Manners in South Korea Part 2

Manners in South Korea Part 2
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Greeting manners:

The traditional way to greet someone in South Korea is to bow to someone with your hands placed at your sides, while saying ‘hello’. As western culture is becoming more prevalent in Korea, now some people also greet each other by shaking hands. Korean businessmen just shake hands like westerners, but in other situations, people shake with both of their hands to show respect, especially if the person is older than you.

Guest manners:

In Korea, you’d better take a small gift with you if you are invited to someone’s house. Wine is the first choice when you are picking up a gift for a man, but never buy wine for a woman, especially if she is married. Korean men prefer lighters and ties with famous brands, while women would be glad if the gifts for them are cosmetics.For children, as everywhere else in the world, candies and toys are the best gifts.

Usually Koreans value their private space and won’t show you around their houses, so it is better if you just sit in the living room. Consider entering a Korean bedroom without permission as offensive. When you are leaving, the host will say goodbye at the door, which means it’s time for you to say thank you.

Table manners:

There is a custom in Hokkaido (Japan’s northernmost island) that making a noise when you eat noodles means the noodles are delicious. However, in Korea, making a noise is never allowed at the table.

Because the dishes are usually shared by all the people, it’s important to keep your chopsticks clean. While eating fish or ribs or other food with bones, you have to wrap the bones with napkins and throw them away secretly.

What you cannot do:

Don’t smoke in the presence of senior citizens and your boss without permission, and you can’t borrow lighters from them.

Don’t talk while eating, even with your friends.

Don’t blow your nose on the street, it’s considered to be a rude behavior.

Don’t mention the North Korea when there are the South Koreans present, and don’t call Seoul ‘Hansung’.

There are many restrictions on taking photos, so don’t take pictures if you are at an airport, military area, reservoir, subway station, museum, and certain places of entertainment.