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Is PDA common in Korea?


In this article, we will explore the topic of public displays of affection (PDA) in Korea. PDA is a term used to describe any physical affection displayed in public, such as holding hands or kissing. Korea is known for its conservative culture, so it is interesting to see how PDA fits into this context.

Cultural Background

To understand PDA in Korea, it is important to first understand the cultural background. Korea has a Confucian-based culture that values modesty and respect for authority. Physical intimacy is something that is traditionally reserved for private settings, such as the home.

Western Influence

Despite the traditional values in Korea, there has been some influence from Western culture over the past few decades. This has led to a shift in attitudes towards PDA, especially among younger generations. However, there are still some cultural barriers that make PDA less common in Korea compared to Western countries.

Regional Differences

It is also worth noting that there may be regional differences when it comes to PDA in Korea. For example, Seoul is a more cosmopolitan city with a higher concentration of young people compared to rural areas. Therefore, attitudes towards PDA may differ depending on where you are in Korea.

Public Perception

Despite the changing attitudes towards PDA in Korea, it is still generally viewed as something that should be kept private. Couples who engage in excessive PDA may be seen as disrespectful or lacking self-control. There is also a fear of judgement from others, which can discourage couples from engaging in PDA.

Legal Perspective

Legally speaking, there are no specific laws against PDA in Korea. However, there are some laws related to public decency that could potentially be enforced if someone were to engage in inappropriate PDA in a public setting.

Media Representation

The media plays a large role in shaping public perception of PDA in Korea. It is common to see romantic dramas or movies that feature couples engaging in PDA, but this is often done in a more subtle way than what you might see in Western media.

Gender Roles

Gender roles also play a role in attitudes towards PDA in Korea. Men are traditionally expected to be more reserved and restrained when it comes to physical intimacy, while women are expected to be more demure and passive. This can make it difficult for couples to engage in PDA without feeling like they are breaking these traditional gender norms.

Generational Differences

As mentioned earlier, younger generations in Korea are generally more accepting of PDA compared to older generations. This is likely due to increased exposure to Western culture and a desire to break away from traditional values.

Impact on Relationships

PDA can have an impact on relationships in Korea, especially if one partner is more comfortable with it than the other. It can also be a source of tension if one partner feels like they are not getting enough physical affection from the other.


In conclusion, PDA is not as common in Korea compared to Western countries. This is due to a variety of factors, including cultural values, media representation, and gender roles. While attitudes towards PDA are slowly changing among younger generations, it is still generally viewed as something that should be kept private.

Is it normal to kiss in public in Korea?

Public displays of affection such as kissing are disapproved of and viewed as immodest among older individuals in South Korea, although the younger generation is more accepting of it. However, elders still discourage this behavior. In South Korea, dressing well is important as it is seen as a respectful gesture.

Is physical touch common in Korea?

In general, Koreans are not very physically affectionate with each other, but it is common for girls and young women to hold hands and for male friends to touch each other more often than Western men do. Koreans are also more relaxed about personal space and do not guard it as closely as Westerners.

Are Korean men physically affectionate?

Physical touch between individuals of the same gender in a non-romantic context is common in Korea. Friends can often be observed sitting closely together, holding hands, stroking each other’s arms and hands, embracing with their arms around one another’s shoulders, and giving hugs.

Do Koreans hold hands in public?

In Korea, couples tend to dress in matching outfits, but they are generally more reserved when it comes to displaying affection in public. While holding hands is acceptable, kissing on the lips in public is not common. If you come from a culture that is more openly affectionate, it’s best to save your displays of affection for a more private setting.

How do Koreans flirt?

In Korean culture, flirting is similar to what is portrayed in Korean dramas, where sweet and charming phrases are used to impress the person of interest. Along with romantic expressions, people also flirt by being cute and playful, known as aegyo (애교).

What does crossing legs in Korean mean?

When engaging in conversation with someone, it is better to keep your legs straight or slightly open rather than crossing them. Crossing your legs can be viewed as impolite or indifferent to the other person, so it is recommended to maintain good posture and place your hands on your lap.

There are some exceptions to the general rule of avoiding PDA in Korea, such as on certain holidays or special occasions. For example, on Valentine’s Day, it is common to see couples holding hands and exchanging gifts in public. However, even on these occasions, excessive PDA is still frowned upon.

One interesting aspect of PDA in Korea is that it can vary depending on the type of relationship. For example, it may be more socially acceptable for a married couple to engage in PDA compared to a couple who is dating. This is because marriage is seen as a more serious commitment and therefore, physical intimacy may be more acceptable.

It is also worth noting that same-sex couples may face additional challenges when it comes to PDA in Korea. Homosexuality is still not widely accepted in Korean society, and same-sex couples may face discrimination or judgement if they engage in PDA in public.

Overall, attitudes towards PDA in Korea are slowly changing but it remains a topic that can be controversial. It is important for individuals to be aware of cultural norms and expectations when it comes to physical intimacy in public settings. Ultimately, the decision to engage in PDA should be based on personal comfort levels and respect for others.

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