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5 Things Considered Rude in Korean Culture 한국 문화에서 무례하게 여겨지는 5가지

1. Facing an elder whilst doing a shot

When drinking with a senior, make sure you turn your head to the side from anyone higher rank than you as a sign of respect (존경). This ritual is very common when dining out with your work colleagues. Anyone older than you or higher up the ladder should be treated differently, and a gesture (행위) to express that is by turning to the side when drinking.

2. Receiving with both hands 두 손으로 받기

Using one hand to give (주다) or receive ( 받다) things (especially to elders) is considered to be rude. Always use both hands to give or receive things. Bill Gates was once heavily criticized (비판) as disrespectful for shaking Park Geun Hye (Korea’s former President) with one hand while another hand inside his pocket.

3.      Wearing shoes indoors  실내에서 신발을 신다

Don’t you dare walk inside somebody’s home with shoes (신발) on unless you want to be viewed as disrespectful (무례한), Make sure to always remove your shoes before entering Korean households, temples (사원) and schools. Usually, slippers are provided so you don’t need to be barefoot (맨발).

4.      Chopsticks 젓가락

After you’ve finished eating, be careful not to place your chopsticks upright (똑바로 서서) in your bowl. This is said to look like incense at a funeral (장례식). Instead, balance them across the rim of the bowl.

5.      Writing in red ink 붉은 잉크로 쓰기

Never ever write someone’s name (이름) in red ink. This is a bad omen (전조), as long time ago, names of the deceased were written in red on gravestones and plaques. If you happen to do so, it is most likely you will get yelled at by people who saw it. 

What other things which are considered rude in Korean culture?

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