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How do Koreans show appreciation?


Koreans are known for their strong values of respect, gratitude, and appreciation. These values are deeply ingrained in their culture and are reflected in their daily interactions with others. In this article, we will explore the various ways in which Koreans show appreciation to their friends, family, and colleagues.

Verbal Expressions of Appreciation

One of the most common ways that Koreans show appreciation is through verbal expressions. They use phrases like “kamsahamnida” (thank you) and “jeongmal gomawo” (thank you very much) to express their gratitude. Additionally, they may use honorific language or titles to show respect and appreciation to someone who deserves it.


Bowing is another way that Koreans show appreciation. It is a sign of respect and acknowledgement of someone’s status or position. The depth and duration of the bow can vary based on the level of respect or gratitude being expressed.

Gift Giving

Gift giving is a significant part of Korean culture, especially when it comes to showing appreciation. Gifts may range from small tokens of appreciation like flowers or snacks to more elaborate gifts like fine jewelry or electronics. The gesture of giving a gift itself is seen as a sign of gratitude and respect.

Offering Help

Koreans also show appreciation by offering help when needed. For example, if someone is going through a difficult time or has a lot on their plate, they may offer to help with chores or errands. This kind gesture shows that they value the person and want to support them.

Sharing Food

Sharing food is a big part of Korean culture and is often used as a way to show appreciation. Offering to share your meal with someone else is seen as a sign of generosity and kindness. It is also common for colleagues to share food during work meetings or after-work events.

Physical Touch

In some cases, Koreans may show appreciation through physical touch. This can include a pat on the back, a handshake, or even a hug. However, this is less common than verbal expressions or gift-giving.

Respecting Elders

Respecting elders is a core value in Korean culture, and it is a way of showing appreciation for their wisdom and experience. Younger generations may show appreciation by addressing elders with honorific titles or by performing acts of service like running errands or helping with household chores.

Showing Gratitude in Business

In business settings, showing appreciation is just as important as it is in personal relationships. Koreans may show appreciation to their colleagues or superiors by offering gifts or by expressing gratitude through words or actions.

Expressing Appreciation in Education

Education is highly valued in Korean culture, and teachers are respected figures. Students may show appreciation by offering small gifts to their teachers or by writing letters expressing their gratitude and admiration.

Appreciating Nature

Koreans have a deep appreciation for nature, and many cultural traditions involve spending time outdoors. From hiking in the mountains to visiting the beach, enjoying nature is seen as a way to connect with the world around us and show gratitude for its beauty.

Celebrating Holidays and Traditions

Koreans also show appreciation by celebrating holidays and cultural traditions. These include Lunar New Year, Chuseok (harvest festival), and traditional weddings. These celebrations bring people together and provide an opportunity to express gratitude for family, community, and shared cultural heritage.


In conclusion, Koreans have many ways of showing appreciation that reflect their values of respect, gratitude, and generosity. Whether through verbal expressions, gift-giving, or acts of service, Koreans understand the importance of showing appreciation in personal and professional relationships. By understanding these customs and traditions, we can gain a better understanding of Korean culture and build stronger connections with those around us.

How do you show appreciation in Korean culture?

Bowing and nodding are customary in Korean culture as a sign of respect when greeting or bidding farewell, as well as showing gratitude, and the depth of the bow may vary depending on the situation. In formal settings or business events, a 90-degree bow may be expected.

What do Koreans do to show respect?

It is important to display respect towards those who are older than you by listening to and valuing their opinions, waiting for their input, and showing deference by lowering your gaze. When giving or receiving objects, gifts, and food, it is appropriate to use two hands. Additionally, removing one’s hat indoors is a sign of respect.

What do Koreans appreciate?

Koreans highly value hard work, filial piety, and modesty as important traits. They take pride in both their traditional culture and modern economic achievements. Education is highly respected as the key to achieving status, wealth, and success.

How do Korean people show love?

In Korean dating culture, it is common to see public displays of affection (PDA), despite it being considered a taboo by some. While intimate make-out sessions should be kept private, holding hands, giving a peck, or even a kiss in public is a normal occurrence.

What are typical Korean values?

Korean culture places high importance on respecting and obeying family, working hard, and maintaining proper behavior among family members, values that are still relevant in modern times. Traditional customs such as waiting to be introduced at social events and bowing as a greeting are also practiced.

What is the most important thing in Korean culture?

In Korean society, the family is highly valued and the father is considered the head of the household. There is a strong emphasis on hierarchy, with children expected to respect and obey their parents and show reverence towards elders.

Expressing Appreciation through Music and Arts

Koreans have a deep appreciation for music and the arts, and they often express their gratitude through these mediums. Traditional Korean music, such as pansori and gugak, are known for their emotional depth and convey feelings of gratitude and respect. Similarly, Korean art forms like calligraphy and pottery are admired for their beauty and craftsmanship. Koreans also have a long tradition of practicing martial arts, which is seen as a way to cultivate discipline, respect, and gratitude.

Volunteering and Community Service

Volunteering and community service are important ways that Koreans show appreciation for their communities. Many Koreans participate in volunteer activities like cleaning up local parks or helping out at community centers. These acts of service are seen as a way to give back to the community and show gratitude for the support and resources that it provides.

Appreciating Food and Cuisine

Food is an important part of Korean culture, and Koreans often show appreciation by sharing meals with others. Korean cuisine is known for its diversity, flavor, and nutritional value. Koreans also have a long tradition of using food as a way to express gratitude, such as preparing special dishes for family members or offering food to guests.

Respecting Ancestors

Respect for ancestors is deeply ingrained in Korean culture, and Koreans show appreciation for their ancestors through various cultural practices. One such practice is the Charye ceremony, which involves setting up an ancestral shrine in the home and offering food and drink to honor the ancestors. Other practices include visiting ancestral gravesites during holidays like Chuseok.

Celebrating Achievements

Koreans also show appreciation by celebrating achievements with others. Whether it’s a graduation, a promotion at work, or a milestone birthday, Koreans often mark these occasions with special celebrations and gifts. These celebrations are seen as a way to show appreciation for the hard work and dedication that went into achieving these milestones.


Overall, Koreans have a unique and diverse set of customs and traditions that reflect their values of respect, gratitude, and appreciation. From verbal expressions to gift-giving, from volunteering to celebrating achievements, Koreans show appreciation in many different ways. By understanding these customs and traditions, we can gain a deeper appreciation for Korean culture and build stronger connections with those around us.

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