Here are some friendly tips you should know the next time you visit a Korean barbeque restaurant. The seat facing the front door is the seat of honor. (cheers) and one shot-uh! You can also use tissues to hide any bones, which are also a sensitive issue when eating. Instead, use one, return it to the edge of your plate and then use the other. Try to keep them pointed down at your food or towards your mouth. Sharing is caring, cliché as that may be, but absolutely true in a Korean meal. Although modern Korean society is diminishing this hierarchy, perhaps for the worst in some cases, it is important to be aware of. Wait for the oldest person/people to sit down first before you take a seat at the table. Don’t try to force a conversation with the people you may share a table with at a restaurant. Placing your spare hand on your elbow still shows respect, just not as much. Don’t start eating before the most senior person at the table is served. I also occasionally use affiliate links, which give me a small commission if you purchase one of the products or services I talk about in my posts. When it comes to mealtime, the eldest … Receiving a business card is a serious matter and you should show appreciation for it. Hopefully this won’t be an issue when you travel to Korea, but it’s worth knowing anyway. Koreans can easily interpret this as a challenge. If you’re offered that seat, it’s polite to respectfully decline. I wouldn’t worry about this one too much, unless you have a loud blow. Hugging and shoulder pats are not really acceptable between strangers and you will probably make Koreans feel uncomfortable if you try to do this. Due to Confucian teachings that have been prevalent in Korean society for a long time, age is even more important than normal. Wait for the oldest person/people to lift their spoon or chopsticks first before you start eating. For the most part, formality and politeness, as usual, are expected and welcomed, so it’d be good to be comfortable with formal versus informal Korean … If you’re offered that seat, it’s polite to respectfully decline. You might be asked your age so that people can figure out where you fit in the hierarchy. Indeed, you might be shocked with just how much physical contact there can be between people, even in public. Informal Settings. Age can dictate the way you act or behave to someone, who gets to get on the subway first, who eats at dinner first, and even who pays for meals when you’re out. You can get to know me here. Kibun is a fascinating and unique concept in Korean culture and etiquette. Top 3 Tips For Understanding Korean Culture, Travelling Around Guide To Korean Etiquette, Public Behaviour Guide To Korean Etiquette, How To Save Money In Seoul in 2020: 15 Money Saving Secrets, Where To See Snow In Seoul And Korea 2020: 10 Awesome Spots, Ultimate South Korea Bucket List: 50 Things To Do In Korea, Where To See Autumn Leaves In Korea & Seoul 2020: Best Spots, 7 Things To Do In Bukchon Hanok Village In Seoul In 2020, What Is Fan Death? Korea is a drinking culture, and their national booze is soju, a clear, vodka-like drink.. Soju is drunk out of shot glasses, and like all liquor in Korea, it’s always served with food. Although, you might not find the gesture so kind when you have headache in the morning! Whether you’ve been a million times or never, don’t be scared; bring a friend, submit to the scene and thank us for these tips later… 10 Rules Of Korean … You should keep your mouth closed while chewing — making loud noises won’t be seen as appreciation of the food, but as bad manners. If there are drinks being poured (such as for a toast), then don’t pour one for yourself. After the meal, you can say ‘jal meogeosseumnida’ (잘 먹었습니다) to signal that you have indeed eaten well and are happy. Language and culture are intertwined and in order to successfully learn or experience one, there’s no getting around learning or experiencing the other. Don’t ever eat directly from the shared dishes. Aside from visiting sites both popular amongst tourists and off the beaten path, I consider a successful trip one where I’ve had the opportunity to try out the local cuisine and some of the best restaurants in the area. When you sit down at the table, the youngest (most junior) person should sit at the place closest to the door, and the oldest (or most superior, for example the boss) sits in the spot furthest away. You may seem like you’re judging the morals of those drinking. Having been occupied by Japan until 1945, the consequences of which were quite severe, Korea has worked hard to make its place in the world. In fact, Seoul recently made it illegal to eat and drink on buses. If you want to fit in like a Korean local, then you need to. Thanks for your kind comments. (Not to mention how useful speaking a foreign language can be). When it comes to learning a language, there is so much more that needs to go on beyond learning words and vocabulary. The price you see on the menu is the price you will pay (tax is included) and tipping is not added nor expected. It's not considered polite to refuse an alcoholic drink offered to you, especially from an elder. Be a wok star! I’m not saying this always happens, but it is shown most often in social situations, such as in restaurants. Therefore, it can be wise to not make a mess of yourself or someone else by spilling coffee on them! This is because this action represents incense sticks in funeral ceremonies and is very bad luck. This guide to Korean etiquette will show you how to make friends and not alienate people when you travel to Korea. Follow these basic Korean etiquette rules to make the best first impression and keep those conversations going. As with the dining out guide to Korean etiquette, these recommendations may apply more to business situations. Here’s a quick guide to make sure your gastronomic adventures go without a hitch. That person is expected to drink the shot and then pour a shot back for the other person.