Interesting Korean tid-bits

Thursday, June 29, 2006

My lesson today was on how different cultures have important manners.
There is this great website called TOPICS and it has some really great articles written by students that are studying ESL.

Here's the link.

http://www.topics-mag.com/Electronic/Magazine.html

Anyway, we talked about some different country's customs like in Chile they greet each other by kissing each other on the right cheek. One of the students said that she wanted to go to Chile, while another one said that she would punch that person.

In Turkey, male drivers are expected to yield to women drivers and give them the right of way. They should also let her have dibs on parking. My students were a bit envious of this because they say that in Korea, male drivers tend to ignore women drivers and even resent them because they feel women shouldn't drive.

You know how in America that men should open the door for women? I've noticed that men often go first in Korea and the women follow behind. This isn't all the time, but sometimes. I asked my students and they said that if a girl is wearing a short skirt they will not walk in front of the man because she is trying to be modest (and maybe because they think the man holding the door is a bit of a pervert.)

In drinking, a man will often offer his own glass that he drank out of to a guest. This is a sign of friendship, however, I would probably not take it because I only like to drink out of my own glass thank you very much.

Oh, and when you are going to a person's home for the first time, it is customary for the guest to give the hosts a gift of detergent or toliet paper. I thought they gave toliet paper because Koreans use a lot of it. They use it for everything as well as for taking care of number two.

But the toliet paper represents a hope of plenty- that the hosts will have good fortune i.e. money. The detergent has the same meaning. In the past they would give gifts of matches.

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