Don’t Do These 8 Things When Traveling to South Korea

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Have you saved plans for traveling to South Korea if international borders are reopened? So take a look at the following guide. Like all countries in general, South Korea has certain social ethics. This was discussed by Mutiara Adiguna in the “Learning Together Here” webinar, which is one of the events in the 2021 Muslim Friendly Korea Online Festival (MFKF). South Korea.

For those of you who are interested in visiting South Korea after the pandemic subsides, here are some things you shouldn’t do while in South Korea.

Don’t sit cross-legged on the chair

When eating and sitting in a chair, do not lift your feet up or sit cross-legged. Proper sitting etiquette is sitting up straight with both feet still on the floor.

Don’t eat right away

If you are eating with other people, it is important to wait for an older person to be seated first. Only then can you enjoy your meal.

Don’t stick chopsticks in the rice in the bowl

Don't stick chopsticks in the rice in the bowl
Don’t stick chopsticks in the rice in the bowl

When eating, do not stick chopsticks into the rice in the bowl perpendicular to the table. “That means death, I see. So you shouldn’t really stick these chopsticks into rice,” said Mutiara Adiguna in the webinar “Learning Together Here” on Friday (29/10/21). After eating, it is better to put the used chopsticks back on the table.

Don’t leave leftovers on the restaurant table

Clear the table yourself after you finish eating at the restaurant. According to Mutiara, almost all restaurants have implemented this, especially fast food restaurants. In restaurants usually have provided trash cans for food waste and plastic waste. Customers are expected to be able to separate used food waste independently. Leave the dining table clean.

Don’t speak informally to new people

When meeting new people, it is better to use honorific and formal language. The honorific system in Korean is quite complicated and can be seen from the use of different verbs and vocabulary. There are three main levels of politeness in Korean. The first level is ending words with “imnida/seumnida” which shows the most formal respect.

Don’t break through the queue when taking public transportation

There are two lanes, the left lane for queuing and the right lane for passengers who want to get off the public transportation. “We can’t break through and precede those who want to get out. That’s very important,” said Mutiara.

Don’t talk too much on public transportation

In addition, when taking the bus or other public transportation, it is better not to talk much. Talking on public transportation can disturb other passengers and can be reprimanded by other passengers. Tourists can wait until they have gotten off public transport and are in a public place to start the conversation again.

Do not litter

Not only in Korea, littering is indeed a bad behavior. The regulations regarding waste disposal in Korea are quite strict. “Don’t throw garbage carelessly. In Korea there is CCTV everywhere, so you can be reprimanded. Either you are fined or whatever,” said Mutiara. Disposal of household waste in Korea also cannot be done carelessly. Household waste needs to be separated, namely waste that cannot be recycled and food waste.