Personal Culture Differences

Hajon Lee

Today’s blog might be one of the blogs that you can agree and empathize with the most. I will be sharing the cultural differences I experience and see in my daily life as of living in Korea for 3 years now. I used to live in Hungary, the center of Europe, for over 15 years and so coming back to Korea when I was 18 was very different from what I was used to. The first thing you’ve probably also experienced as you stepped into Korea was greetings. Living in Hungary, we said hello to anyone we met with two kisses on each cheek. In Korea, if you tried to do that you could be called by the police for being a pervert. Another greeting change was Korean people just wave their hands and say hi when you meet each other compared to the American style handshake you would do. Connected to greetings, it is kind of natural or not awkward for people to say hello to strangers or someone you meet in a situation, but in Korea people don’t really talk to strangers and you won’t often see people say hello even in the same apartment elevator.

One of the most talked about differences in culture that everyone knows about is if you leave your bag and laptop in a cafe in Korea, no one would steal it and people around you would even look after it as if it was theirs. In Europe, leaving your stuff is a bit dangerous as there are a lot of robberies and people would just take your belongings. Some of the cultural differences I experienced was when I went to a restaurant. If you ever been to a Korean restaurant, you would know people would call the waiter by saying Waiter, if you did that in Europe everyone would stare at you and consider you as having no manners. In addition, if the Korean eating place you went to was run by an elderly you can see people just calling her aunty which is only seen in Korea. Cultural differences are very awkward to see in the beginning, but when you get use to it some are very interesting and also helpful in some situations.

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