Survey Reveals Most Embarrassing Things Koreans Do When Abroad

A member of Super Junior on his travels

A recent survey revealed what Korean businessmen who are regular visitors to other foreign countries perceive as being the most embarrassing things that Koreans do when away from their homeland.

Netizens have made their sentiments known over the results of the survey. Some argue Koreans abroad are the ‘shame of the nation’, whilst others think the whole thing is simply pedantic and that all humans are instead fundamentally the same. While the British might be well known for their drunken post-colonial antics and the Americans for their cultural enthusiasm, it seems that the Koreans feel they need to focus on Western etiquette.

What do you think? Is the Korean ‘national character’ internationally offensive? Or is this just another exercise in internal orientalism?


When are Koreans most embarrassing abroad?

A scene from a drama with Miss A's Suzy

It has been revealed that the majority of businessmen think that Koreans abroad do not observe the rules of etiquette closely., together with carried out a survey regarding ‘the standard of Korean international manners’ based on 670 businessmen who had experience of visiting foreign countries.

When asked whether Koreans observe etiquette closely while in another country, ‘They don’t particularly observe etiquette closely’ was the highest proportion, at 49.3%. Furthermore, 8.4% said ‘They don’t observe etiquette at all,’ and 57.6% said ‘They don’t observe ettiquette.’

The number one time when Koreans are most embarrassing abroad was ‘when they make a noise on the street or in a public place’ (36.6%). Number two was when ‘you bump into someone but ignore them and just walk past’ (18.5%), number three ‘when going around in a group, when you walk spread out to the sides and form a crowd (15.7%).

Koreans in a group abroad

Aside from these, other embarrassing moments were when they saw people spitting in the street or in a public place (15.2%), when someone just closes a door and goes out without being concerned for who was behind them (10.7%) when they saw someone asking someone they didn’t know well a personal question and making the other person upset (1.8%), and ‘other’ (1.5%)

If there was one thing that Koreans must do when overseas, the highest proportion of 35.8% of people surveyed said ‘to not make a noise in the streets or in a public place’.

After this, people surveyed said other things to do when abroad were making an apologetic gesture when you bump into someone (19.3%), not spitting on the streets or in public places (16.7%), when going around in a group on the streets, not walking spread out to the sides and forming a crowd (12.4%), being concerned for the person behind you and holding the door for them (11.2%), not asking personal questions to people you don’t know well (2.8%), and ‘other’ (1.8%).

Unesco Korean commission celebrating other cultures

Comments from Nate


Oh come on..graffiti in historic sites ㅡㅡ


If you get judged as doing something wrong, you wish you could speak Japanese ke ke ke ke ke


Embarrassing from the moment they take off on a plane.


Even if you went to Japan right now…you’d realise how much of a difference is apparent in the etiquette of the Japanese and us Koreans…Even just by riding the subway…In Japan, a subway train with fifty people on it would be quieter than a subway train in South Korea with ten people on it. It’s also difficult to find any rubbish on the streets. We’re always bitching about Japan, calling them monkeys and whatever…but although the movements to try and settle the past are unfair, that’s something that politicians do. The fact is that the national character of Japan is more distinguished than that of Korea.


Of the tourists in the world, I guess that the number one noisiest bastards must be the Koreans and the Chinese. ke ke ke Even Koreans, who want to believe that they are quieter than the Chinese, are inevitably a boisterous race in the eyes of foreigners ^^ Shyalla shyalla~ [the sound of spoken English to a Korean].


Why are people from Jeolla always going around Seoul flapping their arms about? Did they go through immigration?


At a time when Lee Myung Bak is going around being a global push over….how disgraceful.


If you go to a foreign country, please don’t hire hookers. And don’t graffiti cultural properties. Don’t spit on the floor. Don’t go to southeast Asia and go around getting women preggers.


It’s really embarrassing when they scoop up their meal in a hotel restaurant and put it in a bag to take with them….


Ajeosshis [middle-aged men] and ajummas [middle aged women] who wear golfing clothes and sunglasses and have an attitude.


People from Jeolla are embarrassing.


I don’t know much about overseas, but the most embarrassing times in Korea are…when they lie on their sides and don’t even know whether they are spitting, and humiliate people from our country by calling them ‘kimchi men’, when they see someone do something brainless and and make the nonsensical assumption that the whole country is like that. Though your yourselves are human, you people leave comments saying you should punish humans for an article about animals. It’s only right that we fix our mistakes and understand them, but this is just kind of insulting…


The biggest problem with people from our country is that it seems like there are loads of people who don’t know whether the things that they are doing are wrong or not,,,Furthermore, it’s not just asking youngsters what they’re doing, elders also need to look at themselves first, seems like the country is going wrong,,,,


When I went to America as an exchange student, Christians from our country had gone there and I got sick of seeing them giving out pamphlets and cards that said ‘come to our church’.


They’re eating a meal, and as they eat they smack their lips together ke ke If a Westerner sees them, they’re just uncivilised barbarians.


What can you do? Though we have suddenly started living well in Korea, our mindset is still that of an agrarian society…Looks like it’ll take twenty years to change. The problem is that there is no answer if the educated young buggers are unsophisticated.


Please, it would be great if you didn’t go about the streets of Hollywood shouting into a megaphone the English version of Jesus-heaven, disbelievers-hell. Forming a crowd and going around blocking every street…Other Americans and tourists take photos because it’s so weird…And why the hell do you have the Korean flag between the pickets?


You lot who are discriminating against people…I want to give you a good slap.


Hmm…I guess that foreigners really look at us with the same way that we look at the Chinese.


Don’t roll out a mat on the floor of a foreign airport, whip out the kimchi and start eating…and why would you drink alcohol there….


Number two was when people bump into each other, pretend it wasn’t them, and just walk on by (18.5%) – Please, let’s have some manners ㅡㅡ

Share This Article
Help us maintain a vibrant and dynamic discussion section that is accessible and enjoyable to the majority of our readers. Please review our Comment Policy »
  • bultak

    Koreans abroad spit at every non-korean they see.

    • Tickle Monster

      If I saw you I would spit on you to.

  • Digitalsoju

    How can any Korean be embarassed when seeing/hearing other people spitting in the streets abroad when ajushis do that more than they breathe oxygen.

  • Tickle Monster

    This is true. I can’t stand the fucking hacking and coughing Koreans abroad do in public! Drives me insane! Makes me want to smack a bitch. Nam sayin?

    • Justin_C

      i hear what chu saying loud and *cough cough* clear….
      seriously, that and chewing with mouth open…. oy

  • doug

    I think Americans traveling abroad have much,much more to be embarrassed about than Koreans. We are a disgusting,fat,sloppy bunch these days.

    • Scott

      To Doug of the Disgusting, Fat, Sloppy Bunch:

      Americans are fat? Some, yes. Sloppy in dress? Some yes, but Americans in public commonly fart, burp, slurp their food, pick their nose, spit? Ram into others without the slightest reflection of courtesy? Travel in groups that they assume give them the right of way? I don’t see Americans traveling in groups, they are almost always single, don’t bring attention to themselves, and are fawningly sensitive to avoid giving offense, even to the extent of suspending common sense, neither are they narrowly inclined to demand assumed rights, nor hypersensitive to assumed slights. Now, Doug, what “much, much more” do Americans have to be embarrassed about? Inquiring minds want to know.

      • Chucky3176

        Scott, yes they do. Minus the slurping of food, they do all those things mentioned above.

        • Sunshinefiasco

          I have to disagree on one of those: Americans do not ram into one another at full speed and then pretend it didn’t happen. At least nowhere near as frequently as folks do here. It took me a couple months in Korea to learn how to walk so that people didn’t constantly knock into me– sometimes it even seemed like they went out of their way to do so!

      • Bruce Tutty

        Invade foreign countries without a concern for their citizen’s rights.

      • Bruce Tutty

        Force smaller countries into trade sanctions, to suit the US market.

      • Bruce Tutty

        Setup factories in poorer countries, pay them next to nothing and treat then far worse than a US worker, yet still charge the same price as a US manufactured products.

      • vetomon

        Hey Scotty, Amerikans travel alone and with a Canadian flag in their backpack for a very good reason.

        Terrorists, some times the other terrorists.

        Ugly Amerikans get no respect anywhere in the world, save China and Vietnam and Korea and Japan.

        Even Obama a black Amerikan gets no respect from his own muslims.

        • maja

          his own muslims?

    • Paul M

      Doug, don’t be so hard on yourselves. I suppose a lot of Americans think like you do and imagine that the rest of the world views Americans like that. Most of the Americans I’ve met in Korea have been really polite and made an effort to integrate (as much as possible it is for a foreigner to integrate) into Korean society. The worst behaved foreigners in Korea (I’m ashamed to say) are Brits and Canadians.

      • Brandon

        The amount of empirical evidence you are providing is staggering.

      • Larry

        Paul M,
        Thank you for the kind words about my fellow Americans.

    • Chris

      i don’t know about abroad, but the thing i hate the most here is staring, especially from the older folks. you can tell that it’s not because you’re a foreigner, but rather that it’s just some fucking subconscious reaction, like a stupid fucking dog that doesn’t register it’s own actions or some shit.

      • Larry

        Oh yes, they are ******* idiots with the staring..very strange,xenophobic and racist.
        I speak from experience as well! :(

      • “like a stupid fucking dog that doesn’t register it’s own actions or some shit.”

        Not a very intelligent argument, is it? Makes you sound worse than the people you feel so indignant towards to be honest.

        • Chris

          staring for the sake of staring is something that a dog does, not a socially conscious human being. hence why i describes it as such.

          i’ll be nice, maybe they’re just senile.

      • Annie

        I’m sorry that older Koreans stare at you in that way, but I’m sure it’s not because they’re “stupid fucking dog[s].” People stare when something’s different. Koreans live among other Koreans who look like they do, and it’s a natural reaction.

        I’m not saying it’s a good thing, or even something that should be condoned, but they are of an older generation and as a foreigner, you should expect to be treated differently (even if such situations don’t happen). On the other hand, you’re clearly unhappy where you are–why don’t you just leave if it’s unbearable? No need to spew out hateful words like those.

  • k

    I think the rudest behavior I have encountered from Koreans in Korea is the shoving into you, elbowing you, and.stepping on your foot without an acknowledgement or sorry. Second would be the staring and pointing and talking about waygookins infroNT of waygookins, acting like we dont know they are talking about us. The only Koreans ive met in the USA were in college and they only socialized with other Koreans and only had other Koreans in their social clique and were pretty snotty to other people and I even had one Korean woman accuse me of stealing a Korean man from their Korean clique ( I was dating a Korean guy at the time) like she somehow owned him and all the other Korean guys and got pissed when they didnt want her but other girls. Overall though, most of.the korea.s ive met were pretty polite and they are very accomondating and friendly when they get to know you.

    • DisqusTruth

      Never been too NYC or Boston???????? Travel world my friend. Worst thing about Koreans in Korea is ( Spitting, Car driver smoking using public road as there personal ashtray, drinking vomiting).

  • glenn

    The only thing i hate about korean attitude is when they don’t even bother apologizing after accidentally bumping you. Even with my 2 years stay, I just don’t get why people would think it’s normal to bump others if they are hindering your way. =))

    On Koreans abroad, specifically my country, the usual things they are getting into are fights, getting drunk and rowdy, and prostitution (as clients not the sex trade thing). In fact, most of the house and apartments here don’t accept Koreans due to the fact that most Koreans end up trashing the place they rented or failed to keep the house clean.

    • Chucky3176

      Glen, remind me not to rent my place to Americans. They always end up with drunken parties, do drugs, they trash the pace they rent, fail to keep the house clean, and take off without paying any bills.

  • lobo

    HAhahaha this is funny! As a Canadian who lived in Korea for two years I got so accustomed to their culture I had reverse culture shock when I came back. I never said sorry when I bumped into people and I actually almost got my face punched in by some black chick in NYC while shopping.. Whoops! Ya I actually like not saying sorry because we are always in a rush and shit happens. I mean if the “bump” is super blatant and it was obviously a huge mistake then say sorry, but if it’s a little bump just get on with it. Some Americans are obsessed with saying sorry…even if you almost bump into someone. lol! Oh cultures :) Oh and one more thing which I think is such a difference is smiling. When I first went to Korea I was a smiling fool and soon realized after about a week no one smiles at strangers. So when I came back again, I was stone-face cold in public. Even a homeless man said, “it wouldn’t hurt to smile”…

    • AiAi

      Haha,so funny!This reminds me when I came back from China, I got accustomed to chew with my mouth open. Even as an adult my mother scolded me from chewing like this because in my Mexican culture it is considered “not ladylike” and “not educated”. I told her I am experiencing reversed cultural “shock”.

  • Brett Sanbon

    I dont reall care about them making noise or even spitting (desensitized after living in China). The worst for me is not holding doors for other people and not covering the mouth when sneezing or coughing.

    Although, those are just my pet peeves and I know people everywhere do these things to. Its just that I associate with Korea so it annoys me more when Koreans do it.

    • Justin_C

      now that i am in japan, i sometimes feel like i have a friggin neon-sign saying “this dude is korean, look at him cough” mainly because everyone here puts on that white mask thing when they have cold :p
      good on them!

  • lavista4u

    The worst Korean behavior seems to be in the Philippines, where they exploit local women for fun and have babies and run way from responsibility…The Korean-Filipino babies are called Kopinos and there are an estimated 10,000 of them in the Philippines.

    They don’t respect local people at all and treat them as door mat and their parties & get together are very loud and drunk..and the thing they all walk parallel on a side walk blocking the way for everyone else is so true.

    I didn’t know about all these, I’m not a filipino, Just came to Philippines as a tourist and was puzzled by some peoples behavior after inquiring about who these people are…i came to know they are Koreans lol

  • Lynn

    Wow! These are amazing comments. I am an American who has been living in Korea for more than three years and I find most of these comments an indication that Koreans are growing up in their awareness of what it takes to act in a sensitive way in a different culture. That may strike many readers as an ironic comment, but to me, as a Westerner, but thinking of myself as a kind of Korean, I take heart in these comments that show that Koreans should be, but not always are, sensitive to differences of culture. The one cultural trait, though, that I have still some difficulty with is seeing someone spitting on the street–but not too much. I do it myself sometimes. Hahaha!

    • Justin_C

      yeah… i think it takes not a lot to be more awareness of the norms outside South Korea. people say ‘wtf, i live in korea, i dont need to learn any of this crap’ – i tell them, ‘yes…. don’t learn import anything from outside – and please dont export your stuff to outside world cuz really… who wants them?’. it is geo-culturally very convenient to have NK as the other Korea as well. I say simply… ‘really? just like norh korea….?’

      either do it hardcore like NK – (no commercial relations, no people relations, no relations whatsoever) or just gradually learn to appreciate things and norms from outside as well :D

    • Larry

      I lived in South Korea for many years. They have the worst manners just like the Chinese! :(


  • Gabrielle

    When you live for a while in a country (or travel there often enough to be knowledgeable about that culture), you’re bound to be ashamed by the manners (or lack thereof) of your fellow nationals that have just landed…
    But everyone makes mistakes at the beginning.
    And the speed at which new-commers realize they’re in the wrong highly depend on their personality rather than their nationality. And to some extent, the environment upon arrival.

    I’m from France, I’ve never encountered Koreans spitting or being too loud (Koreans are actually the most discreet crowd among Asians in Paris).
    I do dislike seeing them embarking with 50 packs of shinramyeon. There really no point in going to France if you’re not going to eat the local food… And shinramyeon, to boot, it’s almost insulting ;)
    That’s said, there’s a lot of things that I’m embarrassed when I see my fellow nationals, the worse being when they are commenting whether a shop is easy to steal… *facepalm*
    On the good side, they usually make effort to speak Korean and meet Koreans.

    I wonder if that survey isn’t mainly based on manners expected in Japan, by the way. It feels like it’s the difference between Korean manners and Japanese manners mostly.

  • k

    I do think the bowing and crossing the arm when giving customers back their money is very nice and polite. Brett I agree about holding the door open for someone bebind you, Im from an area where everyone does that and I even still did it when I lived in Korea. I think lettinf the door slam in someones face that is right behind you is rude when it takes a sec to be considerate and hold the door open. I tried to live by example when there hoping if I did it for Koreans then one of them might pick up on how pleasant it is to have the person in front of you actually acknowledge you and be considerate but I would say most of the Koreans I held the door for smiled and say thank you, most looked bewildered that I did hold the door open, and some refused to say thank you or acknowledged I stood to wait on them. But you notice how in Seoul, when people are walking they almost never acknowledge others with eye contact or a smile? Honestly in Seoul, there are many pretty women walking around but if you ever notice, Korean men arent really looking at the women as much as I would expect from men. I found Koreans in the public to be very stoic, cold faced and indifferent to others around them.

  • Paul

    The only one that matters in my mind is the one regarding personal questions.

    But they will learn what and what not to do quickly. If I was in Canada and someone that just met me asked how much money I make I would either tell them its none of their business or tell them it dosen’t matter. I think that is how most Canadians would reply. So eventually the Korean person would stop asking since they would never get an answer.

  • Chucky3176

    If Koreans are so horrible as claimed here, why do the Australians only want Koreans over all the Europeans?

    Hostel in Australia refuses to take Irish


    A DUBLIN man who runs a pub and hostel in the north Queensland town of Prosperpine is refusing to accommodate any more Irish backpackers after a series of drunken and property-damaging incidents.

    The latest episode saw two Irish men being arrested at the hostel adjoining O’Duinns bar after they allegedly caused damage by breaking chairs, windows and a table.

    Thomas Dunne, whose business is close to the famous Airlie Beach resort, said: “We have security here from 11 o’clock at night because people are getting up at five for work [on local farms] and it’s usually the Irish ones who are causing all the problems.

    “The security tell me they are getting the same from the Irish at pubs in Airlie Beach, giving them lots of lip.

    “It used to be the English,” he added, “now it’s the Irish.”

    Mr Dunne’s 55-bed backpacker hostel is used by young people on working holiday visas who work on farms for three months in order to get a second-year visa.

    He said some local farmers no longer wanted to hire Irish people because of their poor work.

    “We’ve just been told by one farm a couple of days ago ‘We’re not taking any more Irish or English, no Europeans at all. All we want is Koreans’.

    “So we sent 40 Koreans out to that farm.”

    After these and other incidents, including an alleged arson attack by an Irish woman, Mr Dunne no longer wants Irish people staying on his premises.

    “If Irish people ring up we say ‘Sorry, we’re full’.

    “If they’re going to be here for three months [working on a farm] you don’t want all that trouble, that’s why we knock them back straight away.”

    Mr Dunne added: “It’s distressing for my wife. She’s just gone to the police now because she can’t put up with it. And also my 17-year-old daughter, who is working here in the bar with us: she is all distressed about what’s happening.”

    Mr Dunne, who also has a 15- year-old son and a 19-year-old daughter who is currently in Dublin, contrasted the behaviour of some Irish backpackers with that of asylum-seekers trying to get to Australia.

    “Hundreds of poor boat people died last week trying to get into Australia,” he said, “and these guys who could not get a job in Ireland have been given the opportunity to work and the opportunity to extend their visa an extra year by working 12 weeks on a farm.”

    He said “low-lifes” who caused damage should be kept in Ireland to “give the real refugees a chance”.

    • Stories of butts

      The article you pulled up does nothing for this topic since its talking about work ethics and the topic involving the survey is talking about etiquette. Everybody knows how hard working Koreans are so the article is useless right now.

      • chucky3176

        Did you even bother to read the article?

        The article says:

        “He said “low-lifes” who caused damage should be kept in Ireland to “give the real refugees a chance”.”

        “We have security here from 11 o’clock at night because people are getting up at five for work [on local farms] and it’s usually the Irish ones who are causing all the problems.

        “The security tell me they are getting the same from the Irish at pubs in Airlie Beach, giving them lots of lip.”


        It sounds like poor drunken behavior and poor etiquette to me that has got these farmers up in arms, and it’s not just about poor work ethic.

        • Rusty

          I’ve done a couple of seasons of farm work in northern Queensland and the Koreans were by far the better behaved backpackers. Some farms would only take on Asians, partly because Europeans wouldn’t take shit from the farmers, but also because the Asians would often work harder. The Chinese were definitely a lot less sensitive to western etiquette. They’d leave toilet seats down and piss all over them. One guy even kept livestock in the public sink (no, really!). Then again the Europeans were just a bunch of noisy wankers keeping people up all night with their antics. From what I’ve seen of young Koreans abroad they are exemplary travellers.

          On the other hand, the older lot can be [email protected] annoying. Just recently on a flight back to London a bunch of boom voiced ajeossi were blurting out an impossibly loud conversation when the lights were off and everyone was trying to sleep. The plane was full of Chinese and Japanese people coming to the Olympics and I think the guys wanted to announce their presence on the plane.

  • Chris

    i hate how old people stare here. you know it’s not because you’re a foreigner, you can tell it’s just an animal reaction, like how a dog watches every single thing that moves.

    • itissaid

      Dream on.

  • Intruder

    Top 5 Korean Gaffes in foreign countries

    1- Korean eating dogs and cats

    2 – Koreans have a bad reputation in foreign countries: corruption (mafia) and prostitution of Korean women in foreign countries

    3 – Technology and product piracy (Samsung, Hyundai etc)

    4 – Koreans are famous for being ignorant and selfish

    Definitely, Koreans have a bad reputation in the Western world

    • itissaid

      All lies.

  • Intruder

    Korean Gaffes in foreign countries

    Korean eating dogs and cats

    Corruption (mafia in NY) and prostitution (Korean women in foreign countries)

    Piracy (Samsung, Hyundai etc)

    Koreans are famous for being stupid, ignorant and selfish people

  • Compared to the Chinese, they are model citizens of the world!

    Worst part of travelling to Korea: Chinese Tour groups pointing and calling the locals “Laowai”! lol!

    • DisqusTruth

      Koreans ( locals) call Chinese ( Jjangae). Works both ways!!!!! lol.

  • lolz

    This sounds like a bunch of nationalistic bullshit from every angle. Every country has their shit people and their good people, and unfortunately, both are given access to passports. Like any other group of people, I’ve seen polite Koreans and rude Koreans abroad.

    As a Westerner who lives in Korea and does make an attempt to assimilate into the culture, the same happens here where you have a bunch of retards from other countries who come to Korea and act like they own the place.

  • Repapipz

    when they come to my country, I kind of get annoyed because they’re kind of noisy. Also, they should tone down their voices especially inside the church. They keep on taking pictures and speak in loud noises that those who are praying can’t really be in their prayer mode. :/

  • Sovereign

    I hate Koreans that act white. It’s terribly shameful when “westerners” question what happened to a person. Some Koreans in the US act as if they are white or like second-class white citizens. I had a bunch of Koreans approach me on the street and tried to peddle Christianity to me.

    Seriously?!?!?!? Seeing as my own family can’t get me to be more religious, why would I take that advice from someone who converted within my own lifetime. I see Koreans in church being all religious, but even my Korean friends say it’s more social gathering than belief. Even her parents say they don’t care about it, but it’s for appearances only. I would rather they be themselves and stop copying what everyone else does. The real ones are the best ones.

    • Could it be any worse than the people who think that everyone should act according to their race no matter what country or culture they live in? And what does it even mean to act according to one’s race? You really put Korean ethnics in small box if you think they have to act in a certain way to be proper Korean ethnics. Note that here we are talking about Americans who live in America.
      And to the point of your comment, being Christian is not being “white”, most whites are agnostic (it serves no purpose in formal logic to mention this, but there was no formal logic in your post anyway). Religious observance of Christianity is much stronger in Korea than America, so they are probably acting more “Korean” than you.

      • Sovereign

        Noah, it is stronger in Korea. I agree, and that is my problem. In fact that is the logic. Seeing as I have no roots in Christianity and neither does 85% of Korea, why have we embraced it? Why is it that Japan, China, Taiwan..etc have not? I don’t hate religion, I hate what it is doing to the country. Someone mentioned todays generation being more agnostic. And the way I see it, it is because Americans see all these people converting to it as some sort of “passport.” They are now abandoning it.

        The whole logic of Christianity in my point is that it is a western influence that we have whole-heartedly adopted. There are more missionaries in Korea than anywhere else. That is called conformity. The post-war missionaries from the west brought it over and now we’re just regurgitating it onwards. Does that mean Korea was a bad place before? That western society won’t accept us because of our beliefs, if not a western one?

        • dk2020

          So if they are buddhist they are trying to be Asian? If they are muslim they are trying to be Middle Eastern? That’s bs .. There is a real reason why Koreans embraced Christianity which I tried to explain but obviously you don’t have the capacity to understand with your prejudices and the way you want to see it babo yah.. yeah dude, great leaders like MLK was Christian because he was trying to be white smh .. if you go to a white church, a black church, or a Korean church it’s very different and adapts to each culture not the other way around ..

          • Sovereign

            What was the reason? You didn’t explain. MLK was a great man for what he stood for and his message. If you think about what he says, he is advocating equality for the masses, not just Christians. Also MLK in his early life questioned Christianity as whole. Isn’t MLK and the dalai lama saying the same thing?

          • dk2020

            I was being sarcastic, if it wasn’t for the black church’s support during the civil rights movement it would have never happened. But I think its really prejudice and ignorant that you say Christianity is to blame for westernization and there are no good Christians. You gotta remember Christianity started in the Middle East as a religion among the slaves, and no I don’t think Jesus was white lols ..

          • Guest

            Koreans in Vancouver spit everywhere. They don’t socialize with Canadians and they get really angry when one of their girls gets a western guy. Last year, a study came out that stated North and South Koreans have the smallest penises in the world and they flipped out calling it a Japanese conspiracy.

            They have restaurants here with no English on the menu, basically saying, dont come here if your white and Robson street looks like Korea, not Canada. How would they like it if we opened a Canadatown in S. Korea? Anyway, I know some cool Koreans but yeah, the majority are xenophobes and are as loud as or louder than Chinese. It has to stop sooner or later.

    • dk2020

      Why do you associate Korean Christianity with trying to be white? I grew up in church with my halmoni and it was a all Korean congregation with a couple hapa kids, all the sermons were in Korean and the potluck was Korean food .. If you didn’t know, Korean Christianity really grew during the Japanese occupation as a form of rebellion against Japanese Shintoism forced on the people.

      I’m Christian but I don’t push my beliefs on other people and honestly some of the best people I know are Christians. I also respect all religions, live and let live, you sound very bitter against religion which seems to be the trend with the younger millennium generation.

      The church has always been the first place for new immigrants to network and has really kept the community together, most twinkies I would think don’t associate with church or want anything to do with Korean culture, thats being white washed, but from my experience its not all that bad and evil though as you make it seem,,

      • I don’t think it’s being white washed, but there is definitely an element of westernization that is follows Christianity in Korea.

        • dk2020

          Well yeah, Christianity is a Western religion and has been used by whites long ago as an excuse for imperialism but Koreans have definitely put their own twist on it, some being too passionate and overzealous at times like the ajumma bible thumpers .. but I would say its done more good than harm ..if you’re old school like me growing up in the US, it was still very pro-Christian nation, All this anti religion and agnosticism is recent ..when times got hard for gyopos like the ’92 LA riots, only the Korean church was there to help and rebuild .. and I have gone to skid row to help feed the homeless with my church, things like that I appreciate ..

      • John Stewart

        “Religious observance of Christianity is much stronger in Korea than
        America, so they are probably acting more “Korean” than you.”

        Nonesense and rubbish. If Koreans were so much stronger in Christianity they wouldn’t be such cold hearted jac

        • John Stewart


    • Danny

      Christianity in South Korea isn’t a ‘western’ thing, but is actually a serious thing (Christianity is the dominant religion in South Korea).
      You don’t have to be white to be Christian, surprise surprise, and so it isn’t a ‘white’ thing. It’s also the dominant religion in the Phillipines.
      In the US, many Koreans gather in churches to carry on their faith; these people are not ‘acting white’, but just doing what they have been doing throughout their lives. (And being Christians, they also want to persuade others into converting).

  • What is meant by “noise in public”? Korean boisterousness wasn’t so bad, but the loud open-mouthed eating by almost everyone was insufferable. The noise was only really bad when it was religitards shouted buybull verses in public, or excessively loud music played in stores. (It’s called the buybull because you have to buy the bull to believe it.)

    As for the other annoyances, you can chalk it up to the hierarchical bu**sh** of confucianism and who’s “higher” in it’s “harmonious society” (e.g. older and younger, male and female, etc.). To Koreans, the only people one has to show respect for are family, friends, anyone seen on a daily basis (e.g. coworkers). Strangers are treated as if they don’t exist, it’s why Koreans are so rude to people they don’t know – bumping, blocking doorways and sidewalks, not holding doors, spitting inside others’ buildings, vandalism, etc.

  • ChuckRamone

    It’s interesting to read these comments because they sound like they’re mostly coming from small-town Americans or other Westerners going to a big city for the first time. I experienced a lot of the same feelings when I first came to New York from small town America. People here are ruder. There’s occasional bumping and shoving in crowded places without apologies. People spit. People act like assholes. There’s garbage everywhere. Almost on a daily basis I see people just toss their garbage all over the place without a second thought. This city has one of the worst litter problems in the world. But I bet at least South Korea has less litter? I haven’t been there since I was a child, but I imagine they’re pretty good about not having subway stations full of wrappers, empty drink bottles, spit, gum, bums, random weirdos talking to you, etc. Oh, yeah, there’s crime too. New York must be much worse than South Korea. Getting violently mugged is a much bigger problem than hearing someone chomp their food, annoying as that must be.

  • kert

    I really love korean; people
    The food
    The plce
    The culture
    Their. Principles

  • GenderNectar

    Koreans (especially/specifically those who are “fresh of the boat”, pardon the expression) are so incredibly rude and racist here in Toronto. Obviously this is a generalization, just like if I said all Jews are cheap and have big noses. Having said all that, my brother’s best friend is Korean (first gen. Canadian) and he is like family. I have also known my fair share of stereotyping and prejudice as I am Jewish (with an obvious last name). Living in Toronto I’m exposed to so many ethnic groups on a daily basis. None have made such a lasting negative impression as Koreans have… They don’t seem to show any respect or appreciation for the country they’re making a life in (spitting anywhere/everywhere… gag! Trash being thrown anywhere.) I could go on. But I also know that there are many Koreans out there who have and who will prove me wrong many times over. I just wish that they would tell their peeps that they’re leaving very bad impressions in a lot of places.

    • Arthur Baily

      I live near Steeles and Bathurst in Toronto, in the Jewish town, 5
      minutes from Korea Town. I have no ideal what you’re talking about.
      I’ve never seen anybody spitting or throwing garbage everywhere. And
      even if they did, how does anybody know which ethnicity did it, since
      there are so many races living in the city including millions of
      Iranians, Jews, Portugese, Koreans, Chinese, Russians, Vietnamese,
      Filipino, etc etc. all living side by side, meshed and mixed together. Bad impressions of Koreans in Toronto? Uh..yeah right. There are none. Nobody cares.

  • David Huber

    Biggest thing for me in Korea was elevators. When I am standing at the elevator… You don’t need to push the button AGAIN….. It is already lit up. I am not a stupid dog. And women. Just because a foreigner is on the elevator, don’t let out a wordless scream the minute you get on and flee. Yes. I now feel like shit, and was just heading to work or home. Yay….

  • kizuka

    The truth is that korean people often do something rude(especially the girls). I remember when my friend was chatting with her korean friend, she (her korean friend) was posting a status from facebook about something rude with a very bad english. My friend only comment one word,But she got insulted. And then my friend got angry because she was right. Everyone read her stat and her english with her words was really bad. She(korean) freak out and keep saying that her english was right and said that my friend is brainless, but everyone knows that she was the brainless one. Almost all of korean is very rude and arrogant. They have a fake “beauty” but they bullied other people because the other don’t do that plastic operation. And they keep claiming something that not theirs… plagiarism. They are fake, stupid, arrogant, and rude.

  • dark

    No different than Chinese abroad. Well, Chinese do it worse by a factor of 100. Still, why can’t Koreans behave more like the Japanese.

  • annoymous

    Korea has tons of rude people. i went to seoul last november and during the peak hour i was inside the subway, standing around the middle area of the train and i still got pushed out by the people and not only did they not apologise, they also glared at us. Koreans are really very racist towards the blacks and the chinese.
    Japan is Korea’s opposite. They are very polite and they will apologise to you even if you accidentally pushed them etc. They are also very friendly towards foreigner even though they cant speak english. they make an effort to also try to speak english unlike the koreans. majority of the koreans are like that

  • Jin BBang

    Here’s my background: mid 40’s Korean American, raised in America. Culturally and education is strongly more American/Western, but parents VERY Korean and so I got a healthy, on-going dose of Korean-ness. Involved in family business for 6 years with clients in Korea, Japan and Taiwan. Here’s my take on most embarrassing things Koreans do abroad:

    1) Loud. Too loud. Too boisterous. I don’t think its a bad thing having a good time, but consider your surroundings. If you’re getting looks, you’re being too loud. In contrast, I really admire Japanese tourists. They seem to err on the side of politeness everywhere they go and I’ve seen Japanese tourists in action in America, Korea and Taiwan.

    I think someone said it too above. That a group of Japanese in a subway cab will never be louder than a group of Koreans. On my way to Narita airport, my Japanese friend’s wife was accompanying me via subway to the airport. The cab was half full. There were graphical signs in the cab stating to be respectful and do not talk on your mobile phone. Two young Korean tourists walk in and were talking as loud as hell. I was hoping it would be a short conversation, but it wasn’t for the both of them. Truly, this was a glaring example of the differences between Koreans and Japanese.

    2) Restaurant etiquette- my father eats with his mouth open. It’s part of Korean culture, I get it. But other cultures frown upon it and do not find it acceptable. I’ve sat in restaurants (Korean and Western, Taiwanese, Japan, etc.) where typically loud Korean old guys are dining. Not only can you hear them talking, you can hear them eating. It’s especially embarrassing when it’s in a quiet restaurant, regardless of the country, culture, etc. It’s this lack of awareness and this cultural selfishness that turns me off

    3) Like others have said, staring. The funny thing is that my father still stares alot and we’ve lived in LA since 1973. I read above that its just old people being old people and theyre staring at things foreign. Bulls##t. You ever seen a group of Korean girls in Korea stare a girl up and down with disgusting disapproving looks when a wae-gook girl walks in front of them? When I was a student in Korea, it was so annoying that one of my girlfriends smacked a native girl for making a snide remark as we were walking away

    4) Thin skinned and easily offended – there’s nothing more annoying about this cultural trait. Korean people and businessmen do not seem to understand the difference between a criticism of their idea vs a personal criticism of them. The immediate reaction from most Korean people I know is that they get easily angered and for whatever reason, attribute the criticism of their IDEA as a personal attack on them. It makes dealing with Korean natives a challenge.

    5) Pushing/shoving – I realize this is accepted in Korea esp for old people (I’ve been hand wedged out of the way by many old folk in Korea), but not everywhere else. I don’t see this behavior as often with the younger set, but definitely the older folks. Again, cultural awareness.

  • AiAi

    Hmm, I usually met kind Korean people back in my Mexican-American town. From then on, I haven’t met many Koreans except watch them on TV lol.

  • As a foreigner who lived in the RoK for two years, I found them to be the kindest most generous people I’ve ever met, especially the people from Buan, Jeollabukdo where I lived.

  • KoreanPeninsula

    Chinese and Japanese are much worse than average Koreans.

  • daniela campo

    the shoving is so upseting as well as the “not holding the door for you even if you are right behind me” and the “look at you as if you had grown another head for holding doors for them and after that not even saying thanks”!!!…. another thing is seeing almost every guy and even some girls spitting on the floor that was the most disgusting thing i saw, all I heard was the “aaarrrgg” noice and its seriously fucking disgusting!!!….. and dont get me started with that aweful thing koreans do while eating that is chewing with their mouths wide open and speaking while they still have food in there, it makes me wanna puke so bad TTT_TTT

  • SW

    I was watching a Korean movie one time and I noticed how people were shoving large quantity of food in their mouths that I was afraid they’ll choke! I thought it was only in movies but then I saw a cooking demo on YouTube where the cook tastes what she’s cooking, shoving food in her mouth, chewing loudly and still talk! The sound (especially when they are eating soup) reminds me of the sound of hogs when they eat and, with their mouths so full of food, these Koreans remind me of monkeys or squirrels when they stuff their cheeks with food! I wonder if anyone has ever told them that this is definitely one that they need to change (even it is part of their culture).

Personals @ chinaSMACK - Meet people, make friends, find lovers? Don't be so serious!»