Welcome back to another post guys. How have you all been? I hope you all are doing great. Anyway, back to the blog’s topic which is about some Korean things. Every country and region has its own traditions and customs, the same goes for South Korea. So, today’s blog is about some things you will find in South Korea.
‘F’ instead of ‘4’
When you visit South Korea for the first time and you book a hotel room. You take your key card from the reception. Your room is on the Fourth Floor. You enter an elevator and you want to go to the fourth floor. But all you see on the elevator's buttons panel are numbers like b1, 1, 2, 3, F, 5, 6, 7, etc. You notice that the number ‘4’ is missing. What will you do in this situation?
You will not find the number 4 in some elevators in South Korea, instead, you will see the letter F in its place. You have to press the letter F to reach the fourth floor. The word F represents 'fourth', so just press F if you have to reach the fourth floor.
The reason for that is, that number ‘4’ is considered an unlucky number. 사 means '4' in Korean and also 사망하다 means 죽다 which means to die. That's why it is considered a bad or unlucky number.
However, many new buildings and hotels just use the number 4.
Sticking your chopsticks straight up in a bowl
If you are invited by a Korean family for dinner or lunch or you’re just eating alone at a restaurant make sure to keep the chopsticks beside the bowl or you can rest the chopsticks on the plate. If you watch a lot of k-drama you might have watched funeral scenes, where they keep two burning incense sticks in a bowl. So if you stick your chopsticks in the rice bowl they will resemble incense sticks, which might remind the Korean people of the rituals performed at a funeral. Nobody would like to be reminded of a funeral while having food. Not only in Korea but also in countries like China and Japan it is considered rude to stick chopsticks like that.
Writing someone’s name with red ink
In South Korea, writing a name with red ink is considered bad/rude. It is believed that the person will die or it will cause harm. Because in the past, the names of the deceased were written in red ink. If a person writes someone’s name in red ink, it can mean that the person wants the other person dead or wishes him/her harm. And surely, you wouldn’t want Koreans to assume you wish death upon them.
Whistling at night
Many people like to whistle when they feel comfortable or content. And you may be one of them. But when you are in South Korea make sure not to whistle at night because some people in Korea believe that whistling at night will summon spirits, ghosts, demons, or even snakes.
Flushing the toilet paper
You will find a sign (변기에 휴지를 버리지 마세요 which translates to "Don't throw toilet paper in the toilet") in the public restrooms saying not to flush the toilet papers. You have to throw it in the bin/trash can. Flushing the toilet paper may clog the toilet due to low water pressure, so it is not encouraged.
Well, that was all for this post. I will make part 2 of this post later. I hope this post helped you in some way. Make sure to leave your thoughts down below and let me know what you think.
Until next time - HangugVocab.
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