August 3, 2012

''K'' - Pop

Further to a dear friend’s imminent request, we now visit Korea. Their culture is very rich and different pessimistic and humane manner.


How do you say 'hello' in Korean?

‘’Annyeong haseyo’’. Annyeong haseyo is a greeting used any time of day and translates, "Are you at peace?"; 'Gomapseumnida' means 'thank-you'; 'Eodi' means 'where', and a 'Bang' (pronouce to rhyme with 'long') is a room. You can go to a 'DVD Bang' to watch movies, a 'PC Bang' to play video games, or a 'Nori Bang' to karaoke.

Table manners:

 You are out to dinner with your co-workers and boss. As you are eating some delicious fish you realize that the bite you just took contains quite a few bones. To be polite you should spit them out on the table. That's right- spitting on the table is the accepted way of getting something out of your mouth.

 Which of the following would most likely happen at a typical Korean meal?

'Double dipping'. When eating Korean style you will not have a plate for your food. While you will receive your own rice and soup bowls, everything else is served and eaten out of community serving dishes.  Also, while water may be provided at the table in a container, it is not usually served with the meal. Drinking is saved for after the meal.  After the meal you will be offered coffee or green tea.

As in most Asian countries, rice is an important part of the South Korean diet. How often do most Korean people eat rice? Every day. Rice is eaten every day and is usually served with every meal. There is a saying that the meal is not finished until you eat rice.

What is kimchi? Fermented vegetables. Kimchi is very tasty and usually very spicy. It is made from a variety of vegetables such as radishes or Chinese cabbage. The vegetables are salted and then seasoned with a variety of spices and stored in sealed containers to undergo lactic acid fermentation. Don't be surprised if you are served kimchi at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

On the street:

Car ownership has jumped almost 40 percent in the last 10 years which works out to millions of new drivers. Needless to say, accidents are very common and auto repair shops do a very lucrative business. Public transportation (bus, train, taxi) is also very popular, efficient and best of all cheap!

What will happen to you if a policeman sees you spitting on the street in Korea?
Nothing. Young or old, the Koreans have no problems and actually seem to relish making the loud 'hhuucchhhkkk' noise and then spitting wherever they happen to be.

What should you say and do if you bump into someone?

You don't have to say anything, bumping isn't considered rude. Saying 'excuse me' is right with an additional saying of 'God bless you'.


Buddhism. Christianity and Shamanism are both found in Korea but are not nearly as prevalent as Buddhism. In Korea, if you see what looks like a swastika on a building, it is a Buddhist temple. It is a bit disquieting at first, but the swastika doesn't have the same connotation that it does in the West. In Korea, it is associated with the peace and harmony of Buddhism. You will always see it on temples or on stores that sell Buddhist goods. People will even display it on their houses for good luck. The symbols are not in fact identical, as the "arms" of the Buddhist symbol point in the opposite direction from the Nazi swastika.

Many countries have 'nicknames' that we recognize. For example, Japan is called 'The Land of the Rising Sun'. Which of the following is Korea's nickname?

'The Land of the Morning Calm'.