“My Korea” or “What can surprise you here”

I have spent already more than a month in Busan, South Korea, as an exchange student from Vilnius University. I have already told, why I came especially to Korea, and now its definitely time to write about things that were/ are surprising for me or just different from Europe:)

Korean food

For this topic I have already dedicated two posts. So just click here🙂

Age

If you are coming to Korea, you should add yourself one more year: when people are born here, they are starting their age from 1 year old. So if you are 22, as I am, in Korea you are 23:)

As well what was surprising for me here, it’s the importance of age. Of course I know, that everywhere in Asia there is a big honor for old people, but I have never thought that it is so important between youth. As my Korean friends were telling me, when you are 22, for example, and met person who is 23-24, it means that you need to speak with him more polite language than with your-age people. As well there are a lot of traditions how you should pour some drinks or drink with this person:with one or two hands. I was a little bit shocked as I didn’t get used to treat people differently because of their age( not talking about the situations when its actually needed).

Cleanliness

Everywhere in Korea is really clean. Yeah, ok! – you will say: in Belarus it is also pretty clean. But the miracle is that there are no trash bins. I am not joking: it is really mission impossible to find them and I have no clue why Korea hasnt still drowned in the kilos of garbage.

Moreover, there is something that Belarus should take from Korea: the cleanliness of public restrooms are just tremendous. In Minsk I will better kill myself than will go to the restroom in metro. In Korea its much better than in a lot of cafes back home.

Physical distance

Before coming to Korea I spent approximately month in Brasil and really got used to people, who are showing their emotions openly. When I was coming to work, I could spend 10-20 mins just saying hi to everybody: I was hugging and kissing everybody. Here it is absolutely different: if you are not best friends with a person, you will not hug him for greetings. I am not talking about kiss even!!:) What is interesting, when you are friends, it is really typical to go and hold hands: not only girls, but guys as well!:)

Talking about couples: really typical to hold hands. But I have never seen any Korean couple that is making out somewhere. I haven’t even seen anybody kissing! In public it is absolutely unacceptable.

The same surnames

Don’t wanna be racist: but when I am sitting in the class and more than a half of it is Kim blah-blah, it, for sure, was surprising:)

Taking shoes off everywhere

When I am saying everywhere:it is everywhere!:) It is part of etiquette, it is really important in Korea. Moreover,  in my dorm we even have penalty if we are not taking off our shoes in the room. But no worries, you will not have cold feet: thereis the best underfloor heating system:)

Delivery

South Korea is really developed in home delivery. You can actually get everything just to call or send the inquiry in the Internet. Even fast food restaurants( such as McDonald’s) are practicing it.

Beauty standards

First, it should be said (if you still don’t know it), that beauty products are REALLY good in Korea. There are a lot of weird things, but what girl doesn’t like to try new things?;) And the prices are not bad, so you all the time can be up for experiments. To understand it, I will suggest you to watch this video:

http://video.glamour.com/watch/korean-beauty-explained

Moreover, there is another beauty standard, different from Europe: white foundation and bright lips are really typical here. Girls are afraid of get tanned so even in the beach they are going in the clothes and not changing for the swimming clothes. We are all the time here these crazy Europeans that are enjoying sun and sea:)

By the way, a lot of guys are not against of using make up as well 🙂

K-pop

Korean pop is the most listened to music genre in Korea. There are hundreds of bands and a lot of songs have some special dance, that everybody knows. They love mixing the languages: so it is usual to have song in Korean and then just a couple words in English. One of the famous Korean performer:

 

Should be mentioned that a big percent of Koreans love singing and do it kinda well. That’s why there are a lot of karaoke places(Noraebang), where they are not just singing, but drinking and eating. Moreover, there are some special places for one person where you can sing alone. It doesn’t cost a lot and all the music lovers can afford it. Below is the pic and video from my karaoke experience:)

karaoke

 

I love being here and really expect to some new unexpectable things to happen to tell you about.

Positive vibes to you!!:)

P.S. Share is the new sexy:)

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Lydia

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