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Culture in South Korea

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Cultural Studies
Wordcount: 1289 words Published: 31st Jul 2018

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Have you ever thought about how many different cultures there are around the globe? No two cultures will ever be the same, they are all very unique in their own ways. One of these global countries is South Korea. The United States has a great relationship with South Korea. After World War II and the Korean War, the United States is currently at peace with South Korea. The relationship with the United States is just one of the many things that South Korea can offer from it’s country. From the amazing physical features, exciting holidays and traditions, and also to the government and economy, this is just one of the beautiful countries to look into.

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The country we are researching is South Korea. It is located on the continent Asia, below North Korea, and it is near Japan and China. South Korea is 38,691 miles squared while the U.S is 3,797,000 miles squared. That is about 20% of the size of California! Even though South Korea is that small, it has a population of about 55.22 million people. South Korea consists of mostly mountains in the east, and has many coastlines and beaches in the south. Unfortunately, many of the mountains and coastlines are taken up by buildings, and apartments, but still many of them exist allowing one to travel these natural formations. Even though with many of the natural formations still around, South Korea is starting to lose many of their natural resources due to the  resources being over harvested. Some of the natural resources are still around and grown, like food, but most of it are brought in from other countries because Korea had either gotten rid of these natural materials by building many factories and housing over them, or over harvested them. Going through the list of South Korea’s physical features, South Korea has very different climates all throughout the 4 seasons. The spring and fall are very short with temperatures that are between summer and winter. On the other hand, summer is very humid and hot while winter is long, cold, and dry.

South Korea has the fourth largest economy in the world. South Korea made about 1.679 trillion ppp dollars in their gross national product in 2013, and their per capita income for 2013 was 33,440 ppp dollars. Most of the economy of South Korea comes from the companies and business that the people make. Many people in South Korea work in some form of business rather than agriculture. Usually people in the countryside work with the agriculture and livestock. Typically the farmers grow barley, wheat, rice, soybeans, and root vegetables, and they have livestock such as cows, pigs, and chickens.

Korea’s form of government is a Parliamentary Democracy. This means that that the country has a president and a prime minister. Currently the president in South Korea is Park Geun-hye and the prime minister is Hwang Kyo-ahn. Their Judicial system consists of the Supreme court of South Korea. The constitutional court of South Korea, six high courts, 13 district courts, family court, and a Administrative court. Their military headquarters are in Seoul, South Korea, and their minister of defense is Han-Min Goo. Also, Korea’s crime rate is considered low.

Now the “tour” heading towards the South Korean’s culture, money holidays, etc. The currency for South Korea is called won. The country was created in around the 1950s after the war between North and South Korea. The main language for Korea is Korean, but other languages are starting to come in, for example English. Korean or Hangul was created by King Sejong in 1443 to help the common people to speak and write, before that a writing style called Hanja was used. The Capital of South Korea is Seoul. Like the capital Seoul, many other cities are urban cities, but that doesn’t mean that there is not rural areas. Most of the rural areas are inhabited by much older people, while the urban consists of many younger people. South Koreans eat many different types of foods. Two biggest foods that they eat is Kimchi and Rice. Koreans even eat rice for breakfast, so they don’t really eat the traditional things like cereal, pancakes, eggs and bacon. They also eat all sorts of seafood, and eats some things that people will call disgusting. One of the greatest thing about Korea, is that they deliver many different types of food to people’s homes, and they also have many places where they sell street foods.

There are many different holidays and events in Korea. The Two big holidays in Korea are Chuseok, Korea’s version of Thanksgiving and Seollal or Korean Lunar New Year. Both years are celebrated by seeing family and eating many different types of food. In Seollal, a tradition food called Tteokguk (rice cake soup) is eaten. Also, people play yutnori as a fun games. In Chuseok a food called Songpyeon, a Korean traditional rice cake which usually contains sesame seeds and honey as stuffing, but other ingredients such as black beans, mung beans, cinnamon, pine nut, walnut, chestnut, and jujube are used, is eaten and trade with neighbors. In both holidays, Koreans give respect to their elders and their ancestors, and wear traditional Korean clothes called Hanbok, hanbok is also wore during weddings by the bride and groom. Both holidays don’t have an exact date and change each year depending on the Lunar calendar. Besides these holidays, Koreans have many special events. For example on November 11th, it is Pepero Day. This day is really meaningless, but it is a fun day where Pepero is on special discounts and sales. It is on November 11th because 11/11 is like the Pepero sticks. There are also many other meaningless, but fun “holidays” like Pepero Day. Other holidays, for example, are like Children’s Day.

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However, even with these fun holidays, education still plays a big important role to the people of Korea, and the holidays shouldn’t take away the students’ focus of their work. In South Korea the literacy rate is 99.2% for males and for female it’s 96.6%. If you think school is hard here in America, well you are wrong. Most high school students in Korea attend school from 9am to 5pm, and they also take additional night schools and after school. However, students only take high school for three years because a year in a grade is usually longer than America. Even by a young grade like first grade, children start going to after school and are given a lot of work. Many of these students end up taking up the business career because that is what most of the Korea’s economy is made out of.

South Korea is unique from the U.S because of many reasons. One of these reasons is that in South Korea people eat seaweed soup, miyeokguk, during their birthdays. This is unique because in the U.S we eat cake. Another reason is that originally it was illegal to marry someone with the same surname. This is because the same surname makes someone distantly related, so you are technically marrying someone you are related too. Another thing is Koreans are actually very strict about a lot of things. For example, if a famous person makes a tiny mistake of driving after drinking, they could lose all their fame and may never even be able to come back in television. These are some unique things that South Korea has.

South Korea is a very interesting and fun country. It is not just a country about K-Pop, (Korean pop), it is more than that. In our tour we experienced government, economy, holidays, and education. If you are a traveler or want to go to somewhere for a short vacation trip, South Korea is a place for you.


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