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what is there to korean culture?
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philinkorea



Joined: 27 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 4:53 am    Post subject: what is there to korean culture? Reply with quote

hi there
well i've been in korea for 8 months and have had a good time so far. my friend left yesterday and were talking about korea and he originally said it and i sort of agreed that there doesnt seem to much to the culture. we both did taekwondo and i'm into the food which are cool. i havnt found it a place though that has in any real sense opened my mind to anything new. the people in general i've found to be quite distant and see you as 'a foreigner' and quite set in their ways. i'd imagine in other countries you'd probebly get much more of a cultural experience? although obviously the money etc may not been there. i'm just talking about what anyone may of got from the culture here.
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Dan



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Sunny Glendale, CA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, i think there's more to korean culture than your impression would dictate. not a lot more but its there....

but because its a closed society, you don't get to take a real look because you are, as you say, a foreigner. i'd say if its possible, hook up with a korean friend who isn't just interested in going to bars and clubs. i think it will be a valuable experience
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little mixed girl



Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Location: shin hyesung's bed~

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

.....

Last edited by little mixed girl on Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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Butterfly



Joined: 02 Mar 2003
Location: Kuwait

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 4:16 pm    Post subject: Re: what is there to korean culture? Reply with quote

phil_walker80 wrote:
hi there
well i've been in korea for 8 months and have had a good time so far. my friend left yesterday and were talking about korea and he originally said it and i sort of agreed that there doesnt seem to much to the culture. we both did taekwondo and i'm into the food which are cool. i havnt found it a place though that has in any real sense opened my mind to anything new. the people in general i've found to be quite distant and see you as 'a foreigner' and quite set in their ways. i'd imagine in other countries you'd probebly get much more of a cultural experience? although obviously the money etc may not been there. i'm just talking about what anyone may of got from the culture here.


You haven't been here long enough. After two years or so you begin to understand how much you dont understand.
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kimcheeking
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 5:04 pm    Post subject: Re: what is there to korean culture? Reply with quote

Butterfly wrote:
You haven't been here long enough. After two years or so you begin to understand how much you dont understand.


And the longer you stay the more you realize you don't know. Try learning the language, the more language you learn the greater the depth of cultural understanding you willl attain.

KK
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Man of Changwon



Joined: 02 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look Korean culture is quite nice and standard, the temples look nice and standard, the history is nice and standard,etc... However it doesn't match its neighbours to the east and west for depth and beauty. the Koreans have standardised everything that is visable(seriously all the temples are relatively the same, just different settings and sizes). Deep down i think a lot of Koreans don't give a flying **** about there past, just the future. They just use the past for excuses in Confucian behaviour.
I think what Koreans care about the most when it comes to their culture is "How do you like the taste of Kimchi"Smile. I can gaurantee that if you tell a Korean Kimchi tastes like **** he will be pretty pissed but if you tell that the Korean history is pretty boring that won't care quite so much.

~manual swear filter inserted by waterbaby at 12:42pm~
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Tiger Beer



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This question always comes up, doesn't it? People not satisfied with what Korea has to offer.. if you aren't satisfied, and want more visual places.. go to India or somewhere..

China is a huge huge country.. and understandably has alot to offer on size alone.. but I've been there a few times.. and I can't really say its amazingly stimulating by any means..

Japan is overflowing with 'cultural experiences' if you are seeking such.. but when it comes right down to reality and life and death and everything else.. Korea is a reality.. it might not have overwhelming visually appealing cultural icons that we can all marvel and love.. but it is nontheless a very unique culture.. and I agree quite unique in its uniqueness.. I'm not talking about looking around at temples.. but just in the thinking of the people, the way they hehave and look at the world and everything else.. and to really explore that you have to get into the language and explore it.

Anyhow.. there seems to be an undercurrent of people coming to Korea but expecting some Asian fantasy that doesn't deliver.. then they go off searching for it elsewhere.. I wonder where they ultimately find it when they go off on that search? Most places I've been in Asia are pretty hard hit with reality on some level or another once you are actually there..
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jh



Joined: 04 Jul 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a bit off the original topic, but is there a difference between Korean and the rest of Asia, like Canada and the US, or is culture generally differentiated by continents vis a vis European culture, Asian culture, North American culture, etc.?
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kimcheeking
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jh wrote:
This is a bit off the original topic, but is there a difference between Korean and the rest of Asia, like Canada and the US, or is culture generally differentiated by continents vis a vis European culture, Asian culture, North American culture, etc.?


I feel that the answer is both yes and no.

In general there is an East & South East Asian, North American, latin America, Europe, North & South Africa, Middle East cultures but also within each individual country there will be distinct differences to a lesser or greater degree.

The differences, for example, between Canada & the U.S. are very small compared to the differences between say Korea & China. This is in part due to shared languages and ease of travel between countries as well as number of other factors.
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makushi



Joined: 08 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jh wrote:
This is a bit off the original topic, but is there a difference between Korean and the rest of Asia, like Canada and the US, or is culture generally differentiated by continents vis a vis European culture, Asian culture, North American culture, etc.?


Of course there is an amazing amount of shared culture between the different Asian countries including language, religion, philosophy, etc.

The interesting thing is how those shared cultural traits manifest themselves so differently amongst the people of all the different Asian countries.
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ThreeDogNight



Joined: 30 May 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just got back from a short excursion to Japan(again,) and always think the contrasts between Korea and Japan, Thailand(maybe even China)are far in between.

It can be argued left and right that Korea has something to offer culturally, but in arguing that point the pro-Korean-culture-kids are really defeating the purpose and proving otherwise. I see a sense of aesthetic sensibility in Japanese and Thai culture that Koreans lack; the drive for "economic success" is all I see here, not the deeper cultural aspects one can pick up by just walking down the street in say Thailand and Japan and taking a look at the buildings, bridges, works of art, gardens, ponds, landscaping, etc. In other words, something to prove to outsiders what this country really has to offer.

On an intellectual level Korea is laced with culture. This includes their history, their Buddhist temples, their etiquette(Confucist to an iota,) and their Hangul alphabet and scholasticism. But there's nothing to really reflect who they are, which is why they probably feel so lacking in national identity.

In contrast, China just built 'The Three Gorges Damn' and has 'The Great Wall'. It's just revealed to Korea various 'Warrior Relics'; has 'The Confucian Classics', is renown for its cuisine and has natural wonders well preseved, including that cute and cudly critter called the panda.

Thailand is a world of its own. And they don't brag or try to show it. They're not concerned about image.

I think, therefore, Koreans have to reflect who they are by reflecting on other cultures in comparison to its artless, unsophisticated, uncultured society and that by creating something more than just horse hair hats and breastless hanboks.

No, there isn't more than meets the eye when it comes to the external aspects of this culture. But there is more than meets the eye when it comes to understanding these people and their way of life, which can be a rich experience indeed.


Last edited by ThreeDogNight on Sat Jul 19, 2003 9:32 pm; edited 4 times in total
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On the other hand



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Location: I walk along the avenue

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Anyhow.. there seems to be an undercurrent of people coming to Korea but expecting some Asian fantasy that doesn't deliver..


Indeed. I think this undercurrent, as the poster calls it, accounts for a lot of the hostility that one enounters toward Korea on this forum and elsewhere. I still think it is possible to learn more about yourself and your own culture by comparing it to Korea, but those seeking out some mystical hippie trip will be sorely disappointed.
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ThreeDogNight



Joined: 30 May 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the other hand wrote:
Quote:
Anyhow.. there seems to be an undercurrent of people coming to Korea but expecting some Asian fantasy that doesn't deliver..


Indeed. I think this undercurrent, as the poster calls it, accounts for a lot of the hostility that one enounters toward Korea on this forum and elsewhere. I still think it is possible to learn more about yourself and your own culture by comparing it to Korea, but those seeking out some mystical hippie trip will be sorely disappointed.


No, I believe you're off course. Many of us may come here expecting something "different", but that something different is not a push and a shove, a glare and a stare; we're perhaps expecting Orientalism, that Asian cultural flare of exquisiteness and ornate designs, love of nature and silk smiles, something replete in say Japan, Thailand, and prior to Communism's onslaught, China. What's more, we ARE expecting something to compare our cultures by, and find Korea sorely lacking, particularly in regard this "chest-thumping" the Koreans do when it comes to "the glories of their 5,000 years of history and culture."
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Tiger Beer



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jh wrote:
This is a bit off the original topic, but is there a difference between Korean and the rest of Asia, like Canada and the US, or is culture generally differentiated by continents vis a vis European culture, Asian culture, North American culture, etc.?


To me, in Asia.. each country is like a different planet.. mostly because each Asian country has its own unique language.. which create a different world of thinking, etc, etc..

US, Canada, Australia, UK, South Africa, New Zealand is part of the English-speaking world.. and therefore to me, feel very very similar in ways of thinking, to just about everything you can imagine..

Same with the Spanish-speaking world.. Bolivia to Mexico to Argentina.. while all different.. share alot of similar ways of thinking due to a common language.. not the same by any means.. but any Spanish-speaking country or English-speaking country is going to be significantly more similar than comparing Argentina to Indonesia for example.

Every Asian country I've been to seems to have its own thing going on.. significantly different from each other.. although similar languages make some places somewhat more similar.. like Indonesia and Malaysia..

Generally though, when you go from Korea to Japan.. its a totally different world.. as is China.. although you can make an argument they are kind of similar.. but Korea to Japan is worlds apart compared to the differences say from Australia to New Zealand or U.S. to Canada..
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jajdude



Joined: 18 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is there to Korean culture? Interesting question. After about 4 years here and some basic language ability I think not much. It's just a very crowded and competitive society trying to become advanced. But it's a bit interesting in that it changes quickly. But I would say compared to Southeast Asia or I'm sure many other parts of the world, Korea doesn't have an interesting culture at all. Taiwan doesn't either, by the way.
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