Hello guys and welcome back to part two of interesting Korean culture facts. Staying true to my promise, I’m posting part two of the previous post. So, here we go. If you are planning to visit South Korea then this post might help you navigate your ship smoothly through the cultural waters of South Korea.
Gifting your partner shoes
I learned about this while watching a k-drama, the male lead gifted the female lead a pair of shoes and they both talk about this superstition. Anyway, back to the topic at hand, it is believed in South Korea that gifting your lover/friend a pair of shoes will make them run away. And the saddest part about this superstition is that they will wear the same shoes that you gifted and run away from you.
Removing your shoes
I believe this is part of every Asian household. If you enter the house with your shoes on, you'll get scolded by your parents or elders. The same goes with South Korea, you should remove your shoes at the entryway before entering the house. Some Koreans have indoor slippers or they might just walk barefoot in the house. So, be sure to remove your shoes when you visit a South Korean household.
Receiving something with two hands
If someone older than you gives you something then you should receive it with two hands. If you accept it (gift/object/something) with only one hand then it would be considered rude. Receiving something with two hands shows respect towards the other person; from whom you are receiving something. Therefore, you should show this sign of respect towards people who are older than you.
You can even receive it with only your right hand but be sure to touch your right hand's wrist with your left hand. You are receiving it with only one hand but as you're touching your right hand with your left you're showing respect towards them. And it is considered acceptable. Korean people put a lot of emphasis on being respectful. So, you wouldn’t want to appear rude.
Use of formal and informal speech (존댓말 vs 반말)
To a foreigner who is new to Korean culture, formal speech among the elders is a must, even if the other person is just a year older than you. After you get to know the other person well enough, you can switch to informal, of course with their consent. However, elderly people should always be addressed formally. Beginners who are not familiar with the language should try to stick with formal speech if they’re not sure what form of speech to use in the situation. A lot of Koreans may seem like they are younger than you but you’ll be surprised when you find out their actual age. So, make sure to keep that in mind while you’re having a conversation with someone in South Korea.
Well, that was all for this post. 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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