03 August 2009

All about Korean Culture

It might sound strange but at the same time it is true and essential. If you are planning to visit Korea just as a tourist or if you shall be staying there for some time on official work, it is absolutely necessary that you know about Korean culture. This way you shall be easing the pressure on yourself by not committing stupid mistakes. There is an old adage that goes `when in Rome do as the Romans do’. It is not known who had said those famous words, but this stands true even today, especially when you are visiting a country that is steeped in a rich cultural heritage like Korea. Not knowing about the culture of the country you are visiting can cause problems while performing simple tasks like visiting the post office or just going to the bank to encash your traveler checks.

Yes, in case you did not realize till now, knowing about Korean culture also means that you know a bit about the Korean language, at least simple day to day terms that will help you to complete tasks faster and smoother. Take for example the post office in Korea. Whereas a single line is sufficient in most European countries for both paying bills and purchasing stamps, it is quite different in Korea where there are separate lines for these 2 different tasks. If you are not prepared beforehand and have a tight schedule, you will find yourself in a mess. And yes, in case I forgot to mention, you have to take a unique ticket that permits you to stand in queue.

If you are really unlucky and if both the tickets contain the same time (each ticket is printed with a unique time and you will be summoned to the counter depending on the time printed on your ticket, very much like the number you are provided with at the doctor’s chamber), you’ll face a harassing time running back and forth between two different counters that might be quite far away from each other. While it might seem strange to many, this queue system is actually beneficial, especially for those who have had the misfortune to visit countries where no ticket system is present and where there is no ticket system as well. Imagine pushing along with many other people, each trying to reach the counter at the same time, causing a general mayhem.

It is imperative that you know about the culture of a country before you plan to visit the same. Though there are some countries that have more or less the same type of cultures, especially European countries, it is not the same with countries like Korea. Spend some time browsing the Internet and you will find many sites that will help you to know more about Korean culture. If you have any friend in Korea, he or she will assist you and tell you about what are the minimum basics that you need to know while visiting their country.

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