Simple Korean Customs
To Impress Your Korean
Date And Her Parents!
Understand her Korean customs and you'll impress your Korean girlfriend's parents.
For her it's a very serious step especially because she probably had to go against her parents' wishes to date you.
It might also spare you from some of the horror stories I've heard of. Like of fights between the father and the Korean woman's foreign date! Yikes!
Understand Each Other!Take your shoes off at the door. In the West we keep our shoes on indoors. Not so in Korean homes. Expect to take your shoes off. Show initiative and you'll seem more cognizant of Korean customs!
Let the parents lead the interaction. Let them do all the talking and asking. They want to feel like they're in charge and believe me, letting a Westerner date their daughter is a big step for them.
Speak only when spoken to. In Korea demonstrating humility speaks well about you. Stay quiet and only speak when the parents talk to you. Don't try to show off how smart or confident you are by yapping away.
You'll come across as arrogant and will embarrass everyone if you do.
Come across as humble when speaking Korean. It's okay to speak Korean to impress them. Just appear respectful and short.
Speak in JoonggdengMal (중등말)always. It's the polite form of Korean. Make sure that if you're going to speak Korean that you keep the polite form! Basically finish your sentences with "yo (요)" and maybe with "imnida (입니다)" if you think that they're very conservative.
Know some of the language and when to speak it - it's a part of Korean customs that too many Westerners look past...yet it's very important.
Let her parents speak in English. Most Koreans prefer speaking English to you because it makes them look well-educated. Let them and you can even compliment them on it (as long as it's genuine.)
It's hard learning English because the mindset and accents are different.
Receive everything with two hands. In Korea people receive things with two hands and a short bow. You can even say 'kamsahabnida' (감사합니다) which means 'thank you' to impress them.
Genuinely compliment Korean customs. If you want to stand out as an open-minded foreigner I recommend finding things you like or interest you and mention them. This will impress her parents.
Wait for the father to eat. Don't start eating until the father starts. Also make sure you eat at their pace and ask for a fork if eating with chopsticks is too difficult. It's not worth looking like a clown to impress her parents by not knowing how to use chopsticks.
Drink alcohol if they ask you to. When Koreans really like you they will offer you alcohol to drink with them. In Korea they say that you can't really trust someone until you've seen them drunk. So drink some but don't get TOO drunk ;-)
Other than that...
Have Fun Being Part of The Family!Make a good impression (and these Korean customs help) and your Korean girlfriend's parents will accept you. This is fantastic because once you're "in" you're "in".
Note: Know when to give her or her parents Korean gifts on the link!
I don't recommend visiting your Korean date's parents unless you're really serious about your relationship. Like I said it's a big step for her and if you're not planning anything serious with her then just tell her that you'll meet them 'later' or just tell her you're not looking for anything serious right now.
Related LinksReturn to the top of Korean customs here!
Learn more about Korean culture here!
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