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South Korea Culture

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        Culture is innate. It can be shared, can be learned, is adaptive, is dynamic and is integrated. Knowing what kind of culture we have, will what kind of individual are we. Just like gadgets, culture is being enhanced. From traditional clothes up to modern clothes, folk dances to modern dances, traditional songs to modern songs. It seems that it was all upgrading from time to time. Sometimes, this is the basis that a society is progressing.

        In this project, Origin of Culture and Development in a particular country I have chosen South Korea as the main topic and be studied in this paper. The reason why is that I have notice that most of the individuals nowadays specially teenagers are so die hard and very interested about this country due to K-drama, k-pop music, and k-pop artists. That is why it leads me to be curious about their culture and the development they had in the past few years.

        South Korea is located in East Asia, on the south half of the Korean Peninsula jutting out from the far east of the Asian land mass. The Republic of Korea is composed of nine provinces, with Seoul as the capital city. The landscape of the country is spectacular in its variations and about 70 percent of its mountainous, with more than 3000 islands dotting the coastline. There are several major rivers in the South, one of which is the Han River which cuts through Seoul.

        The flag of South Korea also known as the Taegukgi (also spelled as Taegeukgi, literally “supreme ultimate flag”) has three parts: a white rectangular background, a red and blue Taeguk,symbolizing balance, in its center, and four black trigrams selected from the original eight, one toward each corner. White represents peace and purity. The circle in the middle represents the balance of the universe. Blue refers to shade, water and land. Red means brightness, fire and sky.

        The Korean language is the official and national language of both Koreas; the Democratic People’s in North Korea and the Republic of South Korea, with different standardized official forms used in each territory. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture and Changbai Korean Autonomous Korean County of the People’s Republic of China. Approximately 80 million people worldwide speak Korean.

        Religion in South Korea is characterized by the fact that an absolute majority of South Koreans have no formal membership in a religious organization; among those who are members of a religious organization, there is dominance Protestantism, Buddhism (Korean Buddhism), Catholicism. In the survey there is 46.5% of irreligion, 22.8% Buddhism, 18.3% Protestantism, 10.9% Catholicism and 1.7% for other religion.

        Just like Filipinos, Korean has their manner. They will perform bowing if they’ll meet the eldest one. Do not leave your chopsticks sticking out of the rice of the bowl. Bring fruit or good quality chocolates or flowers if invited to a Korean’s home. Do not start eating unless the eldest at the table has begun to eat. It’s normal to be 15 to 20 minutes late but rude to be later than 30 minutes. Use both hands while receiving or offering something.

        Korean has 10 customs and you should know these before you visit their country. First is Kimchi is culture. It symbolizes: strong, distinctive and defiant. Some foreigners cannot stomach it, but if you can, you will earn the locals’ heartfelt respect. Shoes off; when entering a Korean home, you must remove your shoes. To do any less is a sign of great disrespect. Koreans have special relationship with their floor, on which they sit and often sleep. A dirty floor is intolerable in a Korean home, and they view Westerners as backward savages for remaining shod in our living room. Soju; Korea is a drinking culture, and their national booze is soju, a clear vodka-like-drink. Rice; Like Japanese, Koreans eat rice with almost every meal. It’s so ingrained in their culture that one of their most common greetings is “Bap meogeosseoyo?, or “Have you eaten rice?” Unlike Japanese, Koreans usually eat their rice with spoon, and they never raise the rice bowl off of the table towards their mouth. Do not smile. Koreans are a warm and generous people but you would never know it from the sourpusses they paste on in public. Beware of elbows. Korea is a crowded country. It’s a cluster of stony mountains with only few valleys and plains on which to build. The result is a lot of people in small spaces,  and folks will not think twice about pushing and jostling in order to get onto a bus, into an elevator, or to those perfect onions at the market. Protest; South Koreans fought hard to achieve the democratic society they now enjoy, and are among the top in the world when it comes to exercising their right to protest. Hiking; As Korea is mountainous, it should come as no surprise that hiking is the national pastime. Bow-wow; Yes, some Koreans do eat dog meat, despite some sporadic attempts by the government to shut down the boshingtang (dog meat soup) restaurants, in order to improve the country’s “international image”. Lastly, the Nationalism; Koreans are an extremely proud people, and sometimes this pride transforms into white-hot nationalism.

        There are 3 major celebrations that Koreans celebrates and it is also a part of their customs; these are: Seollal (New Year/ Lunar New Year), Chuseok (Celebrates the harvest) and Seongtanjeol (Christmas Day). They also have their ceremonies, just like: Pungmul nori, Presentation of wild geese, Candle lighting, Bride’s Parade, Girukabi and Groom’s parade, Entering the wedding table and washing hands, Bowing Ceremony, Weaving Red and Blue Threads, Drinking and announcing the marriage to the heaven, Letter reading and bowing to the parents and guests.



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