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CRW1 Unit 2 Homework

March 17, 2016

Question: What advice about customs in your country would you give a visitor?


In Canada, personal space is very important, so you should beware of how close you get to others. If you are in a public space like on a bus or in the subway, you should understand that Canadians can become a bit anxious if you stand too close or bump into them. (Certainly, accidents happen, but they can easily be dismissed with a polite and sincere “Excuse me.”) The appropriate distance to stay from others can vary among people and it can also depend on the relationship, the situation, the content of the conversation, et cetera. Often times, Canadians might have a hard time explaining the boundaries of their personal sphere, so it is necessary to watch for visual cues – eyes, body language and gestures – to know when you are invading their space and causing them discomfort. In the end, Canadians are generally friendly people and a little bit of awareness can avoid misunderstandings.

29 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    March 17, 2016 10:28 pm

    In Korea, you should know So-ju to hang out with your Korean freind. Most Korean people would like to drink So-ju. It has 17~18 percentage of alcohol. It has high percentage of alcohol comparing to beer while It has low percentage of alchol comparing to vodca or kaoliang liquor . If you usually enjoy drinking vodca or kaoliang liquor, it is easy to drink so-ju. But don’t let your guard down, if you don’t want to see hell tomorrow morning.

    • proftodd permalink*
      March 18, 2016 11:06 am

      “Most Korean people would like to drink So-ju. It has 17~18 percentage of alcohol. It has high percentage of alcohol comparing to beer while It has low percentage of alchol comparing to vodca or kaoliang liquor . ”

      Most Koreans like soju. At 17-18 percent alcohol, it is stronger than beer but weaker than vodka or kaoliang.

      • Anonymous permalink
        March 18, 2016 11:51 am

        Thank you:)

  2. John Snow permalink
    March 18, 2016 2:29 pm

    When a foreign tourists visit Korea, they should know several things. And I will let you know four things of them. Frist, when you talk with someone new, you have to use honorific. Beause it is courtesy in East Asia including korea. Second, you have to respect older person. For example, you have to give up the seat for older persons on the bus or subway. And don’t leaning on one foot in older person’s presence. Older person consider this posture as arroant. Third, when you visit Korean house, you should take off your shoes. In korea, people usually live with barefoot in their house except some hotels. So don’t be embarrased when you visit a typical family home in korea at first. Last, when you have a meal in korean traditional home, you have to wait until oldest person eat.

    • proftodd permalink*
      March 21, 2016 8:00 pm

      In many Canadian homes, it is also polite to take one’s shoes off when entering another’s home. My mother would be very upset if anyone wore shoes in her house, except at the entrance.

  3. saigonriver permalink
    March 18, 2016 9:54 pm

    Korea still is quiet traditional country in some parts, So if i could give on advice for people visit Korea for the first time, I would tell them what to becareful at public transportations. Korea’s public transportations like subway,bus is really developed. So foreigner who came to Korea may be, major of them will ride at least one of them i suppose. Many Korean people use publice transportation too. In Korea we have our own manner in those places, first, many westerners cannot understand why we do this but we have to let older people sit down it means, if there’s no seats, we probably should yield our seat to them. Second, like any others would know, should be quiet. usually people commute from their work or school, so they must be really tired. Also for several reasons, people want there to be queit. nobody interrupts nobody. One time i saw people from foreign country once so loud at subway that people inside that train felt uncomfotable. So if someone came to Korea, should aware of this. These two manners in tranportation is what i want to give them as advice.

    • proftodd permalink*
      March 21, 2016 8:03 pm

      “people want there to be queit. nobody interrupts nobody”
      In the past, this was true, but nowadays, I hear many noisy people on the bus. They often, for some strange reason, seem to choose the seat right behind me. 😦

  4. ghrksk123 permalink
    March 19, 2016 12:28 am

    Korea culture is influenced by the Confucianism. The charactoristics of Confucian cuture give much more values to ‘involvement’ than ‘independence’. Following this tedency, koreans says “Our country” , “Our family” etc, whereas western cultural people ” My country” , “My family”. When it comes to your first visit to korea, supposdely it must make you confused a lot. ‘Our’ means me, you and the others or every conponents in that community so that it could be sound wired. Korean people are seems to be more interested in others than foucus on just themselves. I think caring about ‘involvement’ is also showed silence in public places. You worn’t be welcomed in public transportations if you making a phone call loudly. Even, you will be going to only one person having an attention from everyone around you. You have to really care about the eyes of others in korea.

  5. March 19, 2016 1:58 am

    There are many customs in Korea, which has foreign people feel embarrassed because of differences. Among them, I want to provide foreign people, especially for foreign teachers, with an advice about eye contact. In Korea, younger people tend not to keep eye contact with older people, especially when they make a mistake and feel sorry. Moreover, most Koreans think that keeping eye contact during conversation makes interlocutors feel bewildered. However, foreign teachers who are from Western culture often misunderstand the real intention and consider that students who don’t keep eye contact disregard them. For instance, when I was high-school student, a native-teacher always felt unpleasant about avoiding eye contact with her, when she scolded students, since they didn’t do their homework. In contrast, most students didn’t grasp why the teacher became so angry, even if they tried to be polite. After the teacher realized the reason why students couldn’t maintain eye contact with her, she tried to understand students and taught us how different two cultures are! Consequently, it is unthinkably obvious that learning other countries’ customs by recognizing differences is critical.

  6. Chicken permalink
    March 20, 2016 6:49 pm

    It is a dining etiquette that one of the representative of korean customs. There is usual manner that young people should wait until the grown-ups have started eating. After that, the young people lift a spoon and have a meal. Second, Korea has chopsticks culture. So when you visit Korea and eat the food, you should use a chopstick instead of a fork or ask to give a fork in advance. Third, we do not have physical contact when we are meeting with people officially. To indicate the closeness of the person, we are shaking hands with the utmost courtesy. So if foreign people visit our country, do not confuse our costoms and aware of this please. To learn other countries’ customs is very important to understand other culture.

  7. Amy permalink
    March 20, 2016 7:56 pm

    There are several customs that visitors have to know.
    I think respecting elder people is most important. Maybe most people in the world think that elder people should get respected by youngers, but Korean culture especially emphasizes respect to olders. For example, young people should give up their seats for old people in bus or subway. And they should not sit on priority seats if they don’t have diseases or get pregnant. In western countries, children usually sit on priority seats, but in Korea, priority seats are for old people.
    If young visitors sit down at priority seats, Koreans regard them as rude people.
    Also, try to using the honorific. Honorific is important when say something to elder people. It is most effective way to show your respect to old people. Not only old people, Koreans usually don’t talk down to unfamiliar people. They only talk down to intimate people. There are many situations that visitors have to use honorific in Korea. So if visitors know how to use honorific, it will be very useful. But don’t have burdensome to use honorific. Most visitors feel difficult to use honorific because it is not familiar to them. However, Koreans are thankful to visitors using Korean. So if you try to use honorific, that is enough to show them that you try to respect Korean culture and old people.

  8. rose04 permalink
    March 20, 2016 11:37 pm

    I would like to advise the visitors who will come to my country to not be surprised if he saw boys or girls saying hi by kissing and hugging, because it is common on my country to say hi like that between family members and friends. People in my country they have habit, if they saw foreigner they welcome him and start to talk to him and even sometimes they invite for coffee or lunch. If tourist gets invitation to eat traditional food at home, he will find that they made for him many kinds of food and if he didn’t like any kind he can just say I didn’t like it, and if he like it he must finish his plate. This thing in the big cities but in the small cities is different because they still keep their traditional, so maybe sometimes we must respect their privacy and their culture .I have other advice too, visitor need to behave like he is in his country and smile to people and say hi also, and accept joke because people in my country like to joke and laugh. If you will visit my country just enjoy as much as you can various delicious food, sweets , learning new culture and traditional, meeting new people, hanging out with new friend and having a good memories.

  9. juyong permalink
    March 21, 2016 12:56 am

    There are several ways to be concerned when foreigners visit Korea. Fist, when you meet Koreans at first, shaking hands is natural but excessive gestures like hugging, kissing, or touching any part of body should be avoided. Most koreans tend to be careful of strangers, especially for foreigners. Second, Koreans often make uncertain promise. You frequently hear saying “ Let’s have a meat sometime” from Koreans. But they say it as a courtesy. You don’t have to wait this promise. Third, Koreans often ask people about age, marital status, career, family, etc. They don’t mean to offend you but just a way to be familiar with you. Fourth, Koreans are inclined to place a high importance on community life. They often have a drinking session after work. So if you want to concentrate on your family life after work, you can be trouble with it.

  10. Jukebox permalink
    March 21, 2016 1:32 am

    I would like to give you some advice about Korean manners. First, when you meet people, you should bow to them. If you are familiar with them, then you can just say hello to them but, if not, you shoudn’t. Second, it is rude that calling someone who is your elder by his name. In general, people call someone by his position and, use 선생님, ~씨 (similar to Sir, Mr.) If you are elder than someone, you can call him by his name. Third, you should not write someone’s name with a red color because, there is a popular belief that if someone’s name is written with a red color, he will be dead. So, if you write someone’s name with a red color, he may feel uncomfortable. Lastly, Korean people are generally kind so, you can ask strangers how to get to somewhere. Don’t worry.

  11. Yolo permalink
    March 21, 2016 11:26 am

    Politeness is one of the virtues that koreans think greatly of. So there are a lot of korean traditional customs related to politeness that visitors to korea should be aware of to avoid misunderstanding. First, it is not abided by law, but commonly accepted as ethical law to respect elderly people. There are several ways to show respect to elderly people such as using honorific, yielding seats in bus or subway or not to eat until the oldest person starts eating etc. Respecting the elderly people and the person you meet first time is the most important custom that you should keep in mind. Second, when you have to refuse someone’s offer, it is common in korea to make it indirectly. Refusing offer directly in front of of someone’s face is often considered as rude in korea. So to make a refuse, you should excuse yourself by making proper reason and tell it as politely as possible. Lastly, it is important to be punctual. Being punctual is one of the way to show respect to another person. Koreans value time more than anything, so it is recommended that you arrive early. These are some korean traditional customs related to politeness that visitors to korea should keep in mind.

  12. mydogiscuteasteddybear permalink
    March 21, 2016 4:12 pm

    Things that are common in our country might seem strange or surprised to foreigners. When I think of Korea, there’s a lot of culture that came from respecting elders. In specific situation, such as when we have a meal with elders, when we drink with the elders, when we give something to the elders and when we bow to the elders in traditional days. First would be well known, we don’t start our meal until the eldest start their meal. Children get their lessons while they were young and I remembered getting it too but I think these days children don’t get one. Since they are having a busy life, something like after the school they would go to academies and eat alone at home or cafe, which doesn’t require that manner. Second, when we drink with the elders, we have to grab a cup with our two hands. After pouring, you should pour them a drink too, also with our two hands. And then the moment of cheering, we should spot our cup in the lowest spot and drink by turning you body for not showing the elders that you are drinking. You can easily see it when you go into a meat main restaurant around 7pm. Third, when we give or toss something sharp to the elders, such as knife or scissors, we should turn the handle to the elders so they can easily grab the sharp thing. I’ve done this to the home staying family, when I was study abroad in Canada and he was really surprised by how I tossed him a knife. He told me not to do it in Canada because it could be dangerous for me if I fall down. At last, when we have a traditional holiday, we mostly visit the elder’s house and give them a deep bow, special bow we call it “Jeol.” After that we get to have allowance. Which is the highlight for the youngers. These are the manners or culture that I could think of related to respecting elders. Thank you for reading it!

    • Jubbit permalink
      March 22, 2016 12:04 pm

      I totally agree with you. There are many things to keep in mind when elders are around. In addition, when you act right to elders, people say that “you must have good parents” or “your parent taught you well!” However when you miss something or not aware of them people would see you impolite and sometimes they even say “it is parents’ fault”

  13. Polar bear permalink
    March 21, 2016 5:39 pm

    I would like to advice visitors who come to my country South Korea to know our manners.
    It is important that observe the proprieties. I want to talk about public transportation etiquette. It is same to give your seat in a public transportation to a disable people. Perhaps, It is same To give your seat to old people too. However, you have to give your seat when tou see a old people who is standing. If you don’t give your seat to them, you would be abused by other people or old people would say to you “I will seat this seat get out of this seat.” Unbelievably It is true. You can see this situation in crowded bus or subway. To avoid humiliating situation, you have to give your seat in public transportation as soon as you see old people.

    • MINA permalink
      March 22, 2016 12:24 am

      Yeah, I also think it’s better to yield seat to older people(real old people). However, when I see someone say like “Get out, I’ll sit.”, I think he(or she) is insane. Age is not a crest.

      • juyong permalink
        March 22, 2016 10:51 am

        yeah. I also think if you are very tired , take a long time to go your destination, you don’t have to give up the seat. The thing is there is no obligation to yield.

  14. Noah permalink
    March 21, 2016 9:08 pm

    There are several customs that you have to know if you are expected to come Korea.
    First, Korean always take off their shoes when they enter a house. Korean usually sit on ‘Maru'(floor), and even sleep. Therefore, It is quite unacceptable for Korean to enter a house without taking off your shoes.
    Second, Korean prefer rice to any other food. As popular greeting in Korea is “Have you eaten rice?”, the rice is important factor to Korean.
    Third, Korean have tremendous attachment to ‘Dokdo’ and other things concerned with Japan. Since Korea had been attacked by Japan rather many times, and even colonized for 35 years, a number of Korean have are angered with Japan.
    These three customs in Korea are not always coincide with all the Korean. However, you can enjoy as much as you know when you come to Korean. I hope these will help you.

  15. Elephant permalink
    March 21, 2016 10:13 pm

    There are some things that you should know if you’re going to visit korea.
    First of all, korean culture is very sensitive to politeness. especially being polite to old peole
    is very important. So you need to have a proper manner, and shouldn’t be arrogant.
    In the second place, you need to understand the concept of ‘정’. Korean people tend to share things that they have and be together. That .called ‘정’ . To be aware of 정 is very important thing to understand korean culture and have a fine realtaionship wirh people.

  16. March 21, 2016 10:23 pm

    When you visit in korea, you should concerned about overcharging. Some snobbish korean vendors used to overcharge intended to foreigner. Especially, if you buy something to eat on the road or visit the restaurant that leaded by travel agency, you must beware of overcharging. So, you’d better to know the certain price previously, and let vendors know that you are not pure tourist. Especially, using a taxi at the night, overcharging become ultimately more critical for foreign visitor. Sometimes, in korea, even the major broadcasting company point out this overcharging problem intended to foreigner as a shame and backward culture. Fortunately, in korea, The honest merchants exist much more than the snobbish people. If you concerned about overcharging previously, you may have a great time in korea.

  17. MINA permalink
    March 22, 2016 12:14 am

    I want to let visitors who come to Korea know one interesting manners. This is a tip of the dining room: When you eat a meal with Koreans, it’s better not to lift your bowl. Also, you should not eat noisily with your mouth open. Especially, people really hate the sound ‘jjeop-jjeop.’ haha:) On the other hand, dining etiquette in Japan is little different. They often eat food, holding a bowl in front of their face. Since they don’t use spoon, they lift the bowl and drink broth. Japanese also don’t usually eat with noisy sound. However, when eating noodle such as ramen, they think it’s polite to make sound ‘hu-ru-ruk.’ Like this, due to the dining etiquette varies from country to country, visitors had better be careful.

  18. Daniel permalink
    March 22, 2016 12:38 am

    If you first visit to Korea, There are some customs you need to know
    First, you should honor the elderly because Korea has an emphasis on filial piety culture. Therefore, to yield their seats to the elderly on public transportation is common things
    Second, It is better to haggle the price in traditional market Korea has a culture of affection, it is called “정”. Then, the dealers often cut prices or give large amounts
    Finally, you must be careful the honorific when using Korean in official meeting.
    because the honorific is expression of respect mutual in korea
    If you know these three most basic things, Korea will be a good places for tourists to visit

  19. Daniel permalink
    March 22, 2016 12:40 am

    If you first visit to Korea, There are some customs you need to know.
    First, you should honor the elderly because Korea has an emphasis on filial piety culture. Therefore, to yield their seats to the elderly on public transportation is common things.
    Second, It is better to haggle the price in traditional market Korea has a culture of affection, it is called “정”. Then, the dealers often cut prices or give large amounts.
    Finally, you must be careful the honorific when using Korean in official meeting.
    because the honorific is expression of mutual respect in korea.
    If you know these three most basic things, Korea will be a good places for tourists to visit.

  20. The flaming lips permalink
    March 22, 2016 12:41 am

    In korea, you should not put your hands on people’s shoulder, especially older people. by doing so, you set yourself a higher rank than the people you put hands on. because korea is very hierarchal country, this might offend or upset people. also, you should avoid casually touching or hugging people in public unless you are very friendly with that person. korea is a free country, but in the sense of friendliness, not so free like countries like brazil where people casually touching each other when greeting. so if you casually touch someone when greeting or talking, you might embarrass people , or even upset people.
    also, when drinking, refusal of drink can be misunderstood as personal refusal, so unless you are so tired, don’t refuse the glass when people give it to you.

  21. jelly permalink
    March 22, 2016 10:11 am

    There is such a saying that “When in Rome, do as Romans do.” When we are planning to visit other countries, searching for their custom is the first thing to do. In Korea, how to treat people is quite different from other countries. Especially when it is the first time meeting each other. The one I would like to advice is about skinship. In other countries people can hug and even kiss at the first meeting. But in Korea, shaking is the best action we should do at the first time. More than that can pressure others. Korean thinks there are some limits that we should keep as a manner. Physical contact is not a common thing in korea, unless the partner is your lover. Skinship more than shaking is beyond that, which can give displeasure to others. So even if visitors want to express there feelings by physical contact, they shouldn’t go any farther than shaking at first.

  22. Jubbit permalink
    March 22, 2016 11:56 am

    In Korea, it is little bit important to think about how others would look at you. Korea thinks appreance represents one’s habit, value, and preferance. For example, when you have appointment to meet someone and you wore a slipper, the person you are with might feel uncomfortable. The reason is he or she would consider that you don’t care much about them. However this does not apply to everytime. It depends on situation so it is important to know whether you need to be neat or natural.

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