This Explains a Lot (K-Drama Culture)

From the book Culture Shock! Korea, Sonja Vegdahl Hur and Ben Seunghwa Hur, the version I read was published in the 90s.

You are at a party (in Korea) and start up a friendly conversation with a person you have met only a few times. One of the first questions he asks you is why are you not married. You do not wish to answer. What do you do?

A. Explain it is none of his business and walk away asap
B. Joke that there are no partners good enough for you.
C. Lie and say you are already married.
D. Ignore the question and change the subject.
The answer is D.    A would be horribly rude and hurtful.  B might make somebody laugh, but they will also think you are arrogant.  C is obviously a problem if you ever get caught in the lie. You won’t be trusted or well thought of.  D is… well, interesting.  How many times have I yelled at a K-Drama character, “Just answer the question!”
Another tidbit:
When a neighbor or friend drops by, you must offer a drink. They will say no.  A few minutes later, you should offer again, but it doesn’t matter if he says no, you should bring him one anyway. IT doesn’t matter if he likes it or not, you don’t have to ask if he wants cream and sugar, for instance, or prefers coke or sprite. Just serve the drink.  Serving the drink is what matters, not whether or not the guest likes it.
It was acceptable at the time this book was written to touch children to discover their gender.  babies and toddlers might even have their pants opened or pulled down.  That was fine and expats were advised not to freak out.
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One Comment

  1. Frances
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Yikes – couldn’t the curious just ask the attending adult?

    (Hey you’re a little boy – whoops! Right in the eye!)

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