korean greeting of a bow among men is still common today and is usually done with a handshake that uses both hands. With women, a simple nod will do when greeting a Korean man but they will not bow to a male expatriate in South Korea. The bow is also a classic way of making an exit from a casual meeting.

When talking to Koreans, it is important to call them by their appropriate professional titles unless the person states he prefers to be called by his given name. Koreans also find offensive being touched by anyone other than a relative or close friend. Crossing of legs or stretching them out in front is considered rude.

When dining out with Korean friends, pouring one's drink is considered rude as the practice is to pour each other's drinks. A woman may pour her drink or a man's but not another woman's. Tipping should also be avoided as this is viewed as rude. As an act of humility, deny compliments and never say "thank you" if you don't want to be viewed as proud or self-serving.

Indeed, living in South Korea and knowing about the people's unique ways can be both a challenge and an adventure. Again, this is only one of the things that make their culture unique and worth adopting.



 Read More: Get insights from expats in South Korea

  English Teacher Karli Vezina shares her experiences as an expat in South Korea 




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