Manners in South Korea Part 1

Manners in South Korea Part 1
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Manners on social occasions:

Names of Koreans are always made up of three Chinese characters, but pronounced in the Korean way. Different from English names, the last names of Koreans are the first character that is written and said. For example, the famous ice skater Kim Yuna’s last name is actually Kim. There are over 300 family names in the South Korea, but the most common ones are: Kim, Lee, Paku, Ann, Han, Chao and Yun. Influenced by Ancient China, Koreans use one character in their first name to show their seniority in the family. Nowadays, it’s rare to see generation names of young people in China, but Koreans keep this tradition and it’s a good way to enhance the cohesive force of a family.

When meeting Koreans for the first time, remember not to call them by their full names because it’s considered to be rude, especially if the person you are speaking to is older than you. Unlike in western countries,”sister” and “brother” are not just only used among siblings, but also between any older females/males as a way to show that someone is close to you. During social occasions, Koreans call each other “Mr….”,”Mrs….”or “Miss….”as western people do

Manners at home:

South Korea is always regarded as a country of ceremony, as they stress great importance on etiquette, even at home. The relationship set up among family members is extensive, and the blood relationship based on mutual support and understanding makes Koreans have a strong sense of family and responsibility. The senior member in Korean family (usually the grandfather or father) is a person of authority, whose wills must be obeyed and decisions won’t be changed or questioned. Respecting these elders is a priority.

While at the table, you cannot touch the utensils until the elder people do first, and you have to finish eating by the time the elder people are done. You should avoid pointing at someone or something with your utensils and remember to put them orderly on the right of the bowl. If you are invited to a traditional South Korean family, you are likely to see the small square tables. They’re only 30—38 centimeters high and there are no chairs around them – you must sit on the floor. There are acceptable ways, one is sitting on your knees (for women), the other is sitting cross-legged (for men). However, when meeting your parent’s in law for the first time, thee is only one way – sitting on your knees.

 

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