The Dos & Don'ts
- The Don'ts in Korea
- Nudity - This is a BIG NO NO and we are dead serious about it.
- Good news is drinking beer in the streets is allowed.
- Do not criticise the Korean way of life. We all have our own culture so respect others
- Don’t leave half your meal - Table manners in South Korea dictate that you shouldn’t leave anything on your plate.
- Don’t point with your chopsticks - It’ll cause frowns and/or raised eyebrows. Don’t leave your chopsticks sticking up in the rice bowl either, as this is reminiscent of funeral ritual.
- Don’t hold a glass with one hand - It’s the height of bad manners not to pick up a drink with both hands. Moreover, it’s considered polite to pour each other drinks. If you refuse to pour a drink for someone, it will be seen as offensive. If you want a refill, then finish your drink. If you don’t, leave some of your drink in the glass.
- Don’t forget to take a bow - Introductions in South Korea still start with a traditional bow and a firm handshake. The person who initiates the bow says, "Man-na-suh pan-gop-sumnida," which means, “Pleased to meet you.”
- The Do’s in Korea
- Do save face - Koreans are very sensitive people and feelings, or face, are extremely important. Therefore, never insult or criticize people in front of others to avoid them losing face.
- Do have a business card ready Business cards are exchanged after initial introductions with new partners.
- Do come bearing gifts -Gift giving is an important part of Korean culture. Gifts express a great deal about a relationship.
- Do receive gifts correctly - If you’re on the receiving end, then refuse a couple of times first and then accept the gift – not accepting a gift would be offensive.
- Do be after-dinner prepared - When leaving a gathering, thank your hosts graciously and bow to each individual as a sign of respect
- Do go barefoot - - Always remove your shoes when entering a Korean home. There are also some restaurants where you are supposed to enter with bare feet or with just socks.