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Is respect a big thing in Korea?

Is respect a big thing in Korea?


Korean culture is widely known for its emphasis on respect. In this article, we will explore the roots of respect in Korean culture and how it manifests in everyday life.

The Importance of Family:

In Korea, family is the foundation of society, and respect for elders is central to family values. Children are taught from a young age to honor their parents and grandparents and to show respect to older relatives. This respect is not limited to immediate family members but extends to all elders in the community.

The Role of Confucianism:

Confucianism has played a significant role in shaping Korean culture and values. Confucian teachings emphasize the importance of hierarchy, obedience, and respect for authority figures. These teachings have influenced how Koreans interact with each other and form relationships based on mutual respect.


Bowing is a traditional way of showing respect in Korea. It is customary to bow when greeting someone who is older or holds a higher social status than you. The depth and length of the bow indicate the level of respect being shown.


The Korean language also reflects the importance of respect. There are specific honorific forms of speech that are used when speaking to elders, superiors, or people you do not know well. These forms show respect and demonstrate an understanding of social hierarchy.


In Korea, education is highly valued, and teachers are held in high regard. Students are expected to show respect to their teachers by listening attentively, obeying rules, and addressing them using appropriate titles.

Business Culture:

Respect is also vital in Korean business culture. Business partners are expected to show mutual respect and build relationships based on trust and loyalty. It is customary to exchange gifts as a sign of respect and to show appreciation for the relationship.


Etiquette is an important aspect of Korean culture. There are specific rules for behavior in different situations, such as dining, weddings, and funerals. These rules help maintain social harmony and show respect for others.

Personal Space:

Koreans value personal space and may be uncomfortable with physical contact from strangers or acquaintances. It is important to respect personal boundaries and not invade someone’s personal space without permission.

Respect for the Environment:

Koreans also show respect for the environment by keeping public spaces clean and reducing waste. Littering or other actions that harm the environment are seen as disrespectful and may result in social disapproval.


In conclusion, respect is a fundamental value in Korean culture that influences all aspects of life. It is shown through language, etiquette, behavior, and relationships. Understanding and practicing respect is essential when interacting with Koreans or living in Korea.

How is respect shown in Korea?

It is important to display respect towards individuals who are older than you. This means giving priority to their opinions, patiently waiting for their input, and lowering your gaze as a sign of deference towards them. It is also customary to offer and receive objects, gifts, and food using both hands.

What do Koreans value the most?

Korean values such as hard work, respect for family, family protection, and proper behavior among family members are still highly valued even in today’s modern society.

What are common values of Koreans?

Korean customs prioritize respect for family, diligence, safeguarding the family, and appropriate behavior within the family, which remain significant even in today’s society. Being formally introduced at social events is expected, and bowing is a customary way to greet others.

Is South Korea a polite country?

The people of South Korea are known for their reserved and polite behavior. The country follows a strict Confucian social structure where etiquette plays a significant role. Differences in behavior and conduct can be observed between male and female individuals in South Korea.

Is Korean a respect language?

Respect is a key value in Korean culture and is reflected in everyday life, including the language spoken. Korean people often use honorific language to show respect towards others when speaking.

What is typical Korean behavior?

South Korean culture places emphasis on ethical conduct and respect for family and elders. The people in Korea believe in showing sincerity and loyalty and follow specific etiquettes during social interactions including greetings, dining, prayer, and celebrations. Instead of shaking hands like in many other cultures, Koreans bow as a sign of respect.

Respect in Korean culture is not limited to showing honor to humans but extends to animals and nature. Koreans believe that all living things have a spirit, and it is important to treat them with respect. This is evident in the way Koreans maintain their parks and gardens, which are meticulously cared for and preserved.

In addition, respect for others also means respecting their privacy. Koreans value discretion and may be hesitant to share personal information or discuss sensitive topics with strangers or acquaintances. It is important to approach conversations with sensitivity and avoid prying into someone’s personal life without permission.

Koreans also place great importance on punctuality. Being late is seen as disrespectful and may cause inconvenience or disrupt schedules. It is considered polite to arrive a few minutes early for appointments or meetings, show respect for other people’s time.

Finally, it is worth noting that respect in Korean culture is not just about showing deference to those in higher positions or older than oneself. It also involves treating everyone with basic human dignity and kindness, regardless of their social status or background.

Overall, respect remains an essential value in Korean culture, shaping how people interact with each other, show gratitude, and build relationships. By understanding and practicing respect, we can deepen our appreciation of Korean culture while fostering positive interactions with Koreans both at home and abroad.

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