5 Korean Customs to Know before your Planned Visit to Korea
Korean culture and customs have been around for five thousand years, so those who plan to visit the country should get to know about this culture to avoid misunderstandings during their stay. Note that most Koreans greatly value their culture and customs, so tourists should try their very best to show respect. Here are five of the most popular customs in Korea that you should know before your scheduled trip:
1. Remove your shoes
If you are invited to a Korean home, then make sure to remove your shoes before entering. Note that not removing your shoes signifies disrespect. Most Koreans value their floor so much because this is where they often sit and sleep. Most of them cannot tolerate a dirty floor, so to avoid misunderstandings, consider removing yours before going inside a Korean home.
2. The right body language
When sending a signal to a person through body language, consider doing it with your palm facing down. Flutter your hand downward and upward while your fingers touch together. Note that sending a signal with your palms facing up is a sign of impoliteness to Koreans. This also holds true if you only use one finger since most Koreans only use this signal to dogs.
3. The envelope culture
Koreans are known for their ability to help one another whether in joy or sorrow. They prepare foods together during a wedding ceremony or help serve people who are mourning for the loss of a loved one. However, because of the busy and modern society, most Koreans follow the envelope culture. This culture requires guests to share cash if they attend a funeral or a party. The cash is enclosed in a white and clean envelope. If you are invited to a party during your stay in Korea, then observe this custom and show Koreans that you care by adhering to their culture.
Korea is also popular for their mountainous and breathtaking spots. Because of this, hiking has become the country’s national pastime. Crowded cities even offer a lot of mountainous terrains. If you plan to hike, then keep in mind that Koreans are considered to be at their best when they are hiking on the mountain so expect them to smile and greet everyone. Some of them will even insist to share their drinks and foods. If you want to make hiking in mountainous areas in Korea more unforgettable, then make sure to visit a mountain hut restaurant. This is where you can get a taste of dong dong ju or the rice wine and pajeon or the fritter.
5. Show Koreans that you love Kimchi
Kimchi refers to sliced cabbage with anchovy paste and red chili sauce. It is popular for its sour, pungent and spicy taste. All Koreans love this food. They even eat Kimchi with their every meal. Kimchi is a symbol of the distinctive and strong Korean culture. You can earn the heartfelt respect of the locals in Korea if you show them that you love Kimchi.