Korean Tradition

Respect for elders

Age and social position are of great importance. It is believed that the younger one standing or lower social position are required to follow the senior wishes without objection. Therefore, in Korea, people often ask the age, marital status of a person in order to determine their position in relation to that person. These questions are asked not out of idle curiosity. However, you may not answer them if you don’t want.

Names

The most common Korean surnames are: Kim (21% of all Koreans), Lee (14%), Park (8%), Choi (or choe), Jeong, Jang, Han, lim, etc. a Korean name consists of a surname mostly of one syllable, and as such, the name usually of two syllables. The last name comes first. Women in Korea do not take the husband’s surname after marriage, but their children carry their father’s name.

Marriages

In Korea marriage is traditionally considered the most important event in life, and divorce is a disgrace – not only for former spouses, but also for their families. Despite this, the rate of divorce is rising sharply in recent times. Modern wedding ceremony is somewhat different from traditional. First arranged the ceremony in the Western style in the Palace of marriage or in the Church. On it the bride and groom are clothed respectively in the tuxedo and wedding dress. Then on the same day (and usually in the same place) in a separate room held the traditional wedding ceremony, during which the young are dressed in traditional Korean costumes.

Chere (rite of commemorating the ancestors)

According to traditional Korean beliefs, when a person dies, his soul immediately departs into another world, and only after the change of four generations. All this time the deceased is considered a family member. During the holidays, such as Sollal (Lunar New year) or it’s thanksgiving (harvest Day) and the day of death of the deceased sent his descendants the rite of remembrance of chere. The Koreans believe that you can live happily thanks to the care of deceased ancestors.

Rules of conduct and gestures

Koreans attach great importance to the greetings and words of gratitude. They are always pronounced with a slight bow. The depth of the bow depends on the relative position of the speakers. Koreans do not like excessive displays of emotion and generally limit direct physical contact with a polite handshake. However, as your relationship becomes closer, the possible existence of greater familiarity.

Foreigners in Korea are often surprised at the sight of the girls walking hand-in-hand. Touching between persons of the same sex who are in close friendly relations, it is permissible in Korea. Public displays of affection between different sexes such as kissing and hugging, not so rare in our days as before, however, continue to be regarded as obscene.

Traditionally, Koreans sit, eat and sleep on the floor. Therefore, when entering the Korean house is always necessary to remove your shoes. In Korea it is considered indecent to be out with bare legs in the presence of elders, so it is recommended to always wear socks or stockings when visiting a Korean family.

Among the younger generation of Koreans is considered quite normal to pay a purse, however, it often happens that paying someone one of your friends or colleagues. Previously, in Korea it is considered impolite to talk while eating, but nowadays it is acceptable to talk and laugh at the table.

Thankyou for the delicious food and good service are always accepted with joy. It’s considered impolite to blow your nose at the table.

In Korea it is not customary to call a man’s hand with palm facing up or to beckon with a finger. Such gestures in Korea you usually have to summon dogs. If you want to call a person, do it by hand with palm facing down.

Hanbok

For millennia, the hanbok is a traditional clothing of Koreans. The beauty and elegance of Korean culture is perfectly captured of Korean women dressed in hanbok. Before the emergence in Korea of the Western-style clothing 100 years ago, the hanbok was everyday clothing of Koreans. Men wore Chogori (jacket) and paji (trousers), clothes were women and chima Chogori (skirt). Nowadays, the hanbok is worn only on solemn and celebratory days such as wedding day, Sollal (Lunar New year) or it’s thanksgiving (harvest Day).

Ondol

Room in a traditional house does not have a clearly defined purpose. For example, there are rooms that are used as, say, dining room or bedroom. Depending on the need, the same room can be used as a dining room (in this case, it put a little folding table) and a bedroom (in this case, in the room lay a mattress).

Most Koreans prefer to sit and sleep on the floor on a special Mat or mattress. The rooms at Korean house have a special heating system ondol, a built-in floor. Before the room was heated by hot air that circulated through the tubes in clay floor. In our day used water heating: hot water circulates through pipes embedded in a cement floor covered with linoleum or other material.

Kimjun

Timjan is a centuries old tradition of harvesting for the winter kimchi, transmitted from generation to generation. Assorted pickled vegetables (mostly Kale), called in Korea kimchi, are prepared in store in late fall. Imagine a Korean meal without this dish is simply impossible.

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