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Korean-isms 2.0: More Cultural Observations of South Korea

Welcome to part deux of my observations and interpretations of Korean culture. Hierarchy, collectivism and the hurry, hurry syndrome were explored in the first installment. Those were my initial impressions of Korea, the ones that were hard not to notice. In the months after that post, I have discovered and gained an interest in idiosyncrasies that are a bit more subtle. In this follow up, I talk about Korea’s academic rigor, its drinking culture and obsession with physical appearance. 

How South Korea Honors Buddhism

One of the many reasons that attracted me to South Korea is the prevalence of Buddhism. In a country of about 50 million inhabitants, 18% of the population identifies as practicing Buddhists. Although Buddhism is not the current most popular religion, the influence of this faith is still an important part of Korean culture. Recently, I had the honor of experiencing Daegu’s Dalgubeol Lantern Festival, which celebrates Buddha’s Birthday. 

3 Cultural Characteristics That Define South Korea

I’ve been exposed to Korean culture for a couple of months now and during this time, I’ve noticed certain qualities that are a stark contrast from American or Mexican cultures. Before getting on a plane to Korea, I did research on the country’s history and culture to gain basic knowledge of the new place I’d call home. Collectivism, Confucianism, nationalism and hierarchy are some of the words that can sum up this fascinating country. Since living here, these seemingly abstract notions have become my new reality. Before, I had an intellectual grasp of these ideas but witnessing them firsthand has led to greater understanding. In this post, collectivism, hierarchy and the hurry, hurry syndrome are explored. It should be noted that these observations are my mere perceptions and interpretations.