We are happy to welcome you to our clinic. For some of you, this may be a very long way from home but we try our best to accommodate your needs and make your stay in Seoul as comfortable as possible. This post is to make sure this happens by providing you with some Korean customs that you may want to know. Below find a brief summary of Korean customs to aid you on your trip.
Kimchi- A Korean Staple
You’ve probably heard at some point about Kimchi, but what exactly is it? Kimchi is a huge part of Korean culture as Koreans eat it almost every day. “Kimchi is sliced cabbage, fermented with red chili sauce and anchovy paste. It is pungent, spicy, and sour. Koreans love it and eat it with every meal –usually on the side-– though they also use it as an ingredient in countless other dishes.Kimchi is symbolic of Korean culture: it’s strong, distinctive, and defiant.” It may be an acquired taste for some people but you can earn brownie points from Koreans if you are open to eating it.
No Shoes In the House
When you enter a Korean home, it’s important to take off your shoes. If you don’t do this, it’s considered a sign of disrespect. Koreans have a special relationship with their floor, on which they sit and often sleep. A dirty floor is intolerable in a Korean home
Soju – A Drinking Must!
Korea is a drinking culture, and their national booze is soju, a clear, vodka-like drink. Soju is drunk out of shot glasses, and like all liquor in Korea, it’s always served with food. Koreans drink in boisterous groups, regularly clinking glasses, while shouting geonbae! (cheers) and one shot-uh!
Koreans have strict drinking etiquette: never pour your own drink, and when pouring for someone older than you, put one hand to your heart or your pouring arm as a sign of respect.
“Korea is a crowded country. It’s a cluster of stony mountains with only a few valleys and plains on which to build.”
The result is a lot of people in small spaces, and as a result, oftentimes people will push and jostle in order to get to where they are going. Do not take this personally as people are not being aggressive with you but this is in the culture. If you know this, you will be a lot less offended.
Koreans tend to eat rice at almost every meal. It’s so ingrained in their culture that one of their most common greetings is Bap meogeosseoyo?, or ‘Have you eaten rice?’ Unlike the Japanese, Koreans usually eat their rice with a spoon, and they never raise the rice bowl off of the table towards their mouths. Also, chopsticks must never be left sticking out of the rice bowl, as this resembles the way rice is offered to the dead.
It’s important to know a few of these customs, so your stay in Seoul and with us is as pleasant and possible and that you don’t experience culture shock.
Contact us and let us know how we can make your stay even more enjoyable.