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What do Koreans value the most?

The Importance of Understanding Korean Values

Korea has a rich and unique culture that is deeply rooted in Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. Understanding what Koreans value the most can help outsiders better appreciate their customs and beliefs. In this article, we will explore the top values that Koreans hold dear.


Family is everything to Koreans. They place great importance on filial piety, which means they have a strong sense of loyalty and respect for their parents and elders. It is common for several generations to live together in one household, and family members often take care of each other through thick and thin.


Korean society places a high value on education. Parents will go to great lengths to ensure their children receive the best possible education, as it is seen as the key to success in life. Students spend long hours studying and attending extra classes or tutoring sessions.

Hard Work

Koreans are known for their strong work ethic. They believe in putting in long hours and giving their all to achieve success. The country’s economic success is largely attributed to this value, as Koreans are willing to work hard and make sacrifices for their careers.

Respect for Authority

Respect for authority is deeply ingrained in Korean culture. From a young age, children are taught to respect their elders, teachers, and government officials. This value can be seen in the way Koreans interact with each other, especially in formal settings.

Group Harmony

Koreans place a strong emphasis on maintaining group harmony or “wa.” This means that individuals should prioritize the needs of the group over their own desires or opinions. It is important to avoid conflict or confrontation whenever possible.

Saving Face

Koreans place great importance on preserving their image or “face” in public. This means avoiding embarrassing situations or causing others to lose face. It is important to show respect and maintain a positive image in all interactions.


Appearance is important in Korean society. Koreans place great value on physical appearance, dressing well, and looking presentable at all times. This value can be seen in the popularity of plastic surgery and beauty products in Korea.


Korean cuisine is known for its unique flavors and ingredients. Koreans place great importance on food, as it is seen as a way to bring people together and build relationships. Sharing meals with family and friends is a common practice in Korean culture.


Health is a top priority for Koreans. They believe in maintaining a healthy lifestyle through exercise, diet, and self-care. Physical health is seen as necessary for success in all areas of life.

Social Status

Social status is important in Korean society. Koreans are conscious of their social standing and work hard to improve it through education, career success, and financial stability. It is important to have a good reputation and be respected by others.


Korea is known for its technological advancements, and technology is highly valued in Korean society. Koreans embrace new technologies and are quick to adopt them into their daily lives. This value can be seen in the popularity of smartphones, social media, and online shopping in Korea.

In Conclusion

Understanding what Koreans value the most can provide insight into their culture and way of life. From family to technology, these values shape the way Koreans interact with each other and the world around them. By appreciating these values, outsiders can gain a deeper appreciation for Korean culture and its people.

What are typical Korean values?

Korean culture places high importance on respecting one’s family, working hard, maintaining family safety, and displaying proper etiquette among family members, even in modern times. Social protocol dictates waiting to be formally introduced at gatherings, and greeting others with a bow is a common traditional practice.

What are the 3 main values that South Koreans value?

The experiences of a certain group of people brought new values to the culture of Korea. The importance of being adaptable, persistent, and educated became more apparent, and a sense of national pride was reignited. These modern attitudes have blended with traditional Asian customs.

What is important in Korean culture?

The culture of Korea is heavily influenced by Confucianism, which affects not only personal life but also business practices. Confucian values include prioritizing group harmony, showing respect for elders and authority, valuing family, friendships, ancestors, and tradition.

What does South Korea value in family?

Koreans place a strong emphasis on family and are known for their loyalty towards each other, which is a feature of collectivist societies. In certain traditional or rural communities, families are so closely-knit that they are considered to have a shared identity.

What is considered most respectful in Korean culture?

It is important to display respect towards individuals who are older than you. This includes acknowledging their opinions, waiting for their input, and lowering your gaze if they are of an advanced age. When presenting gifts or food, it is customary to offer and receive them with two hands. Additionally, it is appropriate to remove your hat when indoors as a sign of respect.

Do Koreans value respect?

In Korean culture, showing respect for age and status is crucial and hierarchy plays a significant role in all social interactions. The hierarchy determines each person’s role in society, and it is essential to show respect for it. Koreans feel most at ease when interacting with individuals whom they consider to be their peers.


Humility is highly valued in Korean culture. Koreans believe that showing off or boasting about one’s achievements is inappropriate and disrespectful. Instead, they prefer to be humble and let their actions speak for themselves. This value can be seen in the way Koreans interact with each other, especially in formal settings.


Korean culture places a high value on punctuality. Being on time for appointments, meetings, and social events is considered polite and respectful. Koreans take punctuality seriously and view it as a sign of responsibility and reliability.


Community is an essential part of Korean culture. Koreans believe in building strong relationships with their neighbors, colleagues, and fellow citizens. They often participate in community events, volunteer work, and group activities to strengthen their bonds with others.


Koreans have a deep respect for their cultural heritage and traditions. They take pride in their history, language, and customs, and strive to preserve them for future generations. Traditional Korean music, dance, and art are still celebrated today.


Perseverance is a core value in Korean culture. Koreans believe in working hard and persisting through challenges to achieve their goals. They see setbacks as opportunities to learn and improve themselves, rather than giving up easily.


Spirituality is an important part of Korean culture. While many Koreans practice Buddhism or Christianity, traditional shamanism also exists in some areas. Koreans believe in the importance of spiritual balance in their lives and often seek guidance from religious leaders or practices.


Cleanliness is highly valued in Korean culture. Koreans take pride in keeping their homes, workplaces, and public spaces clean and tidy. This value can be seen in the emphasis on personal hygiene and the widespread use of masks during flu season.


Friendship is an essential part of Korean culture. Koreans value close, long-lasting relationships with their friends and often maintain these connections throughout their lives. They place great importance on trust, loyalty, and mutual support in their friendships.

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