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What are the don’ts in Korea?

What are the don’ts in Korea?

Korea is a unique country that is known for its rich culture, beautiful landscapes, and friendly people. However, when you visit Korea, there are certain things that you should avoid doing to avoid offending the locals or causing any misunderstandings. Here are some of the don’ts in Korea:

Avoid showing excessive PDA

Koreans are generally conservative when it comes to public displays of affection. Kissing, hugging, or holding hands in public may be frowned upon, especially among older generations. It’s best to show restraint and keep your affection private.

Never refuse a drink

Drinking is an essential part of Korean culture, and declining a drink from your host or drinking partner may be seen as rude. Instead of refusing, try to pace yourself or politely decline by saying “I have had enough.”

Don’t stick your chopsticks upright in rice

This is considered bad luck and resembles incense sticks that are placed in bowls for the dead. Instead, rest your chopsticks on the side of your plate or bowl.

Avoid using your index finger to point at someone

Using your index finger to point at someone may be seen as rude or aggressive. Instead, use an open hand gesture to indicate someone’s direction or presence.

Don’t wear shoes indoors

In Korean culture, shoes are seen as unclean and should be removed before entering a home or traditional Korean restaurant. Always check if there is a designated area for shoes before entering a building.

Avoid speaking too loudly in public

Koreans value harmony and peacefulness. Speaking too loudly in public may be seen as inconsiderate and disruptive to others. Try to speak softly and respectfully.

Don’t blow your nose in public

Blowing your nose in public is considered a taboo and may be seen as impolite, especially during meals or in social gatherings. Instead, excuse yourself and go to the restroom to blow your nose.

Avoid leaving chopsticks stuck in food

Leaving chopsticks stuck in food is reminiscent of incense sticks that are placed at funerals. It’s best to lay your chopsticks down on your plate or use a chopstick rest.

Don’t make noise while eating

In Korea, slurping or making noise while eating is considered impolite and may be seen as disrespectful towards food. Try to eat quietly and avoid making any unnecessary sounds.

Avoid touching someone’s head or patting them on the back

In Korean culture, the head is considered the most sacred part of the body, and touching it may be seen as disrespectful. Patting someone on the back may also be perceived as condescending or aggressive.

Don’t speak ill of the deceased

In Korea, speaking ill of the deceased is considered highly disrespectful, no matter who they were or what they did. It’s best to show respect and refrain from commenting on their past actions or behaviors.

Avoid using red ink when writing

In Korea, red ink is associated with death, and using it to write someone’s name or address may be seen as bad luck. Instead, use black ink or another color when writing.

By following these simple guidelines, you can show respect and appreciation for Korean culture during your visit. Always remember to be polite, courteous, and respectful towards the locals, and you’ll have a wonderful time exploring all that Korea has to offer.

What things are not allowed in South Korea?

The list of illegal drugs includes opium, marijuana/cannabis, cocaine, and others. This list also includes prohibited items such as medicines, handbags, wallets, stoles, ivory from animals like elephants, leopards, and alligators, and various forms of payment like cashier’s checks, overdraft checks, postal money orders, etc.

What not to do when eating in Korea?

The traditional utensils for a meal include a bowl, chopsticks, and a spoon. Chopsticks are used for dish items, while a spoon is for rice and soup. It is considered improper to hold both utensils together or to use chopsticks like skewers, as well as to stab them into the bowl of rice, which is a funeral custom.

What is illegal to bring into Korea?

The import of guns, drugs, pornography, illegal and potentially harmful materials, as well as counterfeit goods, are not allowed into Korea. This has been in effect as of August 2, 2022.

Are tattoos allowed in South Korea?

In South Korea, only medical professionals who are licensed are permitted to operate tattoo shops, while individuals without medical degrees cannot legally open such establishments. However, it is not against the law to have a tattoo, except for individuals serving in the military who are prohibited from having them.

How do you show respect in Korea?

It is important to display respect for those who are older than you. This includes listening to their opinions, seeking their input, and showing deference. When interacting with an elder, it is appropriate to lower your gaze and offer objects, gifts, and food with two hands. Additionally, it is customary to remove your hat when indoors.

Do Korean men get circumcised?

South Korea’s practice of circumcision has been heavily influenced by American culture, but it is not mostly performed on newborns. Instead, the age of circumcision has been decreasing, and it is now typically done when boys are around 12 years old.

Don’t forget to bow as a sign of respect

Bowing is an important gesture of respect in Korean culture. When meeting someone for the first time, it’s customary to bow slightly while saying “annyeonghaseyo” (hello). When leaving someone’s presence, it’s also polite to bow as a sign of gratitude and respect.

Avoid being late for appointments

Koreans value punctuality and being on time for appointments is crucial. Arriving late may be seen as disrespectful and rude. It’s best to plan ahead and arrive at least 10-15 minutes early to show that you value the other person’s time.

Don’t talk with your mouth full

In Korean culture, talking with your mouth full is considered impolite and may be seen as disrespectful towards food. It’s best to finish chewing before speaking or wait until after the meal to engage in conversation.

Avoid giving gifts with one hand

When giving or receiving gifts, it’s important to use both hands as a sign of respect and gratitude. Using only one hand may be seen as careless or disrespectful. Additionally, it’s polite to wrap gifts neatly and present them with a bow.

Don’t pour your own drink

In Korean culture, pouring your own drink may be seen as selfish or impolite. Instead, offer to pour drinks for others at the table and wait for someone else to pour your drink for you. When pouring drinks, hold the bottle or pitcher with both hands as a sign of respect.

Avoid using overly casual language

Korean language has formal and informal speech levels, depending on the relationship between the speaker and listener. Using overly casual language with someone you don’t know well or a person of higher social status may be seen as disrespectful. It’s best to use formal language until you establish a closer relationship with someone.

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