Things about Foreigners that Irritate Koreans

With all of this criticism directed at Koreans by foreigners it wouldn’t be fair to at least touch upon a few things that Koreans don’t like about most of the westerners they meet, here just a few;

1. Westerners speak too much and too quickly, often seemingly without thinking.

Haven’t you ever seen a kung fu film? Generally speaking, and especially when it comes to older Koreans, replying without a pause for reflection and using animated gestures is a sign that the speaker is not putting much thought into their answers and ill-equipped to express their ideas.

2. Westerners group Asians from China, Japan and other nations into one group: Chinese.

The majority of Koreans are very proud of their nation and many of them also harbor some negative associations with both the Japanese and Chinese. The prevailing stereotype that Koreans have of the Japanese is that they are “two-faced”, and many still resent them for not apologizing for colonizing the country roughly 60-70 years ago. Meanwhile the Chinese are seen by Koreans as being less civilized.

3. Westerners tend to display too much affection with their partners in public.

In a society that is still very much ruled by Confucianism, excessive hugging and kissing in frowned upon, although not punishable by law.

4. To Koreans, westerners seem to lack respect for their elders.

In Confucian society, being just one or two years older than another person calls for more respectful language to be used by their junior to the senior. Additionaly, Koreans are reluctant to criticize or disagree with their elders publicly.

5. Westerners are overconfident.

In a study by Richard Nisbett, East Asians; especially Koreans, were found to view the world as being much more complex and less predictable. In contrast, foreigners tend to believe that the study of history and general theories of behavior can lead to a full understanding of how things work and a fairly accurate prediction of what will hapen in future.

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