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The one cultural difference you wish Korea understood
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EZE



Joined: 05 May 2012

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:02 am    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.


Amen.

Last year, an Australian co-worker and I would get our monthly lesson plans, spelling lists, and report cards completed three weeks in advance of the due dates. I would take the books home and do mine on my computer on the very first Sunday and turn them in on Monday, three weeks early. The Australian would somehow get his done before me without even taking his home.

Then, three weeks later, the Koreans and a foreign teacher or two would be basically sitting in each other's laps at the two computers, frantically trying to get theirs done by the due date. They were busy and in a frenzy while the Australian and I were relaxing and drinking coffee, with our work completed three weeks previous, so we were considered lazy Jews. Laughing
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Drew345



Joined: 24 May 2005

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish they understood that I don't want to ask 3 times before they will accept some food item. If they say "no" two times, I am likely to stop offering. In America if someone says "no" twice and you offer again, they might reply "what part of 'no' don't you understand". Here, two "no"'s means you are supposed to offer once more, but I am probably not going to do it, because my western upbringing.
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fermentation



Joined: 22 Jun 2009

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drew345 wrote:
I wish they understood that I don't want to ask 3 times before they will accept some food item. If they say "no" two times, I am likely to stop offering. In America if someone says "no" twice and you offer again, they might reply "what part of 'no' don't you understand". Here, two "no"'s means you are supposed to offer once more, but I am probably not going to do it, because my western upbringing.


It's considered good manners to offer help or whatever at least three times. I've gotten crap for not knowing that in the Army.

"Sarge, can I help you with those boxes?"
"No, I'm good."
"Yes sir."
"Why aren't you asking to help again?"
"You just said no!"
"You're supposed to ask me again idiot!"
"...ok."
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transmogrifier



Joined: 02 Jan 2012
Location: Seoul, South Korea

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drew345 wrote:
I wish they understood that I don't want to ask 3 times before they will accept some food item. If they say "no" two times, I am likely to stop offering. In America if someone says "no" twice and you offer again, they might reply "what part of 'no' don't you understand". Here, two "no"'s means you are supposed to offer once more, but I am probably not going to do it, because my western upbringing.


Yeah, this annoys me no end. At least my wife has gotten used to it and will say "Yes" immediately, lest I stop asking.
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Mix1



Joined: 08 May 2007

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drew345 wrote:
I wish they understood that I don't want to ask 3 times before they will accept some food item. If they say "no" two times, I am likely to stop offering. In America if someone says "no" twice and you offer again, they might reply "what part of 'no' don't you understand". Here, two "no"'s means you are supposed to offer once more, but I am probably not going to do it, because my western upbringing.

My first month here, three adult students brought me a cake after class.

"Wow, thanks! Don't you want some too?"

"No..."

"Really...?" (pause) "Um...Ok, your choice." I walked away.

Oh, the look on their faces Laughing

Oops. Hey, I was new here and really busy at the time and wasn't going stand around and press the issue. In my mind, NO meant NO, end of story.

My coworkers couldn't stop laughing at that, but were stoked to have the cake regardless.
Them: "Selfish Westerner!"
Me: "They said NO! I'm not going to beg them to eat it."
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NYC_Gal 2.0



Joined: 10 Dec 2010

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The whole "ask 3 times" thing isn't really new to me, as I have Japanese family and it's common with them as well, but I've found that it's easier to just give things and not offer. When I bring in something nice to eat for my boss, I don't ask if she wants some; I say "I brought you ___" and give it to her.
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Smithington



Joined: 14 Dec 2011

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EZE wrote:
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.


Rolling Eyes
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ethanshin



Joined: 28 Aug 2012

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

uh... YOU'RE in KOREA.

So, this thread should be called one culture difference Koreans wished westerners knew, instead of the other way around.
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mrbarryobama



Joined: 08 May 2012

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EZE wrote:
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.


My god... I think you may be right... all this time, I've been blaming the wrong Asians
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nautilus



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

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrbarryobama wrote:
EZE wrote:
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.


My god... I think you may be right... all this time, I've been blaming the wrong Asians



To be fair, Koreans are often unknowingly or unwittingly rude. they just don't realise the effect of their behaviour on foreigners.

The Chinese, OTOH, are rude by design. Beijing, the Paris of Asia.
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EZE



Joined: 05 May 2012

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrbarryobama wrote:
EZE wrote:
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.


My god... I think you may be right... all this time, I've been blaming the wrong Asians


I certainly wouldn't assume two Asians at the Family Mart at Incheon Airport are Korean unless they're speaking Korean. A lot of flights to and from many cities in China depart from and arrive at Incheon Airport at all hours of the day. Many of the passengers on those flights are Chinese.

It's actually the number one reason I work in Korea instead of China. Whereas in Korea the culprits are mostly adjummas once a week or once a month, in China it's people of all age groups and both genders every day. When you arrive in Korea after being in China, you really do appreciate how much the Koreans don't jump line. You really do. Or at least I do. And I never thought I would.
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wishfullthinkng



Joined: 05 Mar 2010

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EZE wrote:

I certainly wouldn't assume two Asians at the Family Mart at Incheon Airport are Korean unless they're speaking Korean. A lot of flights to and from many cities in China depart from and arrive at Incheon Airport at all hours of the day. Many of the passengers on those flights are Chinese.

It's actually the number one reason I work in Korea instead of China. Whereas in Korea the culprits are mostly adjummas once a week or once a month, in China it's people of all age groups and both genders every day. When you arrive in Korea after being in China, you really do appreciate how much the Koreans don't jump line. You really do. Or at least I do. And I never thought I would.


hear hear. i used to fly on cathay often for work or connect from hong kong to incheon on asiana or kal and the chinese are easily the rudest most awful people to fly with.

and that's just in the sky, i'm not about to touch on the topic of how they behave on terra firma.
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nautilus



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

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fact that if you have a Korean girlfriend, the entire country- including the police force- is against you.

The fact that Korea automatically views white males as criminals and applies all kinds of suspicions and biases against them. While Korean men behave ten times worse than anybody else yet escape censure.

The fact that foreigners are not protected by the legal system or police.



Those are the main gripes with Korea.
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KimchiNinja



Joined: 01 May 2012
Location: Gangnam

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nautilus wrote:
The fact that if you have a Korean girlfriend, the entire country- including the police force- is against you.

The fact that Korea automatically views white males as criminals and applies all kinds of suspicions and biases against them.


I dunno, I've never had any problems. Are you looking a suspicious sort of way or behaving oddly in public?
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Captain Corea



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, can't say I've had the troubles nautilus is talking about... at least not to any major extent.
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