South Korea

10 Facts of Life In South Korea You Should Know

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Watching life in Korean dramas makes some “drakor” fans dream of living in this K-pop exporting country. They hope to get a romantic partner like the characters in the drama. However, is life in Korea as beautiful as in dramas? Let’s check the facts!

1. Life In South Korea is a land of hard workers

It is common knowledge that Life In South Korea is one of the countries with a population that has a high work ethic. Carreeraddict ranks Korea as the third country with a hard-working population. So do not be surprised, if the word yeolshimhi hagetseumnida which means to work hard is an expression that they often say.

If you’ve ever watched K-pop idols, actresses, and actors being interviewed or giving speeches at award receptions, they won’t forget to include the phrase yeolshimhi hagetseumnida . According to Koreans, people who try hard to do something have their own charm. That statement is an expression of praise.

And If you want to know how hard working Korean people are, you can watch the drama Misaeng . The drama depicts the world of office workers so realistically. There is also a drama entitled Familiar Wife which tells the ups and downs of a bank employee’s life. The most recent, still airing, is the drama Where Stars Land . This drama tells the story of workers at an airport.

2. Korea Has Long Working Hours

If you intend to work Life In South Korea, be prepared for their longer working hours compared to Indonesia. According to the online newspaper , Telegraph , South Korea is among the five countries with the longest working hours. Korea ranks third behind Mexico and Costa Rica with 2,069 hours worked per year.

Don’t be surprised if you visit Korea and find office workers coming home late at night. In fact, some of these workers have to work overtime and stay at the office to get the job done. The demands of work and the high level of competition make workers inevitably have to fight so that they are not replaced by other people.

3. Still Upholding the Culture of Seniority

As a country that adheres to Confucianism, Life In South Korea still adheres to and practices a culture of seniority. Seniority is still used when socializing or working. K-pop fans must have seen how juniors treat their seniors. There is a kind of unwritten rule that requires them to be polite to their seniors.

UK writer Jung in his book Kpop Audition Bible exemplifies the seniority that occurs in the K-pop world. If juniors are involved in shooting for a “chart show”, they must go to the senior waiting room and salute them while bowing.

Korean dramas with the background of office workers generally show the culture of seniority in the work environment clearly. When greeting seniors, they will not forget to mention the position of the person being addressed.

As explained by the Doing Business Guide website , when meeting with seniors, juniors will bow to seniors first. When going to shake hands, juniors must wait for seniors to reach out first. When greeting seniors, juniors should mention their senior title, such as “Bujangnim” for manager or “Hoejangnim” for president director.

4. Blend of Western and Eastern Culture

Life stories in Korean dramas often show a mix of western and eastern cultures. In some aspects of life, such as the relationship between men and women, Koreans, especially young people, seem to have adopted western culture. However, they still carry out their original culture, such as activities related to religious and cultural rituals.

When you want to start shooting a drama or film, there is a kind of ritual to reject reinforcements or a ritual to ask for smoothness and success that is followed by the cast and crew. During the Chuseok celebrations , Koreans will go to visit family graves after previously completing the rites of honoring their ancestors. This is proof that they still carry out their ancestral culture.

5. Strong Drinking Culture

It seems almost all dramas feature soju , a Korean alcoholic beverage. Under any circumstances, when sad, depressed, or happy, soju will faithfully accompany them. According to CNN , Life In South Korea is one of the countries with strong drinking habits. The country is ranked seventh in the “ World’s 10 Best Drinking Nations ”.

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Generally, when welcoming new workers or office get-togethers, there are always drinks. People who refuse drink offers from superiors or seniors are considered rude. But don’t worry, if you can give a reasonable reason, they will understand. Among the types of drinks that are often consumed by Koreans, namely soju, makgeolli , and maekju .

6. Education Is Important

For Koreans, education is important. School can be a determining factor in the success of getting a job. The education and employment system Life In South Korea is very competitive. They have learned to compete from an early age. So don’t be surprised if even elementary school children are busy taking various types of after-school lessons.

Life as a student is quite tiring. After school, they will go to hagwon . Students study at hagwon, a kind of tutoring in Indonesia, until the evening. The Korean government has limited study hours at the Hagwon until 10 pm. Generally after coming home from Hagwon , third year high school students will study again at home until one o’clock in the morning.

7. Appreciate Friendship

Koreans have a close bond of friendship. Generally, parents maintain their friendship well. They also like to gather to just chat and exchange news.

Therefore, when compared to other East Asian countries, Life In South Korea is more open to accepting friendships with foreigners. They are open to meet people from other countries. Instead, they expect foreigners to appreciate and want to understand their country’s culture.

8. Everything Fast

The word that foreigners often hear is ppalli … ppalli or fast…fast . Life In South Korea is demanded to be fast-paced and on time. The word ppalli is heard not only when working but also when walking or eating.

Mornings are the busiest hours as people rush to work. So don’t be surprised if you find views of people who walk fast and even tend to run when they are at the subway station . Even if there is a next train or bus, arriving on time is important for them.

Not only are people and their transportation moving fast, so is the internet. Korea is known as the country with the highest internet speed in the world, because the internet has become a part of their life. Studying, shopping, working, everything related to the internet.

9. The Importance of Physical Appearance

Watch the drama My ID Is Gangnam Beauty ? This drama raises the issue of physical appearance in Korean people’s lives. The main character Kang Mirae is a victim of bullying . He chose plastic surgery to beautify his face in order to be free from bullying .

On the other hand, Do Kyung Seok is told as a character who gets lucky because he has a handsome face. One of the advantages he gets is the ease of getting a job. The coffee shop owner immediately accepted him to work even though he had no work experience. According to his employer, his handsome face was enough.

For Koreans, physical appearance is very important. That’s because physical appearance is quite influential in their lives. Marriage, work was at least influenced by physical appearance. Because of these demands, some of them struggle to look beautiful and handsome. Plastic surgery is becoming a popular choice among Korean people.

In addition to a beautiful face, a thin body shape is also a calculation for the people Life In South Korea. You can find out the reason in the article Reasons Why Koreans Have Thin Body .

10.The Culture of Drinking Coffee

The culture of drinking coffee has become part of the daily life of Koreans today. Coffee is the drink of choice because its caffeine content can help them stay awake at work. Coffee shops began to mushroom Life In South Korea. At lunch time, many office employees relax in the coffee shop . Not only employees, young people also like to hang out at coffee shops .

Some Korean dramas bring up a coffee shop as a setting . Remember the drama Something in the rain ? This drama gave rise to a coffee shop called Coffee Bay . There’s also Dal. Komm Coffee who appeared in the hit drama Goblin and DOTS . The most famous of course is Coffee Prince , which is the setting for the drama starring Gong Yoo and Yun Eun Hye.

The reality of life in Korea is quite difficult. It takes hard work and mental steel because competition, especially in the world of work, is quite high. After you know how real life in South Korea is, are you still interested in moving and living in Korea?


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