You should know that South Korea is one of the most popular destinations of Asia. In case you get there, you should have some basic knowledge regarding the culture. This way you won’t get into awkward situations and you can express your appreciation towards the culture of the country.
1. Entering the house
You will meet a lot of new people and chances are that you will be invited to the house of these people so that you will see the culture from closer. It is important to remember that before you enter a house you should take your shoes off. When you are leaving the house you should take a bow in front of all your hosts.
One of the most important parts of the Korean culture is giving gifts, so you should have gifts with you especially if you pay someone a visit. These could be delicacies from your homeland or flowers. When you are offering the gifts you should hold it with both hands, and the same applies to receiving gifts. It isn’t a must for the gift to be expensive, but it is a good idea to add a nice wrapping. Opt for colorful paper of red or yellow color.
It isn’t common in Korea to give tips, but in some cases it is noted that you should add 10% for the taxes. Nonetheless you could tip the taxi drivers in case they help you with your bags. In some cases, there is a sign that says ‘No tipping’. In this case you should avoid offering tips because it is considered to be an insult.
4. Business etiquette
The Korean businessmen don’t expect the foreigners to understand their customs, but they would appreciate your effort of doing so.
Usually the meetings are booked weeks before they take place. It is considered to be rude to simply show up in the office of a person. Once you have a meeting booked, you have to make sure that you get there on time so that you show your respect towards the partners you are meeting with.
6. Behavior at meetings
In this case, the Koreans are still conservative, and this also involves the clothing. When you get introduced to someone, you should make a bow which is followed by a handshake. The person with the lower status bows to the one with a higher status, and the senior person of the group initiates the handshake.
Superiors are very important to Koreans, and this is why the introductions start with the people from the top of the hierarchy of the organization. To ensure the success of the meeting, you should know a few basic words in Korean, like ‘Hello’ and ‘Thank you’. This is something that Koreans appreciate.
To make the trip to South Korea memorable, it is good to have the basics covered to make sure that everything will go smoothly and there will be no weird moments.