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When you visit South Korea you should shake hands with them?

When you visit South Korea you should shake hands with them?

South Korea is a country with a rich cultural heritage that values respect and politeness. One of the ways to show respect when visiting South Korea is by shaking hands. This article will explain why shaking hands is important in South Korea and how to do it properly.

1. Cultural Significance

Shaking hands is a common gesture of greeting in many countries around the world, but in South Korea, it has a deeper cultural significance. It is a way to show respect and acknowledge the other person’s status or position.

2. Bowing vs Handshaking

Bowing is also a traditional way of greeting in South Korea, but it is more formal and reserved for showing respect to elders or someone with a higher social status. Handshaking is a more casual and friendly greeting that can be used in most situations.

3. Gender Differences

In South Korea, it is not common for men and women to touch each other in public. When meeting someone of the opposite gender, it is appropriate to bow instead of shaking hands. However, if the other person extends their hand, it is acceptable to reciprocate.

4. The Proper Way to Shake Hands

When shaking hands in South Korea, it is important to use your right hand and grasp the other person’s hand firmly but not too tightly. Maintain eye contact and smile while shaking hands, and be sure to let go after a few seconds.

5. Business Etiquette

In business settings, handshakes are often accompanied by exchanging business cards. It is customary to hold the card with both hands and read it carefully before putting it away. Avoid writing on or bending the card, as this is seen as disrespectful.

6. Social Etiquette

When meeting new people socially, it is common to shake hands and introduce yourself. It is also polite to ask about the other person’s well-being and family before discussing business or other topics.

7. Sports Etiquette

In sports settings, handshakes are often used as a sign of good sportsmanship. After a game or match, players will shake hands with their opponents and exchange pleasantries regardless of the outcome.

8. Health Concerns

In recent years, health concerns such as the spread of germs have led some Koreans to avoid shaking hands altogether. In these cases, a bow or a nod of the head may be substituted instead.

9. Other Forms of Greeting

While shaking hands is an important gesture in South Korea, there are other ways to greet people depending on the situation. For example, a slight bow can be used to show respect to elders or someone with a higher social status, while a wave or a nod of the head can be used in more casual situations.

10. Conclusion

Shaking hands is an important gesture of respect and friendliness in South Korea. By following the proper etiquette and using this form of greeting, visitors can show their appreciation for Korean culture and make positive connections with the people they meet.

11. Additional Resources

To learn more about Korean culture and etiquette, consider reading books such as “Korean Etiquette and Ethics in Business” by Boye Lafayette De Mente or “Korean Society: Civil Society, Democracy and the State” by Charles K. Armstrong.

12. About the Author

This article was written by a Korean-American who grew up in both South Korea and the United States. She has experience navigating both cultures and hopes to share her knowledge with others who are interested in learning about Korean culture and etiquette.

Do you shake hands in South Korea?

In South Korea, handshakes are a customary way of saying hello. The majority of Koreans use their right hand for all types of greetings.

How do you handshake in Korea?

When greeting an elder, it is respectful to use both hands when shaking hands. The right hand should be used for the handshake while the left hand should hold your own wrist. In addition, a slight bow is appropriate. When greeting someone younger, using one hand for the handshake is sufficient.

How do you show respect in South Korea?

It is important to demonstrate respect towards those who are older than you by deferring to their opinions, waiting for their input, and lowering your gaze if they are an elder. When offering objects, gifts, and food, it is appropriate to use both hands for giving and receiving. Additionally, it is customary to remove your hat when inside.

How to be polite in South Korea?

To demonstrate proper etiquette when shaking hands, use your left hand to support your right forearm. South Korean women typically nod slightly as a sign of respect. It is acceptable for Western women to offer their hand to a Korean man. When leaving, it is customary to bow.

Can you hold hands in South Korea?

When it comes to showing affection in public, Korean couples tend to be more conservative. While holding hands is common, kissing on the lips is not. If you come from a culture that is more open with displays of affection, it’s best to save those interactions for a more private setting.

What should I be careful of in Korea?

It is advisable to stay away from big public events and be extra cautious in crowded places when travelling in South Korea. The country is generally safe for tourists, with a low occurrence of crimes. However, petty theft can occur, especially in large cities like Busan and Seoul, so it’s important to keep an eye on your belongings.

13. Importance of Learning Korean Language

While shaking hands is an important aspect of South Korean culture, it is also beneficial to learn the Korean language. Speaking even basic Korean phrases can show respect and help build relationships with locals. It also makes navigating the country, ordering food, and shopping easier.

14. Dress Code in South Korea

When visiting South Korea, it is important to dress modestly and conservatively, especially when visiting religious sites or in more traditional settings. Avoid wearing shorts or revealing clothing. Business attire for meetings and appointments should be professional and conservative.

15. Gift-Giving Etiquette

Gift-giving is an important aspect of South Korean culture, especially in business settings. When giving a gift, it is important to wrap it nicely and present it with both hands as a sign of respect. Avoid giving gifts that are black or white, as they are associated with mourning in Korean culture.

16. Dining Etiquette

When dining in South Korea, it is customary to wait for the eldest person or the person with the highest social status to begin eating before starting yourself. It is also polite to use chopsticks and not point them at others or leave them sticking out of your food. Drinking alcohol is also common during meals, but be sure to pour drinks for others before pouring your own.

17. Transportation Etiquette

When using public transportation in South Korea, it is important to be mindful of others and not speak too loudly on the phone or with others. It is also customary to give up your seat to elders or pregnant women.

18. Respect for Elders

In Korean culture, respect for elders is highly valued. It is important to address elders with the appropriate honorific titles and use formal language. When giving or receiving objects, use both hands as a sign of respect.

19. Keeping Personal Space

In public settings, personal space is important in Korean culture. Avoid standing too close to others, especially strangers in crowded areas. It is also customary to cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing to avoid spreading germs.

20. Conclusion

By following these etiquette tips and showing respect for South Korean culture and customs, visitors can make positive connections with locals and have a more enjoyable experience in the country. It is important to keep an open mind and be willing to learn about and embrace different cultures when traveling.

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