Every country has its own unique and interesting culture and traditions. One of the best ways to experience and understand them is to learn their language via Korean language courses in Singapore, live in their land or at the very least, visit it yourself.
Korean culture is considered one of the oldest continuous cultures globally – consisting of the country’s holidays, traditions, beliefs, and history. Knowing and understanding the customs in the country you’re visiting will help get the most out of your trip.
Over the years, South Korea has various traditions, customs, and rules that have been developed. Some of them are entirely different from those in other countries. If you’re travelling to South Korea for the first time, you can easily elevate your experience with these five valuable tips that will clue you in on the five common traditions observed in the country.
Use two hands when handshaking
Politeness is practiced everywhere and at all times in South Korea. One of their polite traditions involves a well-known custom typically observed when meeting new people for the first time – handshaking. Depending on what country you’re from, you might get used to shaking hands using only one hand. However, this can only be used by someone older and/or with a high rank in Korea.
During first meetings, it’s recommended to use two hands when shaking since it’s considered a sign of respect. Also, if the other person bows to you when they shake your hand, it’s polite to return the act and bow back. When interacting with someone older or of higher rank, it is always polite to bow slightly, even if they don’t bow first.
Take your shoes off before entering someone’s home
Taking one’s shoes off before entering someone’s house is common in most Asian countries, and Korea is no exception. In Korea, in addition to everyday residences, it’s best to remove one’s footwear in establishments like restaurants unless explicitly told that there’s no need to do so.
If you don’t do this, expect to see the locals stare at you disappointingly because ignoring this commonplace behaviour is considered bad manners in their land.
Segregate trash before throwing them away
Even though it’s universally recommended to segregate one’s trash, in South Korea, this rule is doubly important. Korean people are stringent when it comes to this trash-segregation rule because their country ranks third in the top recycling leaders in the world.
Therefore, act as they would and remember to segregate your trash from regular waste to recyclables at all times. If you neglect to do this, expect to get frowning faces from nearby citizens.
Use your palm when calling a cab
You may have been using one finger when calling a taxi in your country, but in South Korea, they use their palm when calling a cab! Using one finger is considered rude to them, so do follow this tradition when visiting the country. Even though it’s a small gesture, Koreans will appreciate it when you do it their way.
Every country worldwide has its own set of traditions and fascinating customs that may seem strange to foreign visitors at first. South Korea is no different with its own beliefs and practices that every visitor should respect the beautiful country and its citizens. Another vital thing to consider is the language barrier, which you can easily overcome by learning the basics of Korean.
If you want to know more about South Korea’s beliefs and traditions directly on your trip, enrolling in a Korean language school in Singapore will be an excellent choice! Here at Sejong Korean Language School, our teaching methods are outlined to help you learn and discover the Korean language and culture.