Saturday, July 24, 2010

Your Two Cents: What Stands Out In Korean Culture???

With each passing day, the world is becoming more and more globalized. I remember when I was maybe in elementary school, sushi was considered "gross". A lot of people in my country (the US) freaked out at the mere thought of swallowing raw fish. However, now it's loved by SO many people in the US including the rich and the famous. In fact, now it's considered "high class" food! I love that though! We're becoming much more open-minded to other countries and their cultures. It's a beautiful thing.

This week's question isn't really going to be just focused on k-pop, but in Korea and Korean culture.

What's one thing that really stands out to you in Korean culture? It can stand out in a good way where it makes you wish other countries did that too. OR it can stand out to you in a bad way where you wish that Korea didn't have that aspect mixed in its culture. Also, I'd like to know how you learned it. Perhaps it was through dramas, movies, songs, articles, the internet, etc. If this is too difficult of a question, then just answer with a type of Korean food or dish that stands out to you! Again, it can stand out in a good way where you want to try it or you think it's delicious. OR it can stand out in a bad way where you think it's disgusting!

Let's get to know each other's tastes, preferences, cultural backgrounds, etc.!

Also, don't forget to tune in for next week's KPI to see if your answers are read^^ And it's your LAST week to get your entries in for July's CD Drawings! Email me your name, address, the TOP TWO kpop CDs you'd like to receive to

Have a great week all!


  1. I love the way respect fits into the language. In english, if you don't want to be polite and respectful to someone, you can get around it without offending someone.
    In korean, you don't seem to have that option. You're either polite or you're rude.

    the other thing i like is the TV. i don't like to watch american tv shows because #1 they drag on forever with pointless drama
    #2 they're not that funny #3 the shows that ARE funny are usually making fun of someone for doing something stupid and getting hurt.

    I like watching the dramas (partly because there's actually an END to them), and i like watching the funny variety programs that you see a lot of the idol groups on. I absolutely LOVE StarKing. Kang Ho Dong is so funny! :D

  2. oO This question's a difficult one. There's really so many things I like about Korea.

    Firstly, since I'm from Singapore, I'm super isolated from anything Korean.(Other than K-Pop of course) So when I started getting in touch with Korean stuff, the first thing I was fascinated with was those lines and circles called Hangul. Yup, I am really into the Korean language and I'm studying it by myself right now.(Korean language classes here cost a bomb unfortunately...) What was amazing about the Korean language was that it fitted me perfectly due to me being Chinese and knowing a substantial amount of Japanese too. Well, I'm still learning Hangul now and aspiring to work in Korea in the future.

    The second thing I really like and admire about the Korean culture would be the intensity of basic etiquette. Yes, perhaps Korea does share the 90 degree bow with Japan... But, I get the feeling that Koreans place more "heart" into expressing their manners and that's what I really like. Pity, we don't have such a habit in Singapore. Still, it's part of the Korean culture that I liked and I do bow to people when I meet them.(They think I'm a weirdo for bowing though...)

    Frankly, I can't say much about food and stuff I don't like about Korean culture. We don't have much authentic Korean cuisine in SG and I haven't experience the Korean way of life long enough to make any criticisms... Still, I would say that Korean culture is something that I really enjoy getting in touch with.

    Aloysius, Singapore

  3. Something the most I proud to Korea is Korea so serious in introducing all about Korea...I like everything about Korea : Music, drama, movies, culture, & foods.
    My Favorite Korean Foods are Tteokpokki & tteok. Hm.. By the way, I made kimchi yesterday for my Korea internet volunteers.
    If I have free time, I often try to make korean food at home

  4. I'm from the Philippines and there's something about Asians and their level of respect.
    Korea & Japan has the whole bowing thing and I like it ~ for some reason watching Korean TV shows I tend to bow nowadays to anyone who's older than me. I love the language ~ it's easier to learn and again with the respect ~ unnie, oppa, noona, hyung ~ I don't like calling people older than me just by their name ~ I usually call them auntie or uncle ~ but with Korea it's automatic to be like that! :)

    Another thing I like is the music & TV ~ with music some western songs are just rubbish, no meaning to it what so ever T.T so yay for kpop even if I dont understand it ~ there's always people translating for us ~ so thank you to them ^^ as for TV ~ I find StarKing, DreamTeam, MusicCore, MusicBank, We Got Married ~ so interesting!! ~ it's awesome! haha ~ they let the Korean artists interact with people it's awesome :)

    hehe thank you angie ^^

    Kim Valerio

  5. One of my friends is from Korea and the thing that I thought was most cool about Korea,from the stuff she showed me, is the food. She invited me to her house and her mom made dak bulgogi(?)(This grilled chicken dish)and I was hooked, I was like: I will live off of this stuff until I DIE! Now I look up different reciepes and force feed every person I can find. *Evil laughter*

  6. Weronika (pronounced Veronica)July 25, 2010 at 9:27 AM

    I very much admire Korean culture, particularly the great impact they place on keeping oneself beautiful but in a less shallow sense as Americans do. In Korea, keeping oneself healthy and fit through exercising and eating well is stressed when striving for beauty. I noticed this in a few dramas and any news or blogs that I read. And also in a promotional video by MBLAQ that I found hilarious - if you have time please watch it!! -

    I also really love how cuteness is a great part of Korean culture - which I noticed through the KPOP world and dramas. I love the full body animal suits that sometimes KPOP stars dress up in and the adorable outfits and hair accessories they wear. Even the drama plots are usually adorable and innocent compared to most American dramas, for instance - Boys Over Flowers, Personal Preference, Take Care of the Young Lady, Goong, etc.
    I'm very happy to have discovered more about Korean culture and look forward to learning more from Kpop connection!!! :)
    Thank you!!!

  7. Wow. This is a pretty cerebral 2 cents. Maybe you should up the value to 5 cents! Anyhow, the thing I admire most about Korean culture is the resilience of the Korean people.

    Consider the 5000 years of history in Korea and the various challenges from it's bigger neighbors in China and Japan, including a Japanese occupation which really sought to erase Korean culture. Then you have a civil war which left the nation divided and pretty much at 3rd world status. Yet in the span of 50 years, Korea has emerged to be a global economic powerhouse and, at least throughout Asia, a real cultural powerhouse (ironic how popular Korean culture is with the Japanese in particular!).

    I know Korea has even tried "exporting" its economic model to countries in Africa. It'll be interesting to see if that's really possible or if a significant reason for that success is really just integral to the nature of the Korean people and not something that can be taught.

    As to how I came to this thought, I certainly learned a lot through KBS World broadcasts which also encouraged me to read and research more on my own. If I have one wish for the Korean people it's that with all the success and modernization in Korea, that they don't lose sight of that rich heritage that helps make them so unique.

    Jeff B.
    Baltimore, MD, USA

  8. i agree with Kim Valerio
    i like the way them tey address people older than them too
    in addition to Korean music and TV shows
    i also like korean dramas and movies and it's cute lovely stories

    i'm also a big fan of korean food and i love the way it looks around the table with all the small colored side dishes , i try to make korean dishes all the time , but it's usually not that successful ~ hahaha ~ but i make my friends eat it any way LOL

    Rihab. E

  9. *reads previous comments* Wow! I had no idea a lot of listeners felt the same way I did. I wrote my comment before I read the others and it’s pretty similar.

    Anyhoo, thanks for playing my request Angie! And as always, great Y2C question. To me, what really stands out in Korean culture is the respect for others according to seniority. I think that’s what attracted me the most. Not to trash the US of A, but respect is sometimes a rare artifact that you may see on a good day. The way I was raised is in line with the respect aspect that the Korean culture encompasses so it naturally appealed to me. Then as I learned more and observed Korean relationships with friends, family and even dating, I realized that it was more in line with my beliefs and personality than I had imagined. I get insanely happy every time one of my younger friends (k-pop sisters) calls me “Unnie” or treats me with that respect that is of course reciprocated by me trying to take good care of them. :-)

    Oh, and I learned about the respect characteristic through my intro to the Korean culture: my favorite drama “My Name is Kim Sam Soon.” This drama will forever remain my favorite and is dear to my heart because it was the start of my wonderful Korean infused lifestyle. ^^


    Kim Shaw
    Virginia USA

  10. Something that stands out to me is the variety shows in Korea. They are so much more funnier. And it's not jokes about inappropriate things, you know? Like star king. Also the reality shows. It's not girls swearing and scratching out eachothers faces. Like we got married. ^_^ but this only from what I have seen so far. Another thing that stands out to me that I don't like is black bean noodles. In dramas and tv shows the when people eat them it looked so good. But when I actually got to try it I didn't like it all. I don't how they managed to eat so much of it like in coffee prince. Maybe I'm just not meant for Korean food because I can't handle spicy things either. But I would still love to go to Korea one day to sing karaoke, go on bike rides, and piggyback on the beach. (all from Korean dramas ^_^)
    --Stacey from Hawaii

  11. Hello!
    I've said before ( for a Worldwide Friendship essay) that I like the National Parks, the ondol and the jjimjilbang. So this time, I'll focus on the abstract aspects which appeal to me.

    Top of the list: the energy and enthusiasm of the people - in the way they cheer for their sports teams, in how they let loose at the noraebang and in their all-out preparations for a day's hike and picnic outdoors.

    Next, and this was the thing that caught my attention first - the sadness of separation that has found its way into so many poignant Korean movies like Sopyeonje, JSA and Il Mare, songs - pansori or Kpop ballads and poems. Not that I'm a sucker for pain but the Korean brand of sorrow is particularly moving, given its tragic history and present conflicts.

    On a lighter note, I LOVE jjajangmyeon, kimchi stew, banchan which you can have replenished, tteok filled with red bean paste and the great concept of "service" ie complimentary coffees in Korean restaurants.

    All these from my past travels around the country or from its movies etc. To list what's not so endearing would take another mini-essay in another letter. Ha2.

    Selene, Malaysia

  12. Hey Angie,
    Mine would have to be the amount of respect and love for one's family. I think America has lost that in our society. I was brought up to always respect my elders and to never dishonor or talk back to them. Nowadays the youth don't respect anyone and to hear what they call their mothers and fathers would put most to shame. And then there are the mothers and fathers that don't care about their kids, letting little children run around by themselves late at night. It's almost as if the concept of "family" is eroding little by little every year. Very sad!
    To get away from the serious side. My second favorite would have to be aegyo. My korean friend tells me that I am the most korean non-korean he knows because he says korean men usually act like me when they hear a cute girl do aegyo. I swear when I hear a girl say "Oppa!" in that way I instantly melt. hehe! I only had a couple of younger girls call me that out of respect but would love to actually go out with a girl that would call me oppa. I would probably buy her anything she wanted! lol
    The only thing I can think of that I don't like about Korea is the eating of dogs. I know it is a very small percentage that does but personally I wouldn't be able to go near anyone eating a dog. Every culture has its delicacies but I am no closer to eating snails or "Rocky Mountain Oysters" either. If you don't know what the second one is look it up I don't want to explain it here.
    Thanks for the excellent question Angie! Keep them coming.

  13. Hi Angie,

    I love how Koreans give a lot more respect to the elderly. Giving up their seats for grandpas and grandmas was really cool.I saw it a lot in the subway and on the buses.
    I also really love how willing they are to help each other when in need. Like when there was an oil spill off of Taean a few years ago, a lot of people would go there to volunteer their time and help clean it up. So when Sophie and I went there around April 2008 it was pretty clean.

    Thanks and God Bless,

    Paul T.

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  15. Angie,
    I've never been to Korea, so I don't know very much about the culture. What I do like, though, is the one thing that I am exposed to (or I expose myself to) - Kpop!
    I really like Kpop because of how much talent there is in the industry. All of the artists who want to make it big have to go on music shows such as Inkigayo, Music Bank, and Music Core. Those shows force the artists to sing live, and with things like MR floating around the web, the artists really have to step it up with the vocals.
    So unlike some Chinese/Taiwanese/American artists (no prejudice, those are just the artists I listen to), most of the artists in Korea can sing relatively well live while dancing! (and people like DBSK and SHINee sometimes sound even better live than their recordings!)
    I think being able to sing well live is a very basic requirement of being a singer. Korea has kept its music quality high by forcing entertainment companies to train their artists so that they have acquired that basic requirement before debuting.
    So that's what I think. Hope you understood what I tried to say. Haha. :)


  16. Like how other people mentioned the respect for one's family and elders. It is really rare in North America unless you were brought up that way.

    However, for me specifically, I like how Korean men seem to want a serious girlfriend, and marriage, and a family. I know that not EVERY korean male wants this, but family is important and so it is all related. In Canada, men seem to fear committment. Young people now are not getting married because of all the hardship, certainity, 'forever' feel it. I understand their concern, but I want marriage and a family so I am jealous of that lifestyle Korean's seem to want.

    I can tell this through news and through k-dramas. It's not everyone, but I know for sure it's a more dominant goal for the future in Korea, than in Canada. I can't speak for everyone in my country, but it's the way everywhere around me.

  17. Hello Angie,

    This week's question is really very hard ! But i will try my best to answer.

    Personally, for me i think like korean language. If i have a chance, i would really like to learn how to speak in korean and write in korean. It is very different from Chinese but i really like it very much. The way korean address their elder also attracts me very much. Like a female addressing their older brother, they would call oppa and for male they call hyung. In Singapore, be it female or male, we would simply call "ge ge".

    Secondly, i like how korean respect their elders very much. Nowadays, in many countries, such respect towards their elders are already rarely seen.

    Lastly, i think that Korean dramas, songs and the variety shows are the BEST. They are the Best for me compared to many other countries. Whenever i watch korean drams, i would almost cry and cry. The acting skills and the story plot is simply the BEST. Whenever i watch korea's variety show, i would always LAUGH OUT LOUD.

    I really hope to visit Korea and also make some friends from Korea! XD I bet they would be really nice! ^^

    Thanks Angie for spending some time to read my post! Sorry sorry for the mistakes ^^ Hwaiting!


  18. Hi Angie,

    I'm not familiar with Korean food, would like to try it. I heard there's going to be a Korean restaurant in Amsterdam, Korean culture is spreading!

    Since I mostly listen to Kpop and watch Korean shows I will speak my mind about it. It will be short.

    I really wish singers in other countries will be trained before they debut like in Korea. In another country(I'm not mentioning it) it seems like everyone can become singers..even with horrible singing..they won't last long though.

    I also like how dancing is important in the music industry in Korea. It's not only the song people recognize but also the dance. (Sorry,Sorry; Abracadabra, NU ABO) When I watch variety show, 5yrs old kids or adults(40yrs+) know how to dance, that's just too great hehe ^^


  19. Hi Angie~..
    Since i was achild I used to like the far east countries Japan, Korea n China but after knowing more abt these countries i start to like korea n now i Lo0ove it..
    for my opinion the most thing that stands KOREA is the Culture not every thing in it the exact thing is the korean food ((KIMCHI)) coz befor years if you said Korea automaticly they will say KIMCHI so it was famouse by this..
    but these days if you said Korea they will say Kpop n Drama..
    so i think these three things r the most things that makes korea famouse.. 。◕‿◕。
    ♥ Korea saranghae..♥
    HudHud... from Qatar..

  20. Hello hello ^___^
    something that stands out to me in Korean culture is the spicy food. The last time I visited Korea was just a week ago and I bought a variety of instant noodles. ALL of them were spicy! D: Also I can't take spicy food, so it was difficult for me to eat >____<"
    cathyy~ australia