Just like any country in the world, Korea has its own unique set of norms, practices, and cultures. Many people want to be proficient and learn to speak the language through various Korean language schools in Singapore, but never truly understand their culture nor hear about their beliefs and way of life. That is almost like seeing the local ingredients but never trying and enjoying the local food. Here are 3 amazing mindsets we can learn from the Korean culture.
1. Koreans help each other out
If there’s a country that knows how to work as a community, Korea is among the ones on top of the list. Korea found itself in a major financial crisis in 1997 that put the entire country on the verge of bankruptcy. As the only solution, the government sought help from the IMF or the International Monetary Fund and Korea was granted a whopping $58 billion bailout package in exchange for a liberalised trade, and labour market reformations. As a result of this new crisis and the disadvantage the labour market reformations put Korea in, the Korean government started a fundraiser to pay back the loan that was initially granted to them. An estimated 3.5 million Koreans came together and joined the fundraising by people donating their gold, wedding rings, heirlooms, and coins and managed to raise $2.2 billion to help the government.
‘Even a blank sheet of paper is lighter when people lift it together’, this old adage is reflective of how unity in light of crisis often demonstrates and highlights the character and moral fibre of people within any organisation. While many countries often find their people cynical of government policies, Koreans have shown that aside from national pride and identity, their willingness to stand in the face of adversity is something all of us can learn something from.
2. Koreans are very affectionate and respectful
While most of us aren’t strangers to showing affection to our loved ones in private space, Koreans aren’t shy to show genuine affection and care towards their friends and peers. Emotions, platonic physical acts and genuine concern are just the tip of the iceberg as Koreans are used to demonstrating their care and love for each other intentionally. It also isn’t just the female population or couples that do so towards one another, but the culture of respect towards their seniors and peers that denote a respectful and deferential mentality that strengthens relationships between bosses and their teams as well.
Whether they are taught by their parents from young or even if it is part of their customs that they have grown up doing, having the confidence to let someone know that you are there for them can be very empowering.
3. Korea’s approach towards waste management
Sustainability and recycling have been emphasised over the past decade, but while many people disregard or take no consideration of their waste management mindsets, South Korea stands as the third top country in the entire world with the best recycling habits. Considering that Korea has a very dense population, the country manages to be very economical with its waste management, having a recycling rate of 53.7% – more than half of the waste that it produces.
Having implemented strict rules on recycling, Korea is very particular about how its population handles its trash, and non-compliance can lead to various fines or penalties. They were also at the forefront of using metal straws and the phasing out of plastic straws as an initiative. Businesses have also taken sustainability as a serious consideration – something more ORGANISATIONS all over the world can learn a thing or two from.
It is often interesting to take a peek into the culture and mindset of various cultures all over the world, implementing these positive lessons into our own lives and the organisations that we are a part of. But knowing their language and having teachers such as Korean teachers from Korean language schools in Singapore can give us a better understanding of the Korean culture and the mentality behind their positive mindsets. So don’t be afraid to commit to lessons if you are keen to learning more about this culture that you’ve seen through so many Korean dramas and reality shows!