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Do people kiss in public in Korea?


Public displays of affection (PDA) are often frowned upon in many cultures. In Korea, a country known for its strict social norms and Confucian values, the question arises: do people kiss in public in Korea? This article aims to explore the cultural attitudes towards PDA in Korea.

Cultural background

To understand the cultural attitudes towards PDA in Korea, it is important to understand the cultural background. Korea has a long history of Confucianism which emphasizes respect for authority and hierarchy, filial piety, and modesty. Public displays of affection are seen as inappropriate and disrespectful.

Changing attitudes

Despite the traditional attitudes towards PDA, there has been a shift in recent years. With the influence of Western culture and globalization, younger generations are becoming more accepting of PDA. However, this is still not widely accepted by the older generation.

Types of PDA

It is important to note that not all types of PDA are viewed equally in Korea. Holding hands is generally accepted, while kissing and hugging are less so. This is especially true in more conservative areas.

Regional differences

There are also regional differences in attitudes towards PDA. In more liberal cities such as Seoul and Busan, PDA is more common than in rural areas where traditional values still hold strong.

Public places

Even in the more liberal cities, PDA is generally limited to certain public places such as parks or cafes. Kissing on public transportation or in busy areas is still considered inappropriate.

Korean celebrities

Korean celebrities have a huge influence on Korean society. While some celebrities are criticized for their public displays of affection, others have helped to normalize it.

Legal standpoint

There is no specific law against PDA in Korea. However, there are public decency laws that can be used to fine or even imprison those who engage in inappropriate behavior.

Gender roles

Gender roles also play a role in attitudes towards PDA. It is more acceptable for men to show affection in public than it is for women.

Couples culture

Korean couples culture is unique and often involves matching outfits, couple rings, and celebrating anniversaries. This culture has also led to the normalization of PDA among couples.

Public opinion

Public opinion on PDA in Korea is still divided. While some see it as a natural expression of love, others view it as inappropriate and disrespectful.


In conclusion, while PDA is becoming more common in Korea, it is still not widely accepted. Attitudes towards PDA vary depending on regional and generational differences. It is important to respect cultural norms while also acknowledging the changing attitudes towards PDA in Korea.

Is public affection allowed in Korea?

Public displays of affection such as passionate kisses and long hugs are considered inappropriate and tasteless in South Korea. Instead, such moments are viewed as intimate and should be shared in private with one’s partner.

Why do Koreans not show PDA?

In Korea, couples tend to refrain from public displays of affection because it is seen as inappropriate in the conservative society. Instead, they may show their affection through other means such as wearing matching outfits or holding hands discreetly.

Do friends kiss in Korea?

In Korea, it is acceptable for individuals of the same gender to touch each other, even on the face. However, physical affection with someone of the opposite gender is considered taboo, even for couples who are dating or married. It is uncommon to see public displays of affection, such as kissing, in Korea.

Are Korean men physically affectionate?

In Korean culture, physical contact between individuals is not common. Although, it is more acceptable for female friends to walk holding hands and male friends to touch each other than in western culture.

How do Koreans flirt?

In Korean culture, flirting is similar to what is portrayed in Korean dramas. People use romantic, sweet, and adorable expressions to woo the person they are interested in. Along with romantic phrases, they also use a cute behavior known as aegyo (애교) to flirt.

What does a kiss on the forehead mean in Korea?

A forehead kiss is a type of friendly and comforting kissing gesture that conveys affection and adoration towards someone. It is typically used to demonstrate friendship and provide comfort to others.

Furthermore, the media plays a significant role in shaping attitudes towards PDA in Korea. Korean dramas and movies often depict romantic scenes that involve kissing and hugging in public places, creating a sense of acceptance among the younger generation.

However, it is important to note that the acceptance of PDA does not necessarily mean that all couples engage in it. Many still choose to keep their affection private out of respect for cultural norms and social expectations.

Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has also had an impact on attitudes towards PDA in Korea. With the need for social distancing and wearing masks, physical contact has become less common in public spaces.

In conclusion, attitudes towards PDA in Korea are complex and influenced by various factors such as cultural background, regional differences, gender roles, media influence, and current events. While there is a shift towards acceptance among younger generations, it is still not widely accepted and should be approached with respect for cultural norms.

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