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The one cultural difference you wish Korea understood
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everything-is-everything



Joined: 06 Jun 2011

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saudiman wrote:
Using the trash can or disposing of trash properly,



Never go to India then Laughing
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nautilus



Joined: 26 Nov 2005
Location: Je jump, Tu jump, oui jump!

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That staring is wrong.


Seems to be a general sense that staring is OK. The amount of unabashed staring here is off the scale. Maybe some are just so entranced that they are unaware that they are making the other person feel uncomfortable.

Of course if you stare back, then they act like a victim suddenly. Never seem to realise that they instigated it.
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NohopeSeriously



Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Location: The Christian Right-Wing Educational Republic of Korea

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not a cultural thing per se. I hope someday Koreans understand that Europe has more than one language besides English. It bothers me the fact that an average Korean university student thinks "all Europeans = 100% native English speakers".
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JustinC wrote:
I hate 'relaxing' on beaches. It bores me to death.


Ummm....okay?
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atwood



Joined: 26 Dec 2009

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JustinC wrote:
Zyzyfer wrote:
Interesting spin on the topic, what we wish we understood about Korean culture. Has a bit of potential.

I wish I could understand why a significant number of Koreans cannot sit still when they don't have anything special to do. A very busy coworker of mine had a vacation in Malaysia recently. He deserves a break so I told him to set aside at least an afternoon where he just sits on the beach and nurses a beer or two. He responded by saying he's tried to before but he just can't sit around with nothing to do for more than an hour at most. Dude, relaxing on the beach IS doing something...poor guy.


I hate 'relaxing' on beaches. It bores me to death. Unless I'm playing a sport or on the way into the sea I can't stand lying about on a beach. I don't understand people who go on their holidays to do nothing, and over sand is the best place to do that??

It gets everywhere, you can't use a laptop, reading is almost impossible if it's really bright, you have to pay to 'relax' there, all refreshments are overpriced, you get the odd cooling breeze full of sand to get into your pores, the salt dries out your skin, you're cleaning sand from between your toes for the next couple days.

Also people are shouting at each other, eating BBQs where ever they like, walking about just to ogle and gossip, the beach doesn't bring out the best in people, but it's good for kids to build sandcastles and their parents know it's safe enough, so there is that.

Try some sunglasses. And maybe a better beach.
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Mr. BlackCat



Joined: 30 Nov 2005
Location: Insert witty remark HERE

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zyzyfer wrote:


I wish I could understand why a significant number of Koreans cannot sit still when they don't have anything special to do. A very busy coworker of mine had a vacation in Malaysia recently. He deserves a break so I told him to set aside at least an afternoon where he just sits on the beach and nurses a beer or two. He responded by saying he's tried to before but he just can't sit around with nothing to do for more than an hour at most. Dude, relaxing on the beach IS doing something...poor guy.


I think this goes to the Korean need to look 'busy'. Always 'so busy!' No Korean will ever admit to having free time because then they wouldn't be "so busy!!!!" I wish Koreans understood that in the West getting things done is more important than looking like you're getting things done. We have an expression "Making it look easy", which is a positive thing (there's a reason one of the most famous corporate mottos in the West is "Just Do It."). No huffing and puffing, complaining, running around, crying, screaming, throwing things around...just get it done and leave. Not saying this always happens, but that is what is valued in our society. Here, you could cure cancer but if you didn't do it while being "BUSY BUSY!" then no one would even listen to you. This leads to taking sick days and vacations. It's better to rest and actually do work when in the office than to come in every day only to sleep, internet shop and drink tea. And of course complain about being so BUSY!
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Mr. BlackCat



Joined: 30 Nov 2005
Location: Insert witty remark HERE

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scorpion wrote:
That not everything needs to be done with as much noise as humanly possible. In most things, Westerners are taught that it's desirable to minimum the noise you make around others. Closing your apartment door? Do it quietly. Answering your phone? Do it at a moderate volume. Moving your furniture at 3am? Try not to drag it over the floor? Watching tv? Try not to set it at the maximum volume. Holding a meeting in a small classroom at school? Is the microphone really necessary? Want to sell your potatoes and bananas? Is a bongo truck and megaphone really the best way to go about doing it?

Generally I wish they would understand that some people respect and appreciate peace and quiet.


+ a kadrillion.

A larger conversation could be had about this: You're not so important to warrant shoving yourself into everyone else's life through obscene noise pollution. But that's for another time, I guess.
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everything-is-everything



Joined: 06 Jun 2011

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My biggest beef with Koreans are there propensity for cutting line.

It infuriates me Evil or Very Mad



On my first day arriving in Korea several years ago I went to a Family Mart inside Incheon Airport. I had two people cut right in front of me while I was waiting in line to buy a drink.

Welcome to Korea!


I especially cannot stand the middle aged women on public transportation. I'll be waiting at a bus stop about to get on and 3 or 4 little adjumas will jump in front of me as I am stepping on to the bus. 3 more will use the back entrance of the bus to make sure they get a seat.

Now I understand kids cutting line cause kids are morons Laughing but for full grown adults to engage in this behavior it's ridiculous.
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byrddogs



Joined: 19 Jun 2009
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. BlackCat wrote:
I think this goes to the Korean need to look 'busy'. Always 'so busy!' No Korean will ever admit to having free time because then they wouldn't be "so busy!!!!" I wish Koreans understood that in the West getting things done is more important than looking like you're getting things done. We have an expression "Making it look easy", which is a positive thing (there's a reason one of the most famous corporate mottos in the West is "Just Do It."). No huffing and puffing, complaining, running around, crying, screaming, throwing things around...just get it done and leave. Not saying this always happens, but that is what is valued in our society. Here, you could cure cancer but if you didn't do it while being "BUSY BUSY!" then no one would even listen to you. This leads to taking sick days and vacations. It's better to rest and actually do work when in the office than to come in every day only to sleep, internet shop and drink tea. And of course complain about being so BUSY!


^ . Ah, yes, the whole "so busy" thing. I chuckle every time I hear that.

I work with Koreans in China. Let it be known that the K teachers teach 4 fewer classes per week and have less marking duties than the foreign teachers, yet moan and whine when they have to pick up an extra class if someone calls in sick or if someone asks them to help out with something. Here are some examples of how busy they are:

Teacher A: does nothing other than go to class and have the students copy things again and again. He does no prep, marks nothing, and is always browsing Daum or Naver during non-class time.

Teacher B: does her required work, but spends most free time in the office filtering through pictures of her and her new fiance making collages of them together.

Teacher C: life revolves around social sites. She even has made the mistake of leaving her office computer on while she is remotely connecting to it from the classroom while she is "teaching" and everyone in the office can see that she is FBing or whatever.

Teacher D: is truly busy...too busy even
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Mix1



Joined: 08 May 2007

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

byrddogs wrote:

I work with Koreans in China. Let it be known that the K teachers teach 4 fewer classes per week and have less marking duties than the foreign teachers,

In China? Now THEY are the "foreigners".

Which brings us to... over-generalizations and the use of the word "foreigner".

Random examples:
Restaurant: "Foreigners can eat spicy food?" (many cultures eat spicy food, especially in Asia and South/Central America)

Grocery store: "Foreigners eat garlic??" (garlic is common worldwide, as are chili peppers, which were imported here via trade)

Lingerie store (regarding size): "Is your girlfriend foreigner?" ("Yes, she is Japanese...how does nationality affect sizing?")

Bar: "Foreigners is dangerous!" (ALL of them? OK, you said "Hi" first, I've just replied to you and suddenly you're telling this to my face for no apparent reason? Hmm, smear campaign successful.)

Also:
References to "pure blood" are usually seen as distasteful, offensive and can definitely rub others the wrong way.

Koreans aren't truly "pure" blooded (everyone is a mix to some degree) but even if they were, talking about it like it's a prized feature sounds dumb and implies supposed superiority and hints at ideas of Hitler and the Nazis... a very sore spot for most of the world. Not great dinner conversation.
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Mix1



Joined: 08 May 2007

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

double post
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Who's Your Daddy?



Joined: 30 May 2010
Location: The joy's in the ride.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mix1 wrote:
byrddogs wrote:

I work with Koreans in China. Let it be known that the K teachers teach 4 fewer classes per week and have less marking duties than the foreign teachers,

In China? Now THEY are the "foreigners".

Which brings us to... over-generalizations and the use of the word "foreigner".

Random examples:
Restaurant: "Foreigners can eat spicy food?" (many cultures eat spicy food, especially in Asia and South/Central America)

Grocery store: "Foreigners eat garlic??" (garlic is common worldwide, as are chili peppers, which were imported here via trade)

Lingerie store (regarding size): "Is your girlfriend foreigner?" ("Yes, she is Japanese...how does nationality affect sizing?")

Bar: "Foreigners is dangerous!" (ALL of them? OK, you said "Hi" first, I've just replied to you and suddenly you're telling this to my face for no apparent reason? Hmm, smear campaign successful.)

Also:
References to "pure blood" are usually seen as distasteful, offensive and can definitely rub others the wrong way.

Koreans aren't truly "pure" blooded (everyone is a mix to some degree) but even if they were, talking about it like it's a prized feature sounds dumb and implies supposed superiority and hints at ideas of Hitler and the Nazis... a very sore spot for most of the world. Not great dinner conversation.


I teach at a public school with 4 Korean teachers. I've taught with them all for over one year. We had dinner one night and one Korean teacher said, "I can't talk to you because you're a foreigner." Even after over a year, she doesn't relate to me as a co-worker or person really, I'm a "foreigner". Seemed, and still seems, bizarre. It's like, we aren't both part of the human race. She's a very nice person, and speaks English well, but she's totally hung-up on race.
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Zackback



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Location: Kyungbuk

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The she's not a nice person.
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some waygug-in



Joined: 25 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

She may or may not be a nice person, but she is brainwashed by

Korean society.
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EZE



Joined: 05 May 2012

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

everything-is-everything wrote:
My biggest beef with Koreans are there propensity for cutting line.

It infuriates me Evil or Very Mad



On my first day arriving in Korea several years ago I went to a Family Mart inside Incheon Airport. I had two people cut right in front of me while I was waiting in line to buy a drink.

Welcome to Korea!


I used to think the Koreans were bad for linejumping until I went to China. The Chinese do it so much that I believe a significant percentage (obviously not all) of the linejumping we see in Korea is actually being done by Chinese people who we can't visually distinguish from the Koreans.
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