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  • Cyanea
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1368

    • September 04, 2016, 01:48:24 pm
    • Las Vegas
Catch my drift?


  • Liechtenstein
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1030

    • February 15, 2019, 04:39:00 pm
    • NE Hemisphere
Re: Are Koreans rude and cold?
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2020, 12:14:08 pm »
I define friendly as someone who smiles at people, says hello to strangers, will stop to help anyone who looks like they need it whether they need directions or help changing a flat tire. A person who will strike up a conversation waiting in line. You know, someone who is friendly to everyone all the time unless there is history between them which negates it. Friendly.

Based on this, I find Koreans to be decidedly unfriendly and cold. If they know you, you are family, went to school with you, grew up next to you.....they are friendly enough. If you are a stranger you're a ghost. This was explained to me by a few co-teachers.

I don't consider that being friendly. I consider it being selectively friendly, which in my opinion is not friendly. There's no grey area to me. You are or you are not, friendly.


  • Samrey
  • Adventurer

    • 26

    • September 07, 2017, 11:31:36 am
    • Seoul
Re: Are Koreans rude and cold?
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2020, 12:41:47 pm »
The big thing for me is how people don't give a shit about strangers, push past you, don't say hello or thank you, don't hold the door etc.

In Ireland we go really out of our way to be nice to strangers (most people do anyway) so it's a big change. People usually really nice if they know you here.

Korean wife really liked the way people randomly start talking to you back home, especially in the pub.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2020, 01:09:41 pm by Samrey »


  • confusedsafferinkorea
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5501

    • October 08, 2010, 01:02:32 pm
    • Zhubei, Hsinchu Province, Taiwan
    more
Re: Are Koreans rude and cold?
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2020, 12:47:07 pm »
I once commented to my co-teacher (she was a really nice person), about how weird I found it that in school teachers were super friendly to me at school but once you put foot outside the building they underwent a personality change and acted like you didn't exist. She had no comment to make on that other than to agree with me.
There is no known medical cure for stupidity!


  • Colburnnn
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1183

    • August 10, 2015, 05:52:37 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Are Koreans rude and cold?
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2020, 12:56:30 pm »
I define friendly as someone who smiles at people, says hello to strangers, will stop to help anyone who looks like they need it whether they need directions or help changing a flat tire. A person who will strike up a conversation waiting in line. You know, someone who is friendly to everyone all the time unless there is history between them which negates it. Friendly.

Based on this, I find Koreans to be decidedly unfriendly and cold. If they know you, you are family, went to school with you, grew up next to you.....they are friendly enough. If you are a stranger you're a ghost. This was explained to me by a few co-teachers.

I don't consider that being friendly. I consider it being selectively friendly, which in my opinion is not friendly. There's no grey area to me. You are or you are not, friendly.

Completely agree. I was explaining this yesterday to a Korean friend. Just because you are friendly to people you know, doesn't mean you are friendly.

First year I was with my wife, she thought I was weird for saying Merry Christmas to random people on Christmas day. She just couldn't understand being 'friendly'.

Same thing with the neighbours. I don't know anyone on my floor, but at home I know the names of everyone up my road.
Haven't you got some pictures of birds to be jacking off to, son?

Colburnnn: Complains a lot, very sassy. Has a loudmouth.


Re: Are Koreans rude and cold?
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2020, 01:11:50 pm »
Everyone i’ve Interacted with today has ranged from nice enough to super nice, but that’s purely anecdotal.

The question is a “leading” question, which is not the best way to elicit honest, unbiased answers.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2020, 01:18:51 pm by Don Hobak »


  • VanIslander
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 2018

    • June 02, 2011, 10:12:19 am
    • Seogwipo, Jeju Island
    more
Re: Are Koreans rude and cold?
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2020, 01:12:43 pm »
Ha, ha.

Wait til you experience the Japanese.


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 4552

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: Are Koreans rude and cold?
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2020, 02:52:42 pm »
“Manners” and “rudeness” are defined by culture. They are not absolute, universal attributes.

Being of mixed Anglo/Franco background, I can tell you that the French think the English are rude because they never say what they really mean, and the English think the French are rude because they are so direct.

When to smile, what fork to use, or how deeply one bows are all culturally determined. The Queen of Canada gets a bow from the neck, but a customer at a high end Gangnam department store can get a deep bow from the waist. Koreans would be shocked at how poorly we treat the Queen!


Re: Are Koreans rude and cold?
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2020, 03:13:59 pm »
Opposite of rude is polite, not friendly.


  • oglop
  • The Legend

    • 4269

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Are Koreans rude and cold?
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2020, 03:21:48 pm »
“Manners” and “rudeness” are defined by culture. They are not absolute, universal attributes.

Being of mixed Anglo/Franco background, I can tell you that the French think the English are rude because they never say what they really mean, and the English think the French are rude because they are so direct.

When to smile, what fork to use, or how deeply one bows are all culturally determined. The Queen of Canada gets a bow from the neck, but a customer at a high end Gangnam department store can get a deep bow from the waist. Koreans would be shocked at how poorly we treat the Queen!
In which culture is it polite to push on the subway/lift before letting people off first again?


  • stoat
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1708

    • March 05, 2019, 06:36:13 pm
    • seoul
Re: Are Koreans rude and cold?
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2020, 04:27:42 pm »
Yes but what about football hooligans?


  • oglop
  • The Legend

    • 4269

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Are Koreans rude and cold?
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2020, 05:09:29 pm »
Yes but what about gang violence in America? You saying you would rather be shot to death than occasionally pushed by an ajumma?
« Last Edit: June 24, 2020, 05:11:29 pm by oglop »


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 4552

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: Are Koreans rude and cold?
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2020, 07:25:10 pm »
In which culture is it polite to push on the subway/lift before letting people off first again?
Korea, apparently.

The locals tolerate it.


  • oglop
  • The Legend

    • 4269

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Are Koreans rude and cold?
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2020, 08:50:02 pm »
Korea, apparently.

The locals tolerate it.
Most Koreans I've talked to hate it

And we've seemed to have gone from "polite" to "tolerate". I tolerate the dickhead ajeossis shouting outside my apartment at 3am, but I wouldn't call it polite


Re: Are Koreans rude and cold?
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2020, 09:32:06 pm »
I don't know if I'd say rude, as it's very subjective...but definitely cold.  But maybe because I've only been in Seoul? Maybe Korean people in Jeju or Busan would be friendlier


  • dippedinblush
  • Super Waygook

    • 402

    • November 21, 2013, 11:15:05 am
    • Yangpyeong, South Korea
Re: Are Koreans rude and cold?
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2020, 09:40:06 pm »
I find Koreans to be quite warm and friendly if you meet them in the way they expect foreigners to be.. Just smile and be open!  I think a lot of Koreans are thinking that foreigners are Americans and expect us to navigate a lot of the awkward intermingling because we are so bold and forward...so it's our job to put them at ease (rightly or wrongly)...and we need to pull that out of ourselves (I know I needed to)....(its the same way you need to pull that bright spirit out of yourself when you teach)

Most Koreans are expecting AMERICAN boldness and can say any bloody thing that flies from their mouths (at the first meeting and out at hyesiks when drinking )  and that is met with...cringey results from us.   A lot of them are older and loud Korean men and women that just have balls of steel and take it too far and are just blasting out any English they know!  That is good!!!  Just go with it.....play along and those oldies will have your back in the future.  Not joking...

From my experience, the more subdued Koreans need to feel they are comfortable with you in order to speak their true minds.  Of course that could be due to that fact that you are a foreigner, but mostly it's due to communication (and it's due to them speaking in English to you).. In order to do that you need to become a part of their circle and world and try to learn basic Korean.  If they can see you are trying to learn their language...you will see many doors open up to you.

That's my experience....

Just enjoy your Korean experience here and try and be an outgoing person!  Quiet introverted mice are not going to have a good time in Korea....


« Last Edit: June 24, 2020, 09:56:57 pm by dippedinblush »


  • Cyanea
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1368

    • September 04, 2016, 01:48:24 pm
    • Las Vegas
Re: Are Koreans rude and cold?
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2020, 11:07:05 pm »
I once commented to my co-teacher (she was a really nice person), about how weird I found it that in school teachers were super friendly to me at school but once you put foot outside the building they underwent a personality change and acted like you didn't exist.

Westerners are much worse for this.

Yes but what about gang violence in America? 

Sigh its not even the end of the first page and you've derailed the thread into the irrelevant topic of gang violence? get a grip..

Opposite of rude is polite, not friendly.

Exactly. The question underlying this thread is "are koreans rude"?

Friendliness is an entirely different thing..

“Manners” and “rudeness” are defined by culture. They are not absolute, universal attributes. When to smile, what fork to use, or how deeply one bows are all culturally determined. The Queen of Canada gets a bow from the neck

You're talking about the outward gestures. Yes of course they differ by culture.

But politeness and rudeness are universal values that can be detected no matter the culture.

Politeness is a basic respect for other peoples needs and feelings. You can sense it in a persons demeanour. Its an attitude. 


What I find shocking is that Koreans will frequently return western politeness with abuse. This is rudeness.

You can tell its rudeness because Koreans will not treat other koreans in this way.
Catch my drift?


Re: Are Koreans rude and cold?
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2020, 04:53:27 am »
I define friendly as someone who smiles at people, says hello to strangers, will stop to help anyone who looks like they need it whether they need directions or help changing a flat tire. A person who will strike up a conversation waiting in line. You know, someone who is friendly to everyone all the time unless there is history between them which negates it. Friendly.
You know some people might interpret your "friendliness" as a borderline demand for them to entertain you with you presuming to sit in judgment of them should they fail to comply. In other words, the exact opposite of friendly and polite. Intrusive, overbearing, presumptuous and judgmental might be how some people view it.

Quote
But politeness and rudeness are universal values that can be detected no matter the culture.
Not really. Not even within broader cultures. For example there is a tremendous gulf between Midwestern and Southern culture, manners, interpretations of friendliness and politeness, etc.

Look at how people here interpreted Saffers speaking Afrikaans amongst each other. Some people are extremely bothered by it and see it as rude and unfriendly, others see it as no big deal or even find it interesting (count me in the latter group- I grew up around immigrants, foreign language conversations don't call me to fall to pieces. They don't exist to entertain me).

Opposite of rude is polite, not friendly.
This. 

Sigh its not even the end of the first page and you've derailed the thread into the irrelevant topic of gang violence? get a grip..
Pretty sure stoat and oglop are making light of me. They feel that my mentioning of street crime and hooliganism to be a distraction from the issue and a form of whatabboutism designed to deflect from criticism of Korea, while I consider them ignoring such things as them having arbitrary standards of rudeness and discarding anything that doesn't support their narrative.


Re: Are Koreans rude and cold?
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2020, 04:54:54 am »
You will find more variance within subcultures and within individuals than you will between cultures.


  • L I
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5115

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
Re: Are Koreans rude and cold?
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2020, 05:14:05 am »
Look at how people here interpreted Saffers speaking Afrikaans amongst each other. Some people are extremely bothered by it and see it as rude and unfriendly, others see it as no big deal or even find it interesting (count me in the latter group- I grew up around immigrants, foreign language conversations don't call me to fall to pieces. They don't exist to entertain me).

What's the point of speaking Afrikaans in the presence of NETs who can't understand it? That's exclusionary. Do they feel more comfortable and better able to articulate their thoughts in their mother tongue of Afrikaans than their non native language of English? Then they're not really NETs are they?