what should you avoid when giving gifts in korea

Koreans differentiate between using two hands for a shaking hands vs. one hand. [13], The same etiquette applies when adult guests receive alcoholic drinks. When you exchange business cards at a meeting in South Korea, your first instinct may be to put it in your pocket or to write some notes on it. I`ve seen a lot of gift packages being exchanged and wonder if we are expected to give gifts? Want to make a good impression at the dinner table in South Korea? You won’t be surprised, and you’ll make a great impression. It would be considered polite among Korean customs. Waaa i never knew that. Conversely, a woman bows by placing her right hand on top of her left. Use the polite version of the Korean language, 9. [22], A hwangab (hangul: 환갑; hanja: 還甲) in South Korea is a traditional way of celebrating one's 60th birthday. If a Korean-American family is holding a funeral wake/gathering in honor of their deceased daughter, should my characters who are attending bring anything specific for the family? In South Korea, drinking is often a part of the culture and you should never pour your own drink. Most Koreans don’t expect visitors and expats to learn Korean, but a little effort will go a long way! If the alcoholic drink is beer, it is proper for younger guests to turn their heads. You may see the sign for 노약자석, which means “seating reserved for the handicapped, the elderly, and pregnant women.”. Dressing well is important in South Korea; it is considered a sign of respect. Their guests prepare matches or candles, which symbolizes their wishes for the household to rise and prosper. People offer detergent and toilet paper as moving-in presents, which signifies that everything will go well. It is one of the most important birthdays a South Korean will celebrate. My mom loves the green tea and although I’m not really into Kpop or dramas hardcore, some of my friends are and I’ll bring them back a poster or trinket of some sort. Therefore, paying attention to other’s drink glasses and filling them when empty is a common procedure at bars, parties, and other social settings. It has its own culture, language, dress and cuisine, separate and distinct from its neighboring countries. Similarly, spoons should not touch plates because they may make a clashing sound. Often times that person will give you a version of his/her Korean name or his/her English name, allowing you to comfortably sidestep the complex name and title rules that Koreans live by. [17][18] During the holidays, South Koreans give gifts to their parents and superiors, such as ribs, fruit, wine, and/or gift cards. Good gifts reflect an appreciation of knowledge and the arts, such as books and music. This is especially true at the dinner table! You should use formal sentences, for example, ‘kamsahamnida’, at the beginning! In respect much can be said on the differences on how to conduct oneself as a male South Korean and a female South Korean. [8] The floor is generally heated by the ondol, an underfloor heating system. This tradition, though age old, is still very much in vogue. You’ll notice a lot of Korean culture subtleties built right into the language. Stay clear of pregnant, elderly, handicapped seating, 6. You can also receive it with your right hand if you hold your right wrist with your left hand. You’ll be pouring someone else’s drink, and they’ll return the favor to you. [citation needed], Etiquette in Canada and the United States, "Guide to South Korea | South Korean Etiquette, Customs & Culture", "Public displays of affection: where to draw the line? [20], Unlike the usual formal bow, at a funeral, a man bows by placing his left hand on top of his right. I’m not sure if Korean-Americans do the same. During a meal, bowls and dishes remain on the table. Women are permitted to cross their legs, but they should also try to keep their shoes pointing in a downward position. If you are looking for some souvenirs to buy, his article will help you choose better. You may start to notice these things in K-Dramas and Korean movies. It’s considered rude. Or just avoid by marrying a Samsung heir. The bow is the traditional Korean greeting, although it is often accompanied by a handshake among men. Neighbors often receive cooking oil, a can of tuna, or gim. I’ve been living in Korea for a little over 7 years now and I often get asked by friends and family to bring them back Korean gifts when I visit home during the vacations. Kobos Hotel. Hi, Huwaina! Chopsticks and spoons should never be put into food, particularly rice, in a standing-up position because it resembles food offerings at a grave for deceased ancestors, and it is therefore considered bad luck. [11] If a guest refuses a drink up to three times, that specific guest will not be offered anymore. if they’re older than you! Don’t blow your nose in front of others, 7. This is one very important part of proper business etiquette. What to do: If you feel like you need to clear out your sinuses in South Korea, best to excuse yourself and head to the restroom. Cool. We’ve included a FREE PDF version of this lesson that you can take with you on the go. Guests are expected to always pass and receive objects with their right hand or with two hands, and to never use their left hand alone. If you’re in South Korea, make sure you don’t miss out on opportunities to go out with Koreans! Hard work, filial piety and modesty are characteristics esteemed by Koreans. However I’d like to ask something. If you’re not sure, best to play it safe. Korea is one of the most demographically homogeneous countries in the world, racially and linguistically. If he says his name is Mr. Kim, then that is fine to call him that. In addition, direct eye contact between juniors and seniors should be avoided because it is seen as impolite or even a challenge. First of all, you are not obligated to buy anyone a gift. The mass transportation in South Korea is some of the best in the world. A lot of Korean culture is embedded in it’s customs, traditions, and etiquette. [17][18], In South Korea, going to a funeral involves praying for the deceased person to rest in heaven, and is related to filial piety. Just ask your South Korean colleagues how they’d like to be referred to! Visual Associations to learn the Korean alphabet in record time! And can i call their name without adding the word unnie at the back? Neighbors often receive cooking oil, a can of tuna, or gim. Touching, patting, or back slapping is to be avoided during interactions. Funerals. If such an action is necessary, it is recommended to leave the table or otherwise be discreet. By going out with Koreans, you can gain a whole new perspective of what the country and social interactions are like. In order to accommodate them, there are special seats exclusively for these people on the buses and subways. For example, many people now prefer to have small funerals and be cremated rather than buried. However, if elders offer alcoholic drinks to younger guests, the guests should take the drink and politely show gratitude by saying "thank you". Small gifts such as pens, business diaries, and mementos with company logos are usually sufficient. People from all different walks of life use it, including pregnant women, handicapped people, and the elderly. This custom is still common at many restaurants in South Korea. What to do: If you’re not sure of the other people’s age relative to yours, its best to wait and let the others get started first. No, it’s probably not from a messy divorce. If you become close with the other person over time or they are lower in the hierarchy than you, then you can use one hand. Thank you! You may also notice that some Koreans will bow slightly when shaking hands. After you get close to each other, you can ask if it’s okay to speak informally. People should bow one time for those who are alive and twice for those who are deceased. What to do: The safest way to handle this one is to ask that person how he or she would like to be called the first time you meet. This is a strange question honestly, but I’m writing a book and I have a question for a scene I’m doing.

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