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Why do Korean crosswalks even exist?
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Captain Corea



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hollakris wrote:
PatrickGHBusan wrote:
Scorpion wrote:
Steelerails, what is your explanation for the highly mannerless way that Koreans drive (and park)? How is it any less mannerless than spitting on the street, cutting in line, bumping into people, pushing onto elevators before people have exited, littering, slamming their apartment doors, etc?And how to you figure that mannerless behavior "A" and mannerless behavior "B" are unconected. I don't slam my doors, cut in line, bump into people or park my car on crosswalks. My not doing any of these things are definitely connected to a belief that common courtesy and decency are important as we interact with others in society. It's a values thing - but apparently not when we're talking about Koreans. Anyway, please try to keep your answer under two pages and, if possible, limit your references to those 22 men chasing a football to two.


Interesting but like the captain said, why do you think manners are in any way universal?

Same thing with values, those are not universal at all.

This can make for an interesting discussion however....

Let's take the bumping into others issue for example. Why would you consider that rude? Isn't it highly context-dependant? Don't different cultures/societies react differently based on customs, population density?


Population density has nothing to do with it. Look at England and Japan more populated than Korea but they have their manners.


Those two examples have much lower population densities than Korea.

As well, Korea has its manners... they are just different than some of us would like.

Having manners, and having manners that you agree with, are not the same thing.
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Steelrails



Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Location: Earth, Solar System

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scorpion wrote:
Steelerails, what is your explanation for the highly mannerless way that Koreans drive (and park)? How is it any less mannerless than spitting on the street, cutting in line, bumping into people, pushing onto elevators before people have exited, littering, slamming their apartment doors, etc?And how to you figure that mannerless behavior "A" and mannerless behavior "B" are unconected. I don't slam my doors, cut in line, bump into people or park my car on crosswalks.


What is your explanation for when those things happen back home?

Dude, no matter where you live, people complain about other drivers. There are rude neighbors, and other stuff.

True no cars get parked on sidewalks, but then again no one here declares that I am worse than Hitler for eating meat during a social dinner.

Quote:
My not doing any of these things are definitely connected to a belief that common courtesy and decency are important as we interact with others in society. It's a values thing -


Those are your values. You the individual.

When someone does something rude back home, do you blame the individual or their culture?

Do you do the same here? Clearly not. Why one standard for people back home and a different one here?

Lastly, did it ever occur to you that some of these behaviors were quite common back home, you just didn't pay as much attention to them and you more attention to certain things over here?

Quote:
limit your references to those 22 men chasing a football to two.


Absolutely not. If you want to claim that Korea has culture problems, fine. But don't whine that cultural problems such as the utter uncivilized barbarism of gangs of people beating each other up over 22 men chasing a ball is brought up.

Your culture is uncivilized because you can't enjoy football games without a major police presence and scores of fights outside venues.

Doesn't sound very nice, right? Don't really care to have the actions of a stupid few paint your country as a whole right? Does that really reflect on your culture considering hooliganism (like bad driving) exists in many countries, some of which are nice, some not so much, and probably even exists to a degree in Korea.

Maybe instead of trying to make all these culture claims, which when done to you in an unflattering way cause much consternation, it would be better to view those people as inconsiderate individuals.


Seriously, bad rude drivers abound throughout the world. I spent 10 years as a deliver driver, those things are constant (except for the sidewalk parking)
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Scorpion



Joined: 15 Apr 2012

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Captain Corea wrote:

As well, Korea has its manners... they are just different than some of us would like.

Having manners, and having manners that you agree with, are not the same thing.


Yes and no. There are legitimate differences between cultures (using two hands to pour a drink, bowing etc.) but some things cannot be defended by appealing to cultural relativism. Sorry, but they can't. Covering your mouth when you sneeze is infinitely to be preferred to sneezing all over the person next to you. Waiting in line patiently is preferable to cutting in line. Not depositing bodily liquids on the street is better than the opposite. Obeying the 'no smoking' sign at the local PC bang is morally better than ignoring it and lighting up next to some eight year old kid. Intimidating pedestrians using the crosswalk with your vehicle is indefensible. Finding a legal parking spot, is not the same as obnoxiously parking your vehicle on the crosswalk. Riding your autobike on the road is much more considerate than riding it on the sidewalk and inflicting children in baby carriages with your exhaust fumes. etc etc. etc.

Again, some things are legitimate cultural differences. Other things are just people being mannerless, selfish and obnoxious on a massive scale. That, unfortunately, is what I observe here on a daily basis. If you consider selfishness to be a Korean value then yes it's a cultural difference.
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Captain Corea



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who are you to judge what is a LEGITIMATE cultural difference? Are you THE UN envoy on the matter? Did you write the Universal Guide To Manners??

The truth is, I too find those things you mentioned as rude - as do many Koreans. But there are many things that are not as clear.

You said Japan and England have their manners. Are you seriously saying that there is NO set of manners in Korea?
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Steelrails



Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Location: Earth, Solar System

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Covering your mouth when you sneeze is infinitely to be preferred to sneezing all over the person next to you. Waiting in line patiently is preferable to cutting in line. Not depositing bodily liquids on the street is better than the opposite. Obeying the 'no smoking' sign at the local PC bang is morally better than ignoring it and lighting up next to some eight year old kid. Intimidating pedestrians using the crosswalk with your vehicle is indefensible. Finding a legal parking spot, is not the same as obnoxiously parking your vehicle on the crosswalk. Riding your autobike on the road is much more considerate than riding it on the sidewalk and inflicting children in baby carriages with your exhaust fumes. etc etc. etc.


I've observed such things on a regular basis back home. How are these behaviors uniquely Korean? With the exception of sidewalk parking and driving, behaviors which do occur in other parts of the world though.

Of course one could say that allowing people to support whatever team, free of fear of physical violence is preferable to having gangs of hooligans beat people and trample them to death. Keeping car stereos at a reasonable volume instead of turning them into bass machines is preferable. Not having gangs of criminal bikers blatantly disregard traffic laws and intimidate other motorists is preferable. Not having scores of jaywalkers who feel emboldened to walk right in front of cars is preferable. Having a the common sense to realize that one should be able to pull to a red light look both ways and proceed if there is no traffic and that the light should not be an absolute to a competent driver is preferable. Not having whole neighborhoods be "no-go zones" due to rampant crime is preferable. Not having cops who pull you over and walk to you with their hand on a firearm and ready to taser you is preferable. Being able to honk at someone without worrying about it turning into a road rage incident, possibly involving a firearm, is preferable. Not having to stare at vulgar or insulting bumper stickers is preferable.

Now we could start pointing fingers and carrying on about how each culture is crap OR we could agree that every country has its idiots and head-shaking practices and treat the individuals who engage in such idiocy as individuals.

Quote:
are just people being mannerless, selfish and obnoxious on a massive scale.


Says the person whose post fits those words to a T.
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PatrickGHBusan



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Location: Busan (1997-2008) Canada 2008 -

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hollakris wrote:
PatrickGHBusan wrote:
Scorpion wrote:
Steelerails, what is your explanation for the highly mannerless way that Koreans drive (and park)? How is it any less mannerless than spitting on the street, cutting in line, bumping into people, pushing onto elevators before people have exited, littering, slamming their apartment doors, etc?And how to you figure that mannerless behavior "A" and mannerless behavior "B" are unconected. I don't slam my doors, cut in line, bump into people or park my car on crosswalks. My not doing any of these things are definitely connected to a belief that common courtesy and decency are important as we interact with others in society. It's a values thing - but apparently not when we're talking about Koreans. Anyway, please try to keep your answer under two pages and, if possible, limit your references to those 22 men chasing a football to two.


Interesting but like the captain said, why do you think manners are in any way universal?

Same thing with values, those are not universal at all.

This can make for an interesting discussion however....

Let's take the bumping into others issue for example. Why would you consider that rude? Isn't it highly context-dependant? Don't different cultures/societies react differently based on customs, population density?


Population density has nothing to do with it. Look at England and Japan more populated than Korea but they have their manners.


I did not say total population, I said population density, especially urban population density.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependent_territories_by_population_density


Anyway my point is along the lines of what Captain says (I think), in that manners are NOT universal, they are in fact very context dependent.

I too found certain things personally rude in Korea (ex: cutting in line) but that does not mean this is universally rude nor that Korea has no manners. They do have manners: their own, based on their values and customs. For example, go to dinner with Koreans and check out who gets served first and why...that is an example of manners for them. Listen to how they speak to older people in general, another example of manners for them. Bowing is another thing
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some waygug-in



Joined: 25 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why do crosswalks exist in Korea?

So drivers can run red lights by swerving into the crosswalk of the

right hand street whilst horn honking and proceed without caution. Laughing

If you've never seen this, you have to get out more.

I've seen both busses and taxis pull this one off.
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Taylormade



Joined: 31 Oct 2012
Location: Incheon

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's apparent to most observors of Korean society that Koreans make a rather sharp distinction between the 'in group' to which they belong and the rest of society - persons with whom they have no formal relationship. I believe that this dichotomy is much starker here than anywhere in the English-speaking world, and this is reflected in the way they treat members of the 'out' group. I know that in Canada there is a much stronger sense that people, whoever they are, are deserving of common courtesy. That courtesy extends from holding the door for the next person, to not butting in line, to instinctively pulling over and stopping for an oncoming ambulance. This behaviour is not evident (as far as I can observe) in Korea.
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joesp



Joined: 16 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers to the person who believes that Korean manners involve almost running people over on the sidewalk! Somehow, Koreans do not have to be polite to other people!

I agree that Koreans should not be held up to the moral standards of the world, because .... they are .... Koreans!!

I wish I were Korean, then I could run people over all the time with impunity .... my defense at trial, according to y'all, could be:

1) "... but, Seoul has a high population density!"

2) "... but, the pedestrian should've seen me coming, especially since my bus is huge, the pedestrian is at fault, too!"

3) "... but, how can you tell me --- hu-huh,a Korean -- that I have to respect human life? You are being insensitive to other cultures!"

4) "... but, it is common practice, therefore you cannot hold it against me. I am simply behaving as other people do!"

Your defenses of A-holism are sooooo creative, you kowtowing Korean lovers you!
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Steelrails



Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Location: Earth, Solar System

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

joesp wrote:
Cheers to the person who believes that Korean manners involve almost running people over on the sidewalk! Somehow, Koreans do not have to be polite to other people!

I agree that Koreans should not be held up to the moral standards of the world, because .... they are .... Koreans!!

I wish I were Korean, then I could run people over all the time with impunity .... my defense at trial, according to y'all, could be:

1) "... but, Seoul has a high population density!"

2) "... but, the pedestrian should've seen me coming, especially since my bus is huge, the pedestrian is at fault, too!"

3) "... but, how can you tell me --- hu-huh,a Korean -- that I have to respect human life? You are being insensitive to other cultures!"

4) "... but, it is common practice, therefore you cannot hold it against me. I am simply behaving as other people do!"

Your defenses of A-holism are sooooo creative, you kowtowing Korean lovers you!


Culture should have no impact on guilt or innocence for individuals one way or the other. If a Korean gets in a traffic accident one shouldn't scream that it's because of their culture and they shouldn't be able to claim innocence because of culture.

Things like population density and customs are explanations, not legal protections. I explained why people sometimes block the crosswalk in the case of right-turn on red drivers (something EVERYONE who has driven a car in a right-turn on red country has done). Now that doesn't mean that I or anyone else shouldn't accept getting ticketed for such an action.

Actually a trial should rely on things like facts, supplemented by factual data through devices such as black boxes.


Quote:
2) "... but, the pedestrian should've seen me coming, especially since my bus is huge, the pedestrian is at fault, too!"


Actually that might be a valid defense as the law specifies that pedestrians are also responsible for their own safety and cannot blindly enter the paths of vehicles and expect full protection under the law

In practical terms it is far easier for a pedestrian to identify a car as a hazard than it is for a driver, for a serious accident awaits a driver from the cars at all angles to them whereas for the pedestrian the risk is more easily identifiable and likely from a fewer number of vehicles.

Now do you have any real ideas or more childish caricatures?
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Seoulman69



Joined: 14 Dec 2009

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I nearly got run down by a car when I was crossing the road today. I waited for the green man but the guy in the car obviously thought him getting to his destination was more important than my safety.
Say what you will but that a basic lack of consideration for others. I don't care about population density or any of the excuses people come up with. The only way to force Koreans to drive in an acceptable way is to start punishing them for breaking the rules. Put cameras up and start charging people for any driving offenses.
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Savant



Joined: 25 May 2007

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seoulman69 wrote:
I nearly got run down by a car when I was crossing the road today. I waited for the green man but the guy in the car obviously thought him getting to his destination was more important than my safety.
Say what you will but that a basic lack of consideration for others. I don't care about population density or any of the excuses people come up with. The only way to force Koreans to drive in an acceptable way is to start punishing them for breaking the rules. Put cameras up and start charging people for any driving offenses.


One might think that the police would try to curb that sort of behavior? There's a word for needing such immediate action. It's um...um...don't say crack down......don't say crack down. I know let the police reinforce the law. Whew, dodged a car there...did I say car?...no, I meant bus....no, sorry...I meant bullet. Yes, definitely bullet, no car or bus dodging involved when crossing roads here.
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John Stamos jr.



Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Location: Namsan

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seoulman69 wrote:
I nearly got run down by a car when I was crossing the road today. I waited for the green man but the guy in the car obviously thought him getting to his destination was more important than my safety.
Say what you will but that a basic lack of consideration for others. I don't care about population density or any of the excuses people come up with. The only way to force Koreans to drive in an acceptable way is to start punishing them for breaking the rules. Put cameras up and start charging people for any driving offenses.


Yeah... the crosswalk I often use when I get home exists in the middle of where two winding roads finally straighten out for a brief stint, and many cars will just try to blow right through it. There's a possibility that I'll I die there, as I'll sometimes run across when the traffic lights are green. Shocked
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Captain Corea



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

joesp wrote:
Cheers to the person who believes that Korean manners involve almost running people over on the sidewalk! Somehow, Koreans do not have to be polite to other people!

I agree that Koreans should not be held up to the moral standards of the world, because .... they are .... Koreans!!

I wish I were Korean, then I could run people over all the time with impunity .... my defense at trial, according to y'all, could be:

1) "... but, Seoul has a high population density!"

2) "... but, the pedestrian should've seen me coming, especially since my bus is huge, the pedestrian is at fault, too!"

3) "... but, how can you tell me --- hu-huh,a Korean -- that I have to respect human life? You are being insensitive to other cultures!"

4) "... but, it is common practice, therefore you cannot hold it against me. I am simply behaving as other people do!"

Your defenses of A-holism are sooooo creative, you kowtowing Korean lovers you!


You obviously have difficulty reading - please look at SteelRails specific response to you - maybe you'll learn something.
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Steelrails



Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Location: Earth, Solar System

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seoulman69 wrote:
I nearly got run down by a car when I was crossing the road today. I waited for the green man but the guy in the car obviously thought him getting to his destination was more important than my safety.
Say what you will but that a basic lack of consideration for others. I don't care about population density or any of the excuses people come up with. The only way to force Koreans to drive in an acceptable way is to start punishing them for breaking the rules. Put cameras up and start charging people for any driving offenses.


I actually think the only way you could really change things is to completely level the cities and construct new roads and pedestrian walkings.

A big part of things I think is one giant chain reaction from the impossibly narrow streets that aren't laid out like a grid but instead look like a bowl of spaghetti. They encourage extra-legal driving and such.

Traffic, while still at times unsettling is far more sane and orderly on newly constructed roads with many lanes, bike paths, with no stores or such to park in front of or designated parking areas, pedestrian walkways, etc.

Highway driving here is pretty normal. Small towns are manageable. Towns with newer roads and ifrastructure flow much better. Get into one of those narrow streets that loop every which way and even Bob Ross would flip his lid and start screaming.

Better lane markings and notifications on the road might help as well.

Another cause might be that Koreans seem to move from town to town a lot, thereby preventing them from getting too familiar with a road. Whenever I'm in a new town, particularly a big one, I am utterly at the mercy of the navigation system for direction and thus I don't know about sudden lane endings, which way to go, which is the right lane, one-ways, etc.
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