Korean Culture

Bbali Bbali Culture

빨리 - Bbali : Quickly, fast. The 빨리 빠리 Culture is an apt description of just how fast paced Korean life is. Evidence can be witnessed all over Korea, from fast internet speeds to the construction of buildings.

If you are used to a more relaxed style, get ready to jump on the rollercoaster. You will be expected to produce work quickly, without losing quality. If you seek a more relaxed workplace demeanor and don't like dealing with a very strict hierarchy system, this may not be the right job for you.

*This is not to say that every second of everyday is work, work, work... The life of a GET is actually quite relaxed with sporadic times of work, work, work.

눈치 : Noon-Chi : Tact, Common Sense, 6th Sense.

눈치

In Korea there are a lot of unspoken rules that you’re expected to know. For example, if you were to go to dinner with your staff, it is customary to sit only after the eldest person has done so. So even if you didn't know this rule, you could use 눈치 by noticing that everyone else is remaining standing.

눈치 is a very important concept in Korean culture and the only way to get good at it is to just be more aware of your surroundings as well as learning the culture. Make Korean friends, ask questions, read books on Korean culture, travel around Korea.

Greetings

 Korean style greetings are very different from Western greetings. First of all, most people do not shake hands, rather they will bow. Generally with greetings, one would do a 15 degree bow, so just a slight nod of the head.

Accompanying phrases:

안녕하세요 : Ahn-Nyoung-Ha-Seh-Yo : Hello

방갑습니다 : Bang-Gap-Seup-Ni-Da : Nice to meet you

The Handshake:

Now if a handshake is initiated, follow these steps -

*Assuming you are meeting this person for the first time or you are greeting someone in a higher position.

1. Shake with two hands: Right hand extended for the shake, left hand lightly grasping your right arm. (placement on arm is up to you, ranging from the armpit to the wrist)

 

2. Bow slightly while shaking hands.

 

Important Notes about greetings:

* Senior always initiates the hand shake. If the senior does not extend their hand, DO NOT extend your hand. Just bow.

* Be sociable. If you see someone coming towards you, greet them. Especially know who your principals and vice principals are and ALWAYS greet them.

* Hands out of pocket. If you are around other people please take your hands out of your pockets as it is seen as rude.

  

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Every culture has their superstitions, here are a couple you will see here in Korea:

DO NOT WRITE NAMES IN RED INK!  Doing so means that person will die.

Number 4

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Every culture has their superstitions, here are a couple you will see here in Korea:

DO NOT WRITE NAMES IN RED INK!  Doing so means that person will die.

Number 4

The number four connotes death. This is due to the fact that the Chinese character for 4 literally means death.  In older buildings, you may notice that the fourth floor button on elevators are completely omitted or the fourth floor will be displayed as an F rather than a 4. 

Shaking your legs

Shaking your legs is seen as bad luck. Not sure the reason. But it is. So don't do it... ^^ 

Korean

Drinking Culture

Work hard, play harder. This seems to be the mantra of many Koreans. Korean people work extremely hard, and they are constantly having to look over their shoulders because of the social hierarchy system. This is why alcohol has come to play such an important role in Korean life, it allows people to take a breath from the immensely stressful Korean work/social life and just be able to relax and be themselves.

Your first time drinking out with your coworkers will definitely be an experience! Above are some tips on Korean drinking etiquette that you can use to impress your coworkers and friends!

*PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBILY. Yes, unfortunately you will see some of your coworkers and fellow expats drinking a lot and maybe behaving inappropriately. However, understand that you are a guest meaning you will be subject to more scrutiny. Also, Koreans are still fairly new to a foreign presence and due to the behavior of past expats in Korea, you are unfortunately coming in on a tipped scale. So don't be a stereotype, drink responsibly. Have fun, but know your limits. And most of all, be SAFE!!!