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Why is kissing a big deal in Korea?


Korean culture is one of the most fascinating and unique cultures in the world. One of the things that make it unique is the importance placed on kissing. In Korea, kissing is not just a simple physical act, but it has deep cultural roots that go back centuries. In this article, we will explore why kissing is such a big deal in Korea.

The history of kissing in Korea

Koreans have been kissing for thousands of years, and its history can be traced back to ancient times. In the past, kissing was not as common as it is today. It was only practiced by couples who were married or engaged. Kissing was also seen as a way to show respect to elders or to express gratitude to someone.

The role of Confucianism

Confucianism is a philosophy that has played a significant role in shaping Korean culture. It emphasizes the importance of respecting elders, maintaining social order, and following strict social norms. In Korean society, physical displays of affection were discouraged, and kissing was seen as something that was reserved for intimate relationships.

The influence of Western culture

In the late 19th century, Western influence began to spread throughout Korea. Western ideas about love and romance eventually made their way into Korean culture. Kissing became more common among young couples, but it was still seen as something private and intimate.

Kissing in modern Korean society

Today, kissing has become much more common in Korea, especially among young people. However, it still holds a certain level of significance. Many Koreans believe that kissing should be saved for someone special and not done casually.

The importance of physical appearance

In Korean society, physical appearance plays a significant role in social interactions. People are expected to look their best at all times and to present themselves in the best possible light. Kissing is seen as a way to show affection, but it is also a way to display physical attraction.

The idea of purity

In Korean culture, there is a strong emphasis on purity and innocence. Kissing is seen as something that can lead to further intimacy, and many Koreans believe that physical intimacy should be saved for marriage.

The role of family

Family is incredibly important in Korean culture, and many Koreans believe that kissing should only be done in private. Public displays of affection are still frowned upon, especially in front of family members.

The impact of media

Korean media has played a significant role in shaping attitudes towards kissing. Korean dramas and movies often depict romantic relationships in a very dramatic and passionate way, which can influence how young people view kissing.

The role of gender

Gender roles in Korea are still very traditional, and there are certain expectations placed on men and women when it comes to physical displays of affection. Men are expected to take the lead in initiating physical contact, while women are expected to be more passive.

The importance of consent

Consent is an essential aspect of any physical relationship, and this is no different in Korea. Many Koreans believe that kissing should only be done with the other person’s consent and that it should never be forced or coerced.


In conclusion, kissing is a big deal in Korea because it has deep cultural roots and is seen as an important aspect of romantic relationships. While attitudes towards kissing have changed over time, it still holds a certain level of significance in Korean society. Understanding why kissing is so important in Korea can help us appreciate the unique cultural traditions that make this country so fascinating.

Is a kiss a big deal in Korea?

Public displays of affection, specifically kissing, are considered inappropriate and disrespectful by older generations in South Korea. While younger adults are more accepting, it is still not encouraged by elders. In South Korean culture, dressing well is a sign of respect and is highly valued.

What does kissing mean in Korean culture?

Public displays of affection such as passionate kisses and long embraces are considered inappropriate and tasteless in South Korea. Instead, they are regarded as intimate moments to be shared between partners in private.

Is physical touch common in Korea?

Koreans typically do not engage in physical contact with each other, although young women may hold hands and male friends may touch each other more frequently than in western cultures. Personal space is not highly valued in Korea.

Why do Koreans kiss on the forehead?

A kiss on the forehead is a friendly gesture that can signify comfort or a close relationship. It is often seen as a symbol of love and affection.

Are Korean guys circumcised?

Currently, vaccination rates differ greatly across the world. For example, Israel and many Muslim-majority countries have vaccination rates of over 90%, while South Korea has a rate of 86.3% and the United States has a rate of 80%. Australia’s rate is 58%, South Africa’s is 45%, the United Kingdom’s is 20.7%, and Japan and Honduras have rates of under 1%.

Which country kiss is famous?

Contrary to popular belief among Anglo-Saxons, greeting with a kiss is not unique to France. This practice is common in many European and Latin countries, as well as Russia and certain Arabic and sub-Saharan nations.

Another reason why kissing is so significant in Korea is because it is seen as a way to express emotions that are often not openly discussed. In Korean culture, there is a strong emphasis on maintaining harmony and avoiding conflict. Kissing can be a way to convey feelings of love or affection without having to explicitly express them in words.

Furthermore, kissing in Korea is often viewed as a sign of commitment. Couples who kiss are seen as being serious about their relationship and are often expected to eventually get married. This expectation can put pressure on young couples to take their relationships more seriously and to think carefully before engaging in physical intimacy.

It’s also worth noting that Korean society places a lot of importance on etiquette and social norms. Kissing in public, especially in more conservative areas, can still be seen as inappropriate or even offensive. Couples who engage in public displays of affection may face judgment or disapproval from others.

Overall, kissing is a complex and multifaceted aspect of Korean culture. Its significance has evolved over time and continues to be influenced by factors such as gender roles, media representation, and social expectations. Understanding the cultural significance of kissing in Korea can help us gain a deeper appreciation for this fascinating and unique country.

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