It goes without saying that we all love Korea. But, there are things that foreigners may not know about people in Korea, which could lead to some confusion. YouTuber Rachel Kim shares things no one tells you about Koreans (especially Koreans, because it’s the norm for them so they may not be conscious of the difference themselves). Her stories are very illuminating and will help you navigate situations when you’re out with your Korean friends (or just out and about in Korea)!
1. Koreans are fast
Whether you think they’re impatient or just fast-paced, Koreans like things to be fast. Whether it’s dating, walking, or waiting for the elevator doors to close, they want things done quickly.
If something is slow, we want it to be fast.
Because they’re always in a hurry if someone bumps into you don’t take it personally. (And, no one will take it personally if you bump into them!)
People are always on edge, all the time. Even zombies are fast in Korea! If you compare zombies from Korean TV shows to zombies from The Walking Dead, these zombies are manifested this way to reflect Korean’s temper.
2. You have to ask them things multiple times
Whether you’re offering them something or inviting them out, you may have to ask multiple times. Rachel says it’s just a matter of being polite. Because they’re not direct when accepting someone’s kindness, you might have to ask at least three times to get them to agree to something they wanted from the very beginning!
I know what you’re thinking: ‘What’s wrong with Koreans?’ Well, actually, nothing. It’s just a cultural difference!
Rachel emphasizes that it’s important to note this “rule” doesn’t apply to dating situations, so if someone says no to you, it means no!
3. Koreans love caring about others
The point above is pretty self-explanatory, but for example, if someone is enjoying a good meal and want to share it with you, it’s because they care about you and want to share their happiness with you.
Because point number two exists, Koreans will continue offering things to you because they know you might turn them down initially out of a sense of politeness and they really want to take care of you.
Did you already know these things or did you learn something new?
Watch Rachel’s whole video below, and if you’d like to learn more about Korean culture, check out our article on the common mistakes foreigners make while in Korea.