All tagged Confucianism

South Korea’s Suicide Epidemic

For almost a decade, South Korea has had the highest suicide rate among industrialized countries. From teenagers to senior citizens, around 40 people commit suicide every day. The alarming statistics are merely symptoms of deep-rooted social issues. South Korea finds itself trapped between a past of Confucianism ideals and a reality where capitalism and competition reign supreme. Suicide is a grim side effect of living in a stressful & hypercompetitive society. 

S. Korea… I love you. I love you NOT.

Picking up where I left off on my Korean love/hate drama, I voice some annoyances once again. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve made great progress in our somewhat tumultuous relationship, but she still continues to irritate me here and there. I understand that my deep-rooted Western outlook is partly responsible for the frustration I sometimes feel. And I’m truly committed to Bae but for now I blow off some steam… 

Age is just a number...or is it?

You’ve heard the old adage: Age is just a number. Whether you agree or disagree with the statement, in Korea, that number is of significant importance. Based on Confucianism ideology, age matters. And it matters a lot in most facets of life, including among a group of friends. Unless two people are the same age, they can’t really be friends. Today, we look at the effects of Korea’s hierarchical culture on friendships.

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.