Friday, August 30, 2013

South Korea 101

There's a brief chapter at the end of the book Culture Shock! Korea (given to me by Soren @ World of Soren!) titled "Fast Facts about Korea".  So, since I'm still on my way flying to Seoul (I wrote this post before I left and scheduled it to publish), I'm sharing some of these facts with all of you so we can get the basics down together.

Official Name
Republic of Korea


Korean flag

Greenwich Mean Time plus 9 hours (GMT +0900)
(Central time is GMT -0600, for reference, so I'll be 14 hours in the future!).

Located at the southern half of the Korean Peninsula, the country is bounded in the north by North Korea.  The Sea of Japan is found off its western coast and the Yellow Sea off its eastern coast.  The Korean Strait to the south and southeast of the country separate it from Japan.

Telephone Country Code


Korean won (KRW)
(And $1 USD = 1,114 SKW, so I'm going to be making millions at this job! ... of Korean won).

Temperate climate with heavy rainfall in summer

Korean culture

I took some notes on the other chapters of the book, just some important things that I wanted to remember.  Here are a few of the more interesting cultural differences:

  • Everyone's age is one at birth, and everyone's age advances on the same day each year: New Year's.  (So, say you're born three months before New Year's; you are one year old.  On New Year's your age becomes two, even though in the western world you're only three months old.)
  • Don't write people's names in red!  This is only done if the person has died.
  • Use your right hand when giving an object to a person of higher status.
  • Don't pick up a rice or soup bowl to eat!  Leave it on the table.
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