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What are some strict rules in South Korea?

Strict Rules in South Korea

In South Korea, there are various strict rules that locals and foreigners alike must adhere to. These rules range from social etiquette to traffic regulations and more. In this article, we will explore some of the most important and interesting rules that you should know before visiting or living in South Korea.

Social Etiquette

South Koreans take social etiquette very seriously. One of the most important rules is to bow when meeting someone for the first time. It is also customary to remove your shoes before entering a home. Additionally, it is considered impolite to blow your nose in public or speak loudly on public transportation.

Drinking Culture

South Korea has a strong drinking culture, but there are strict rules surrounding alcohol consumption. It is illegal to drink alcohol in public places, such as parks or on the street. Additionally, it is considered rude to pour your own drink; instead, you should pour drinks for others and wait for them to reciprocate.

Traffic Regulations

South Korea has strict traffic regulations that all drivers must follow. It is against the law to use a mobile phone while driving, and all passengers in a vehicle must wear seatbelts. Additionally, pedestrians must cross the street at designated crosswalks and obey traffic lights.

Gambling Laws

Gambling is strictly regulated in South Korea. Only one casino is allowed for locals, and all other casinos are only open to foreigners. Online gambling is also illegal in South Korea, and those caught participating in it can face severe penalties.

Internet Censorship

The South Korean government heavily regulates internet content. Websites deemed harmful or inappropriate are blocked or censored. Additionally, individuals can be fined for posting negative comments online about certain public figures or institutions.

Smoking Regulations

Smoking is prohibited in all indoor public spaces, including restaurants and cafes. There are also designated smoking areas on the street and in certain outdoor locations. However, smoking is not allowed while walking on the street.

Age Hierarchy

In South Korea, age hierarchy is very important. Younger individuals are expected to show respect to their elders and use formal language when speaking to them. Additionally, it is common for older individuals to receive preferential treatment in certain situations.

Trash Disposal

South Korea has strict rules regarding trash disposal. All trash must be sorted into specific categories, such as food waste and recyclables. Additionally, trash must be disposed of in designated trash bags that can be purchased at local stores.

Dress Code

South Koreans take pride in their appearance, and there are certain dress codes that should be followed in certain situations. For example, it is considered inappropriate to wear shorts or revealing clothing to a place of worship or formal event.

Public Displays of Affection

Public displays of affection are generally frowned upon in South Korea. It is considered impolite to kiss or hug in public, and couples are advised to keep their physical affection private.

Business Culture

The business culture in South Korea is very formal and hierarchical. It is important to dress professionally and use formal language when meeting with business associates. Additionally, gifts are often exchanged during business meetings as a sign of respect.

Censorship of North Korea

The South Korean government heavily censors information about North Korea. In particular, it is illegal to praise or express support for North Korea in any way. Additionally, certain books and movies that depict North Korea in a positive light are banned in South Korea.

What are the main rules in South Korea?

The fundamental rights of individuals include freedom to express thoughts, practice religion, gather in groups, and share information through media. Other essential rights include the ability to vote, run for public office, raise concerns to authorities, and protection against unjust practices such as double jeopardy, forced labor, retroactive laws, and unwarranted searches of private property, as well as access to education, employment, marriage, and healthcare.

What is strict culture in Korea?

South Korea is a country that follows a strict Confucian system of hierarchy, where manners and etiquette are highly valued. There are notable differences in how men and women conduct themselves, and the traditional Korean greeting is a bow, which is often accompanied by a handshake among men.

What are the don’ts in Korea?

Do not compare Korean culture or language to Japanese culture. It is important to recognize and appreciate Korea’s unique qualities and distinguish them from other East Asian cultures. Additionally, it is important to remain calm and composed in situations of heightened emotions and avoid displays of anger or distress.

What is cultural rules in Korea?

Demonstrating respect involves various actions, such as showing deference to those who are older than you, waiting for their input, and maintaining eye contact with elders. It is important to offer and receive objects, gifts, and food with both hands as a sign of respect.

What are the family rules in Korea?

In the past, Korean family structures were influenced by the Confucian philosophy that prioritized hierarchical relationships, with emphasis on male authority. In this model, the husband and father were expected to demonstrate control and kindness towards their wives, in exchange for their obedience and affection.

How do Koreans apologize?

In Korean, there are two primary ways to express apologies: 죄송합니다 (joesonghamnida) and 미안해요 (mianhaeyo).

Public Restrooms

Public restrooms in South Korea are generally very clean and well-maintained. However, there are some rules that should be followed when using them. For example, it is customary to bring your own toilet paper as it is not always provided. Additionally, it is important to wear slippers provided outside the restroom to keep the floor clean.

Food Culture

Food is an integral part of Korean culture, and there are certain rules that should be followed when eating. It is considered impolite to start eating before the oldest person at the table or to pass food with chopsticks directly from one person’s mouth to another’s. Additionally, it is customary to finish all the food on your plate as leaving food behind can be seen as wasteful.

Personal Space

South Koreans tend to value personal space and may feel uncomfortable with physical contact from strangers. It is important to respect personal space and avoid standing too close or touching someone without their permission.


South Korea has a diverse religious landscape, with Buddhism, Christianity, and Confucianism being the most popular religions. While religion is generally respected, it is not a topic that should be discussed in public unless you know the person well.


The official language of South Korea is Korean, and while many South Koreans speak English, it is still important to learn some basic Korean phrases when visiting the country. Learning how to read Hangul, the Korean alphabet, can also be helpful in navigating signs and menus.


The nightlife scene in South Korea is vibrant and exciting, but there are some rules that should be followed when going out. It is important to keep noise levels down when walking on the street late at night and to avoid drinking too much or causing a disturbance in public places.

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