An Interpreter From Russia Told About Life in South Korea, and This Country Is Beyond Understanding
An interpreter from Russia, Ada Kwon, married a local man and moved to South Korea. The woman teaches English to children and she shares her own impressions about life in this country. Many South Korean traditions and habits seem quite strange to us. Here, men use stickers on their nipples and shave their legs, and the young generation doesn’t even know who Harry Potter is. During weddings, they open the envelopes and find out who gave money and how much.
We at Bright Side are amazed at how different life can be in different countries, and we want to tell you the most interesting things about South Korea.
Webtoons are extremely popular in South Korea. They are internet comics. Everyone reads them: kids, teenagers, and even senior citizens. Most of the time, new chapters are released once a week.
Sometimes, you can see webtoon artists’ works in subway stations.
2. Nipple stickers for men
South Korean men care a lot about their appearance. In stores, you can find special stickers for nipples which men wear so that you can’t see their nipples through a thin shirt.
3. Education is a top priority.
In these photos, you can see the daily schedule of teenagers from age 16 to age 19. In South Korea, students study from morning until late evening. School libraries are open until 1:00 a.m. and it’s quite common for students to stay there so late. It is no wonder that students often fall asleep during class and they have to ask their teacher for permission to leave the classroom and splash some water on their faces to wake up.
4. Isolation from the rest of the world
South Korean teenagers don’t know much about the culture of other countries. They don’t know any names of American pop stars or legendary musicians. They haven’t heard about Titanic or Harry Potter. They are only interested in their own culture. For example, they adore K-pop (Korean pop music) and children dream of becoming pop stars when they grow up.
5. Themed subway cars
In this country, the subway cars have themes. For example, a car can be dedicated to a cartoon character and all of the subway station names are announced in his voice.
6. Couple clothes
In South Korea, couples love wearing similar and identical clothes. So don’t be surprised if you see young people wearing such clothes in the street.
7. Razor blades for men’s legs
In South Korea, fashion requires men to get rid of the hair on their legs. For this purpose, special razor blades are sold in stores. According to the advertisement, Korean women adore smooth male legs.
8. No dumpsters in the streets
In South Korea, trash is sorted. So there are no ordinary dumpsters in the streets.
9. Tangerine Valentines
Instead of the ordinary valentines we’re used to, they use tangerines in South Korea. A tangerine can be decorated with a funny face and given to someone you like. That’s why special stickers are sold together with the fruit.
10. No gifts for teachers
In this country, any gift to a teacher is considered to be a bribe, so when parents want to thank a teacher, they give them a cup of coffee. Kids usually give candy. Korean people use the English word “fighting” when they wish a teacher success and moral strength.
11. Weddings are a business
In order to invite guests to a South Korean wedding, it’s not enough to just give them an invitation. You need to take every single one of them to a restaurant, feed them, and only after this can you invite them to the ceremony. Here, they invite everyone they know.
Just like in many other countries, there is a tradition to present money in an envelope. A guest comes into the celebration room and comes up to the gift table. Special people take the envelope, open it, write down the name of the guest, and count how much money they brought. What do you think of this tradition?
12. The President is popular.
President Moon Jae-in is incredibly popular in the country. Ties like the one that he wears sold out right away. And it’s very easy to buy a coloring book for young patriots.
13. Toothbrushes with toothpaste on them
In Korean stores, there are a lot of things for “the lazy.” For example, they sell toothbrushes with toothpaste on them or vegetables cut into cubes. Such things can save a lot of time every day.
Every country has its own traditions and habits which amaze visitors from abroad. These are just the impressions of one person who lives in South Korea. Of course, any country has many different images which can differ depending on the region, the attitude of the observer, and many other factors.
What amazed you the most when you were abroad? Tell us in the comment section below!