This week’s Korea Q&A questions include: “Are Korean men picky about foreign women?” “What are sasengs?” “Do Koreans call their foreigner friends oppa/eonni/nuna/hyeong”? “Can I ride my skateboard in Seoul?” “What’s somethings Koreans find different about Western Culture?”
Are Korean men picky about foreign women?
It’s not very common to see Korean men with foreigner women. Most of the time, it’s the other way around. And because of that, it’s kind of made foreigner women a prized treasure in Korea. For guys, it’s a bragging right to show off. And other guy friends are usually jealous too. But when it comes to serious stuff, that’s when many Korean men start backing off. Don’t get it wrong, though. There are tons of international marriages between Korean men and foreigner women.
*Foreigner women usually refer to non-asian women. To Koreans, any non-asian are totally foreign and very impressive.
What are sasengs?
Sasaengs are rabid fans of kpop idols. They are rabid. With rabies. And crazy. They hire taxis to follow these stars around all day, they steal private information and even break and enter into private residences. They even go as far as harass kpop idol mothers. Guess you can call that stalkers 😛
And actually the question was “Do you see Sasanegs around?” We didn’t answer that in the video, but I’ve never seen them. But then again, I don’t camp out at airports or Kpop idol homes to stalk :P.
Do Koreans call their foreigner friends oppa/eonni/nuna/hyeong?
Oppa = older brother (used by females), Nuna = older sister (used by males), Eonni = older sister (used by females), Hyeong = older brother (used by males)
These are Korean terms, and they’re used for and by Koreans. So it’s a little odd/awkward to call someone these terms if they’re not Korean. But there are plenty of foreigners that speak fluent Korean and/or act very Korean. And by acting Korean, we’re talking about acting like an actual oppa/nuna/etc. It’s not just a term, it’s a certain type of relationship. Do that and you’ll be basking in Korean kinship terms as much as you want.
Can I ride my skateboard in Seoul?
Skateboarding is a very recent trend in Korea. It’s the new “IN” thing to do, so there are tons of kids with longboards and skateboards riding about, especially in Seoul’s subculture district, Hongdae. But it might not be the most practical mode of transportation. Korea is very hilly, there’s lots of people around and traffic doesn’t give way. At least you’ll still be one of the cool kids 🙂
What’s somethings Koreans find different about Western culture?
There are tons, but here’s a few: Touching the opposite sex. When greeting in Western cultures, hugging or even cheek kissing is very common. But in Korea, that’s way too touchy for a lot of people. A lot of Koreans will freeze up a friendly embrace. (Watch our video on touching the opposite sex.) Also, it’s not common for strangers to talk to each other. It’s not that Koreans aren’t friendly; people are often just more private than people from other cultures. (Watch our video on what it’s like to talk to strangers in Korea.) One more is when splitting the bill, Koreans don’t really pay attention to a few dollars here and there. People usually round up or down. And if they’re short on cash, Koreans usually let it slide. But some cultures, it’s more proper for people to be exact with their money. And in Korea, that seems like there’s no jeong, a really complex concept. (Watch our video on Jeong here.)
Thanks for watching! If you have a question, remember to leave it in the comment section below!