Customs, Traditions and Etiquette of South Korea



South Korea is a phenomenal and distinctive peninsular nation, sandwiched between the mainland of China and Japan with coasts bordering the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan. The northern border which it shares with North Korea is among the most militarized borders on the earth, erected following peace agreements in 1953. The countryside is a phenomenal mix of wealthy nature and historical temples, that includes cherry timber amid generally rolling hills and small villages effectively price exploring for a take a look at on a regular basis Korean life.

The nation itself is a novel mix of historical past and custom meets trendy growth. Whereas the countryside is house to centuries-old temples, the capital Seoul has its eye on the long run with spectacular, nearly futuristic buildings and expertise, providing a novel look into the economic developments that the nation has revamped the previous few many years, maintaining with its neighbor Japan when it comes to issues like robotics, expertise, and engineering.

Visiting Korea with Explorient on one among our wonderful Korean excursions could be among the best experiences of your Asian adventures. Certainly, touring to Korea will showcase a rustic that has overcome numerous issues related to the Korean Struggle to turn out to be the bustling, welcoming and delightful nation it’s right this moment. When you’re planning a visit to South Korea someday quickly, chances are you’ll have an interest to find out about a few of the factors of custom and etiquette that it would be best to attempt to observe to make sure you have among the best journey experiences of your life. In reality, when touring, following the etiquette of the locals will help create a way more enriching expertise for guests, serving to to offer them an expertise they’ll bear in mind for years to come back.

If studying in regards to the etiquette and tradition of South Korea is one thing you just like the sound of, we’ve put collectively this handy etiquette information to assist put together you for a few of the completely different traditions and customs you would possibly expertise whenever you’re on this fantastic nation.

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South Korea – A Colourful and Welcoming Place


As with all international locations, South Korea has a complete host of various customs and traditions that guests ought to be made conscious of. Listed here are simply a few of the commonest factors of etiquette and custom that you could be encounter in your Seoul Stopover with Explorient.


Kibun – a phrase with no direct English translation. The final thought of kibun is somebody’s particular person wellness, their satisfaction or their sense of price. This may be straight in comparison with the South East Asian idea of ‘face’ and ‘saving, constructing or giving face’. Somebody’s kibun is a crucial side of their life and it ought to be thought to be an necessary think about a westerner’s behaviors when in Korea to make sure that you don’t straight or not directly hurt somebody’s kibun – together with your personal! In Korea nonetheless, there may be one other side to kibun, which is called nunchi. That is primarily watching and listening for social cues to assist decide an individual’s frame of mind and the way they’re feeling after which directing your motion based mostly on their nunchi.

Methods to assist keep away from harming an individual’s kibun embody: being discreet about points that come up, not making a scene when a services or products is to not your customary, and customarily behaving in a courteous, understanding method.

Harmonious Associations

Concord is revered, nearly above all, in social interactions in South Korea. Which means that you must take care to not disrupt the harmonious steadiness in social conditions and in public, even when you must inform a small lie to maintain the peace. Individuals in South Korea choose to maintain any potential points at bay, and it’s appreciated for those who endeavor to do the identical.


Like neighboring Japan, bowing in greeting and departure is par for the course in South Korea. Males will bow to different males, generally with a handshake concerned. When shaking fingers with individuals in South Korea, your left hand ought to help your proper arm, primarily shaking with each fingers not directly. Ladies will bow, however typically their bow will likely be extra of a nod of the pinnacle. The depth of the bow signifies formality and ranges of respect – a really deep bow is usually reserved for individuals who are enormously revered, nonetheless, it isn’t unusual to obtain a really deep bow from an area as a foreigner. It is best to all the time bow to somebody when departing. You’ll get a number of follow bowing in South Korea in your Gyeongju and Busan tour.

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Declining, The Phrase No and Typically Disagreeing

To say no one thing, use the phrase no and customarily disagree with a said reality or opinion in South Korea is seen to be disharmonious and customarily prevented. Some communications could also be extended as a consequence of an individual attempting to keep away from disagreeing outright and thus ‘beating across the bush’ to reach at an understanding the place they’re able to disagree with out disagreeing. Individuals will steadily attempt to keep away from utilizing the phrase no, because it’s seen as impolite, so don’t be stunned in case your South Korean hosts use long-winded explanations for issues the place they might not be capable to present a service or product that’s been requested. Apply this talent prematurely of your journey to Korea in your Seoul Stopover with Explorient.

Private Area

Private area is extremely revered in South Korea. Care ought to be taken to not overly use one’s fingers in dialog, probably disrupting another person’s area. Likewise, you shouldn’t contact or hug a Korean particular person because it’s seen as very impolite for those who have no idea them effectively. Eye contact ought to be minimal – an excessive amount of could be seen as confrontational.


Pointing in South Korea, like lots of the different international locations surrounding it, is seen as impolite. Whereas different international locations within the area might choose and outstretched palm with flat fingers, South Koreans usually have the palm going through downwards if calling somebody over to them, transferring their hand in a claw-like movement or waving.

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Pushing and Shoving

Whereas South Koreans might respect and respect private area, in lots of the cities resembling Seoul you’re prone to expertise pushing and shoving on issues like public transport or in purchasing areas and markets. It’s not thought-about impolite in South Korea, however westerners could also be shocked by this show, particularly contemplating the customary custom of respecting private area. You might expertise this in your journey to South Korea on Explorient’s Gyeongju and Busan tour.

Meals, Eating and Invites

When you’re lucky sufficient to be invited to a meal by a South Korean, you’ll be very lucky and get handled very effectively certainly. When you’re given the seat of honor – which is often the seat going through the entrance door, it’s well mannered to attempt to object earlier than relenting and graciously accepting. As with different international locations within the area, chopsticks are to be honored and never left within the bowl, and never held within the fingers or used to level at issues or individuals. In the case of drinks, by no means pour your personal – however chances are you’ll pour for different individuals. Usually ladies will serve males however not different ladies and your drink could also be topped off as you drink it. When you want to not have any extra drinks poured, go away your glass about half full to indicate you’re accomplished. Meals are sometimes eaten in silence, however as soon as the meal is over, socializing could be strong, fulfilling and might generally descend into a celebration the place chances are you’ll be requested to sing a music. It’s rude to refuse this invitation to occasion after a meal, so flow and revel in your self.

With a lot to see and do on this majestic and delightful nation, South Korea is a type of locations that many individuals flock to for numerous causes. Hopefully, this information to the etiquette and customs of this welcoming and lovely nation will assist put together you for any time you spend on this fantastic nation. Take pleasure in!


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