12 Things That Are Normal to South Korea but Astonishing to the Rest of the World



Both Koreas can be a bit of a mystery to the West, but the way they blend modern technology with Asian tradition is quite beautiful…if you know how to look.

#12. You can taste test food in the supermarket.

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You can try as much as you want and buy it or not – no one will say a word.

#11. Kids stay at school late.

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Young children attend school until 6pm, secondary kids until 8 or 9, and high school kids often study until after midnight. Likewise, libraries are open 24/7.

#10. Themed subway cars are a common sight.

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They’re often themed for cartoon or anime characters.

#9. They’re short on trash bins and heavy on public toilets.

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Koreans are tidy and have little need for public trash bins – but everyone needs a public toilet now and again (looking at you, Europe).

#8. Treatment of pregnant women.

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Along with designated parking spaces, all South Korean pregnant women receive $500 from the government to spend on treatment and medicine. They also receive a trinket that lets them ask for and receive seats on public transportation.

#7. Gift-giving is a practical affair.

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A traditional housewarming gift is a couple rolls of toilet paper.

#6. Couples dress alike…on purpose.

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Local shops sell paired clothes and shoes for young people in love.

#5. They’re not up on Western anything.

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The isolated island doesn’t study geography, and most people don’t listen to Western music or watch Western movies. But don’t worry – they have plenty of culture of their own!

#4. Bus travel is nice.

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Every bus stop has an informational panel containing the schedule, the buses are new and air conditioned, the drivers wear white gloves and sunglasses, and the buses operate 24/7. They are pricier than they are in the US, however.

#3. Every kindergarten has their own uniform.

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It helps teachers and staff keep track of their kids, especially on crowded field trips.

#2. Teacher gifts are coffee or sweets.

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Big gifts are considered bribes and are frowned upon.

#1. They love dogs.

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They don’t eat them as a practice (you can get it, but it’s expensive). South Korean cuisine is actually very healthy and (surprise!) they love coffee.

h/t: Brightside