Sunday, June 03, 2012


Korean Culture Upclose

Korean Rich Culture
Many people asked me why I am studying Korean Language, well, first, I love their language, and it is one of the easiest languages I've known (with the exception of my language:Filipino ). Go and watch one movie and you’ll learn a phrase or two. Their language is so beautiful (this is so subjective huh!) it’s like a soft music to my ear, kahit na nagsisigawan pa sila. I like it, I think I am a Korean in my past life ^_^.
Second I like their culture and traditions. Culture and language are inseparable; you cannot learn a language without studying and understanding its culture and sometimes its history. Korean have a rich culture and history, their monarchy, army, hanbok, soju, and Cheryl blossom flower (I know Sakura or Cheryl Blossom is from Japan, but I still include it anyway). I’m fond of all of it, no need to add their advance education and technology.

However, like a cliché, nobody’s perfect. There are still some things about their culture that I am having a hard time to accept (what? Accept?) Or maybe understand. I’ll enumerate a few:
1. Meeting the Parents – In Philippines, usually meeting the parents happened as early as courting stage.
On girl’s side- the parents want to know who’s courting their daughter (at ayaw kasi nilang nililigawan ang anak nila sa kalye.)
On guy’s side – girl will actually meet the parents a few months after they were on the relationship.

Next to this is meeting of both parents and it’s an instant one big family.

This is definitely not the case in Korea- because the only time you will meet the parents is when you are getting married, yep, to get the parents’ approval. Meeting the parents is a big deal in Koreans because it means marriage. So asking for permission to get married is HUGE. It is one of the scariest, intimidating, and one of the nerve-wrecking experiences a woman will go through. It’s like having a picnic, a picnic on hell! You’ll have to cross the fire just to get married. It is easier to go through the eye of a needle than to pass the standard of your future in laws. Well if they will like you then it is another story. But if you’re in doubt you have to be prepared to be scrutinized and judged by your potential partner’s family.
From the movie Dangerous Meeting
Parents’ Approval – Parents approval is so hard to get. It is as if you will snatch their son from them. It doesn’t matter if their son is having 5 years steady-relationship, if they don’t like the girl- then it’s a dead end. Korean will always choose their parents over their girlfriend. They seek their parents’ approval of everything, even their choice in career, and their future wife. There are no “Romeo & Juliet” type love stories in Korea. Parents’ approval is something sacred for them, no, I think they really value their parent's opinion. Unlike in Philippines we will surely choose our love than our parents. We have this kind of line – the-love-conquers-all and the hahamakin ang lahat masunod ka lamang drama.

2. Parent Knows Best – Yes. Didn't we all know that? Korean parents are tending to be more protective about their children than in Philippines. It’s always the parents’ decision on when or to whom their son or daughter will spend his\her life with, especially, if your boyfriend is their only son. You have to be one hell of a daughter-in-law material. Generally, Korean are racist – they hate everyone who is not Korean, particularly if darker (ouch!) to be a part of their clan. The prospect of having mongrel grandchildren (from a racist Korean’s perspective) is not a very appealing either.

Those romantic hero that you've seen and fall in love with on movies and TV series were all lies. Including those you-and-me-against-the-world and I-will-carry-you-on-my-back-up-to-the-end-of this-earth were only on movies and TVs.
one of the popular Korean drama  - Stairway to Heaven

There are so many things about Korean that most Filipinos don’t know, misconception and misunderstanding. 
This is only a part of my exciting culture Up-close edition.
This is all based from what I've read and from a friend’s experience. This is on general concept and nothing on this article indicates that All Korean is the same.
And I still love Korean culture anyway.

 credits for image:

Korean Cultural Center of the Philippines

Dangerous Meeting movie


3 Reactions to this post

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  1. Anonymous said... 6/13/2013 2:46 AM

    have you tried yoogane?

  2. Sam said... 10/24/2013 2:49 PM

    "Korean are racist they hate everyone who is not Korean"

    Hey hey -- while there's some truth to it, that flat description is still pretty harsh -- and quickly becoming outdated. I think in the past it was more of a case of ignorance and fear of the unknown rather than active hate, because for so long Korea had deliberately closed itself off from the outside world (mainly because of the devastating invasion by Japan in the 16th century) and generations of Koreans lived and died without seeing a single foreign face. Now all that's changing though. In North and South Jeolla provinces some 40% of marriages are with foreign mates, which is pretty incredible. Granted, many of those are weddings between older bachelors and 'picture brides' due to a shortage of eligible native women in that area, but anyway the effect of this and modernization in general is that today's Koreans, especially the younger people, are way more accepting of foreigners. On my visit to Seoul and Jeju-do several years back, I saw a bunch of couples with a foreign partner. Have you seen those "My Korean Boyfriend" videos on YouTube put up by a Filipina gal? If you haven't, you should check 'em out -- they are very funny, as well as informative.

  3. Simply Princess said... 1/25/2014 9:11 PM

    Hi Sam,
    Thank you for your comment, I do appreciate a comment like this, I hope my readers will leave a comment or two or pointed something here and there...When I said 'Korean are racist' I doesn't actually mean you can see, I wrote it in general concept and I've seen those videos of 'My Korean Boyfriend', I'm a fan of Krimmy couple.

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