– geographical territory in Asia, located on the Korean peninsula and adjacent islands, united by a common historical heritage. Once it was a single state, but since 1948 it has been divided into two – North and South Korea. The total population of both countries is 70 million people.
Eastern countries have traditionally remained a mystery and exotic for the Slavs. One of such unknown states is Korea. For many of us, this country is associated with delicious salads and snacks, and almost everyone knows that they eat dogs. But is it true? The legend has become the constant youthfulness of Korean men and women, but how natural is it? Therefore, it is time to reveal some myths about this country, most of which belong to the more open South part, or the Republic of Korea.
Korean carrots and salads from it are really Korean dishes. This opinion is a myth. Many Russians consume Korean carrots, which has become a traditional snack on most holidays. Vegetables are cut into long strips, then vinegar and spices are added to it. It makes us believe in the authenticity of the myth and the fact that Koreans themselves sell the dishes of this series. In fact, the salad was invented by emigre Koreans, who once settled in Russia for a long time. In Korea itself, no one knows about such a snack. In this country it is customary to eat boiled or raw carrots.
In Korea, it is customary to eat dishes made from canine meat.
This statement is true, but only partially. The fact is that soup of canine meat in the country is considered to be the rarest delicacy, hence its price far exceeds the cost of other soups and dishes. Tourists who want to taste this exotic food will have to run a lot and ask questions from the locals, as in the menu not every restaurant has such a soup. Even if you find such a restaurant, you can independently and do not determine which dish on the list is made of dogs. So, soup from a dog may well be called a “soup for health”, usually only one serving of it costs about $ 20. It is interesting that such a craving for eating “healing” soups applies more to the representatives of the older generation, the youth are even somewhat ashamed of the fact that they were fed such food in their childhood. So this myth turned out to be true, only that there is a possibility that eventually it will turn into a story that happened a long time ago.
Koreans are a musical people.
It’s true that almost everyone in the country knows how to sing and loves to sing. Naturally, as everywhere there are those who are alien to this entertainment, but comparing with other countries of the world one can confidently state that Korea is one of the most singing countries. In this country, no one is surprised by a man walking along the street and singing in a low voice, or even in the throat. This can happen only because of the presence of a good mood, while others do not surprise it at all, since they themselves were certainly in a similar situation. If you are on a holiday, you can easily ask a friend of the Korean who is there to perform a song there. He will not hesitate for a minute, amazed at the ease with which he will agree to sing.
The most beautiful Korean women live in Seoul.
This statement is only partially true. The fact is that the concepts of beauty on the planet generally differ, but in Korea itself there was an opinion that the most beautiful women live in the capital. This view is facilitated by the fact that it is in Seoul that the largest number of well-off people who take care of themselves and their wives live. That’s why many girls go to the capital to marry successfully, for this they try to look as beautiful as possible, not disdaining to use the services of a cosmetic surgeon. So, practically in any center of cosmetic surgery a girl can make a crease on the upper eyelid, the operation is inexpensive and costs about 190 dollars.The fact is that such a Euro-Caucasian distinctive feature for Asians is extraordinarily beautiful. So it turns out that such services are in demand on the market, and the number of such medical centers in Seoul alone exceeds a hundred. Yes, men do not hesitate to resort to such a procedure. Many do not even bother to lie down under the scalpel, for a visual increase in the eyes – in Korea, a small face with large and brightly expressed eyes is considered beautiful. It’s no wonder that almost every girl has several pairs of false eyelashes that make the look visually even more open. So if the most beautiful Korean women do not live in Seoul, then the residents of the capital take care of their appearance with much greater zeal.
Koreans love bathing.
In fact, it is difficult to explain why people who live near the seas and the ocean neglect the opportunity to swim and, in the mass, are careful of water. With good and sunny weather, the beaches of Korea are really crowded with people, however people do not swim in the water, but only splash near the shore. The natural density of vacationers in the water is so great that it is difficult to reach out and not touch someone. But those who want to sail away from the coast, it is likely to encounter special employees on boats, which will return the swimmer to a general company splashing in shallow water.
Traditional festive snack of Koreans is delicious and hot meat “he”.
The “he” dish is prepared by the Koreans with pleasure and on ordinary days, and not just on holidays. That’s just made the meat is not from meat, but from fillets of raw fish. Meat “he” in Korea itself is unknown, it was also invented by Korean emigrants living in Russia.
Koreans try to marry after 30 years.
But this statement is mostly true. In the country there is a custom according to which before the wedding the groom must first save money for the purchase of an apartment, and only then choose a spouse. Yes, and the wedding itself is paid for by a young man. Takai tradition is not accepted to be neglected, that’s why some time young people spend on collecting the necessary amount. It is necessary to add the years spent on training, and it should be taken into account that Koreans often drop out of school halfway, moving to another university, years of service in the army (almost every young man goes there). In the end, it turns out that before 30 years, men usually do not marry.
Koreans are long-livers.
Not at all, today the average life expectancy in the country for women is 75 years, and for men – 67. In Seoul, these indicators are slightly higher, largely due to developed medicine. It is interesting that in the 1960s the difference between the average life expectancy between men and women was only one year. However, the abundance of stress at work and bad habits (and almost all men smoke in the country) led to such a break.
Koreans are looking for only a highly paid job.
Unlike the countries of the West, in Korea the concepts of “high-paying work” and “prestigious work” are not always synonymous. First of all, the Koreans are important stability, they do not like to “jump” from place to place. In Korea, the profession of a professor or a civil servant is considered more prestigious than a businessman. The centuries-old traditions of Confucianism served that cause. As a result, more parents prefer to see their child as a peasant than to those who want to grow a businessman.
More boys than girls are born in the country.
Confucian traditions serve as the reason for this. The fact is that only sons and descendants on the male line can make sacrifices before the memorial tablets of their ancestors. In Korea, this approach to family planning has become a real problem. It was strengthened by the fact that the country is not so strong with its social security system as other developed countries. As a result, the elderly are looked after by children.Women, for the most part, housewives, seeing this state of affairs, parents and try to do everything to have a son. So, in 1990 the number of born boys exceeded the girls by 16%, and in the famous patriarchal views of Daegu – all 36%. Yes, and popular beliefs about, for example, that a woman born in the year of the tiger, will be a bad wife and mistress, played a role. In this year, few people want to give birth to a girl, and later not all will want to contact her by marriage. As a result, since 1994, doctors are forbidden to find out their sex, otherwise they are threatened with penalties. As a result, a reduction in the disproportion to 9% in 2000, which is already close to the norm of 5%. However, such failures in the system of procreation can not pass without a trace. Today, there are 123 bridegrooms for 100 brides, and this threatens with social upheavals, the growth of prostitution, sexual crimes, homosexuality.
The Korean language came from the Chinese language.
The origin of the Korean language is very complicated. One thing is clear – he is not a descendant of Chinese. In modern linguistics, the ancient languages of the Korean peninsula, as well as Korean and Japanese, are united in a group of puyo languages. There are many dialects and dialects, but the Koreans more or less understand each other. Today in the Korean language quite a lot of borrowings from Chinese, as well as English. So, only Japanese can be considered a “relative” of the country’s language.
Koreans are an unread nation.
This view is made up of the fact that we, as a matter of fact, know little about the local writers there. Meanwhile, it’s just the fruit of the prohibitions that existed in the USSR to communicate with a country with a hostile system. In Korea itself, reading is quite a popular activity. Most of the book lovers belong to students and young people in general, the leaders in circulation are the educational literature. On the second place goes the artistic, and on the third – the children’s. At the same time, about 5 million religious books are published annually. The total circulation of books from 1980 to 1996 has grown 3 times! According to Western concepts, books are quite cheap – so a 300-page book of good quality in soft cover will cost 5-7 dollars.
Koreans are extremely superstitious.
Along with Buddhism and Confucianism in the country, the third religion was shamanism. That’s why today shamans in the country enjoy some popularity. In general, Koreans can not be called superstitious. The fact is that the residents are sufficiently educated, does not contribute to the belief in supernatural and widespread Christianity. Also, a rather high standard of living in the country also does not allow people to address shamans for solving their problems. Today, they are addressed more often by small entrepreneurs and parents of entrants looking for luck in business and study, respectively. Quite a lot in Korea and fortune-tellers, this craft is ancient and respected in the East in general. In the country nobody is surprised by fortune tellers with books in crowded places. There are self-taught books, fortune-telling machines and even mobile car puzzles. So the myth can not be completely refuted.
Korea’s main religion is Buddhism, there are almost no Christians there.
The spread of Christianity in the country began with the appearance there in 1784 of Lee Son Hun, who accepted a new faith and is a participant in the Confucian circle who studied Western views. The history of Christianity in Korea is rather untypical, because it penetrated the country not with the help of missionaries, but with the help of literature. The missionary’s activity began in the late 19th century, when the state’s ports were open to foreigners. For almost a century and a half, until 1945, Christianity in the country was either directly prosecuted or discouraged. In the 70’s and 80’s of the 20th century, Christianity became the dominant religion both among the urban intelligentsia and among the general population. If in 1962 Christians in Korea were only 5.3%, then in 1991 they were already 23.6%. It should be noted that 46% of the population are atheists in general, and about 27% of Buddhists in the country.Most of the Christians, by the way, are Protestants. The country is so unique that this is one of the few Asian countries where Christianity plays such an important role.
In Korea, they take care of the buildings of past years.
In fact, traces of past times are hard to meet, especially in large cities. In Seoul, for example, the list of architectural attractions is limited to several royal palaces. The reasons for this attitude towards the past are as follows. The overwhelming number of buildings built in Korea before 1945, was built on Japanese money, Japanese architects and in the Japanese style. Not surprisingly, nationalistic emotions led to the rapid death of such buildings – the symbols of colonialism. In Korea, moreover, traditionally the houses are short-lived, even today they are built of brick and concrete, serve 2-3 decades and are ruthlessly demolished. As a result, each Seoul microdistrict every 15-20 changes beyond recognition. Today in the capital there are almost no buildings half a century old and centuries ago.
In Korea, oriental medicine is predominantly developed.
In Korean health care, interestingly, Western medicine and traditional eastern medicine are also neighbors. They exist in parallel and practically do not overlap. Eastern medicine has traditionally been developed on the peninsula, based on age-old folk traditions. It is based on the use of natural medicines. At the very end of the 19th century, Western medicine began to penetrate with the missionaries in Korea. This was facilitated by the cure in 1884 after the assassination of the Royal Adviser Mine by the forces of European medicine, while the local healers were only disheveled. By 1910, about 30 missionary hospitals were already operating in the country. At the same time, Korea became a colony of Japan. The new authorities were very supportive of the Western traditions of treatment, while Eastern medicine was persecuted, it was considered a charlatanry. The change of Japanese influence on the American in 1945, on the one hand, confirmed the growing interest in Western medicine, and on the other, since 1951, traditional medicine has also been rehabilitated. Today, Eastern doctors are almost 6 times smaller than graduate doctors. However, in Korea, the system of pharmacists is also very developed, which in fact are medical consultants, releasing most of the medicines without prescriptions. Such a system was formed in the middle of the 20th century, when doctors did not have enough. Medicine today in the country is paid, and there are no polyclinics at all.
In Korea, most women are housewives.
Interestingly, 30 years ago it was hard to imagine in the country at all that a married woman worked. Even if a woman worked before marriage, immediately after the betrothal, she either quit or was forcibly dismissed. However, 15-20 years ago the situation began to change, the reason for this – young Koreans with higher education, who are eager for their own income, their own lives and their money. That is, it was higher education that led to such massive changes in consciousness. However, the desire of young Korean women to find employment is faced with the fact that they simply do not take in many places to work, preferring men. Korean managers developed a stereotype that a woman by definition is a bad employee. And although today women in the country largely work in secondary jobs, and even not in the specialty, it can be confidently believed that the society and the current generation of housewives has changed. The last, in a couple of decades, an unemployed woman in the country will be as rare as and in Europe or America.
Korea and Japan are friend countries.
Two neighbor countries in general are rarely very friendly – too many claims, at least territorial.In this case, Korea and Japan were always related that one and a half millennia ago the countries, being under the cultural influence of China, were able to preserve their national characteristics and not become part of the Celestial Empire. For a long time, not only cultural ties existed between countries (take at least the affinity of languages), but also trade. In Japan, many Koreans lived and vice versa. However, at the beginning of the 20th century, Japan, having overcome Russia’s resistance, could turn Korea into its colony for 35 years. This entailed forcible japanization in all spheres of life. As a result, having freed himself from the dominion of his island neighbor, in Korea there was a great resentment towards him. So, until 1998, the rental of Japanese films in the country was generally banned, it was also forbidden to listen to Japanese music. Even American films with Japanese actors hardly got on the screen. Only recently there has been a positive shift towards the two countries, and the Japanese language department has appeared at the Seoul University, many restrictions on the spread of Japanese culture in Korea have been lifted.
It’s hard to find bread in Korea.
This seems surprising to us, but Koreans themselves are calm about such a phenomenon as the absence of black bread in their country. This is not surprising, because before the sixties, Koreans did not eat bread at all. Now in stores you can already buy white bread, prepared according to American recipes. There is no black rye bread in Korea. It was periodically produced by foreign bakers. Primarily for foreigners, however, it was quite expensive, from 8 dollars. So the popularity of such a product is not found.
Koreans love tea.
It seems that the proximity to China, where tea is the number one drink, implies love of tea in Korea, but this is not so. In modern Korea, the main and most popular drink is coffee, although people willingly drink and herbal tinctures, juices, but not tea. If lovers of green tea can still be found, there are no black fans in the country at all. It is not surprising that in the stores the choice of tea is small.
In Korea, dairy products are unpopular.
Quite interesting is the fact that milk became popular in the country only after the war. Then, with the help of the Americans, there was also a technology for making dairy products. Today, yoghurts are very popular in Korea, while sour cream and curd are not used at all. Like other peoples of the Far East, Koreans eat soy cottage cheese, but it does not taste like what we are used to. Yes, and the cheese is bad. In the store you can find only processed cheese, not particularly tasty to the same.
In Korea they eat with chopsticks, as elsewhere in the Far East.
Indeed, sticks are the main tool for eating in the country. Only here the sticks in Korea are different from others, in all countries they are different. Thus, Chinese sticks, in comparison with Korean sticks, are thicker and longer – up to 15-20 cm. Japanese sticks are also wooden, but they are mostly disposable. A purely Korean feature is the fact that the sticks are made of metal, which is not accepted anywhere. First, brass was used for this, then stainless steel and silver. Another amazing feature of Korea is the fact that they often use spoons, they even eat rice! Naturally, this tool is known in China and Japan, but they use it much less often. Spoons in Korea also eat soup, very popular in the country. Despite the close association with food all the same sticks, the European plug and knife gradually penetrate into the country.
Koreans work hard.
In this country it is really accepted to work a lot and in good faith. After all, Korea is deprived of natural resources, so its strength is in industry. The last quarter of a century, the average length of the labor week in the country is 50 hours. At the same time, no one is surprised at the existence of the so-called “five and a half weeks”, when the weekend is only Sunday, and Saturday is a shorter working day.Vacation for employees is from 3 to 10 working days per year. Accordingly, the schedule of Korean institutions is also being built. Most private shops and businesses do not have a clear working time, and food stores operate from 6-7 in the morning and up to 23 hours.
Koreans are ill-bred people.
This opinion was born due to the difference in the mentality of different cultures. So, for Koreans it is quite natural to ask a woman for an acquaintance about her age, marital status and place of residence. For us, this approach will be a manifestation of ambiguous hints. Also, Koreans calmly talk about toilets, in our culture, this topic is by default considered “taboo.” In Korea, a young man can quite discuss on a date with his passion the theme of his diarrhea. On the peninsula, it’s customary not to close your mouth while eating, but Europeans will be indignant at the calm champing of a Korean neighbor. But Koreans are much cleaner, for them is an unbearable sight of blowing their nose in a scarf. The inhabitants of Korea themselves use disposable napkins.