The odd things K-Dramas taught me about Korea!


There are three dramas that really highlight some of these issues, “Because This is My First Life”, “Oh’ My Baby” and “One Spring Night” …also a punch to the stomach, the movie “Ms. Beck”


Oh My Baby was the one with the policeman with the baby? It wasn’t a good drama, but yes, it drove the point home. I was Channel Manager in Miss Beck and edited it in three languages, it was a really powerful movie.
However you may see these things a bit everywhere. Even in family dramas!

In “Five Children” there is the question of the single woman pregnancy and how the father’s family is reluctant to accept her, although they used to think highly of her and love her a lot before knowing she had an affair with their son.
In “Once Again” a divorcee with a kid who used to be an air hostess cannot resume her old job but neither find another one because interviewers ask her what is this gap in her career, and assume she was “idling at home”.
In “Father is Strange”, the woman does get married as soon as the pregnancy is found out, but she faces discrimination at her job, like not being given opportunities, her duties taken away from her etc.

At that time I did some extensive reading and I learned that very often pregnant women or new mothers get fired (in my country it’s illegal but you can be fired one year after the birth).
What is sure is that you can’t easily be hired at a good job, and if you already have one and are lucky to keep it, bye-bye promotions. With the logic that you will concentrate more on your baby and won’t be able to give yourself heart and soul to your company, working after-hours and weekends, plus you’ll be permanently tired, when the child is sick you will take leaves to look after it etc. etc. Which of course is very true, but still. No wonder that Korea has such a scarcity of births.

South Korea’s total fertility rate — the number of children a woman is expected to have in her lifetime — dropped to 0.98 in 2018, far below the 2.1 needed to keep a population stable.

It seems that young Koreans are too engrossed first in their studies and then in advancing in a career to even consider marriage. Women also think that marriage and children would make them slaves to their in-laws and husband and children, and would make them quit their career which they studied hard and worked hard to achieve.

Here are some articles about the san-po generation
(read below what is meant by this term)

Single minded: forget marriage, South Koreans aren’t even dating
As the population ages, the only thing being given birth to are fears of ‘natural extinction’
For many young South Koreans, dating is too expensive, or too dangerous 2019
South Korean women are getting divorced from the idea of marriage 2019

Young Koreans in their 20s and 30s have been labelled as the 3-po (Sampo in Korean) generation, known for giving up on love, getting married, and giving birth. The decline in the number of partners people have before marriage each year is an example of this trend.

The sampo generation - why are we seeing the lowest fertility rate of all time? 2018

Now the feminist movement is not even trying to change men, because they probably have found out it’s too difficult. Now some (self-professed straight) women have gone one step further.
No dating, no sex, no marriage, no kids: South Korea’s growing feminist movement 2019

“I’ve always felt that as a woman there are more disadvantages than advantages to being married,” said Lee, a 40-something professional who lives with her dog near Seoul.
Now she has gone even further, embracing the nation’s radical feminist movement called 4B, from the “four nos”: no dating, no sex, no marriage and no child-rearing.
Marriage rates are plummeting in South Korea, where wives are often expected to work, raise children and care for aging in-laws with little state or community help.
“In the marriage market, your previous life and work experience don’t matter,” explained Lee, who has two master’s degrees.
“For some ridiculous reason, being highly educated also becomes a minus point. What matters the most as a potential wife is whether or not you are capable of caring for your husband and in-laws,” she added.
A growing number of women are turning their backs on the traditional expectations of South Korea’s male-dominated society, where working wives spend four times longer on domestic chores than their husbands.
A decade ago, almost 47 percent of single and never-married Korean women said they thought marriage was necessary. Last year, that fell to 22.4 percent.

More on Koreans and sex

But both married and unmarried people have less and less sex, because they are too exhausted and stressed from long work hours. Many men, of course, resort to prostitutes.
In portion of sexless couples, South Korea second from the bottom (2016)
Here is the core info from the article.

“Heyday,” a lifestyle and health magazine published by LINA Life Insurance, reported findings on June 29 from a survey on the sex lives of 1,090 adult men and women. The results of study, conducted with the Korean Institute for Sexual and Couples’ Health (KISCH), showed 36.1% of the 743 married individuals to fall in the “sexless” category, saying they had sex once a month or less. The category is typically applied to people whose frequency of intercourse is once or less a month over the past year.
When both married and unmarried people were considered together, the “sexless” rate for all men and women jumped to 38.2%. Rates also climbed with age, with 43.9% of married people 50 and over falling in the category. […] For comparison, according to papers overseas, the global percentage of married couples who are not having intercourse is around 20%.

There was a very interesting, eye-opening study on South Koreans and sex.
Analysis of Sexual Behaviors among Adults in Korea: Results from the “Korean National Survey on Sexual Consciousness”
You will be stunned to read how many people in South Korea are single. Not only without a stable relationship, but even casual sex is sparse. The frequency of sex per month is less than once a week, even in young adults and people in their 30s. Seethis table! By the way, frequency of condom usage is disgraceful. Even in casual encounters.

Totally, 14.8% of the respondents used condoms always/consistently with regular partners and 39.6% with casual partners. Meanwhile, 24.4% of the respondents never or seldom use condoms with casual partners.

Not surprisingly, awareness about sexually transmitted diseases is also low. Only

10.4% of the respondents had received sex education regarding STIs.


No, it is about a nearly 40 years old unmarried, hard working woman, who want to get pregnant by insemination or IVF.


Correct, and it highlights that IVF or artificial insemination is illegal for an unmarried woman …talk about control of someone’s body …


Birthrate may be down because they are tired of hearing/seeing Baby Shark :slight_smile:


oh boy, THIS SONG​:joy::tired_face: every kid in the universe has probably heard it a million times…that’s obviously why it’s the most watched YouTube video ever :flushed: I kinda got a shock when I found out the CEO of PinkFong is the son of the CEO of ‘Samsung Publishing Co.’(“Samsung is HERE, TOO??!!”)
but then it was a different Samsung, lol :joy:


I keep hearing kids and adults singing bits of it in Golden Garden


The series I’m currently watching shows the celebrating of childrens first birthday. Although there is not much money, the party is BIG. Then the father angrily calls after a guest why he left the party without handing out a gift (money).

I saw such a celebration in a real live video before. The meaning does not quite open up to me.


Please share the title. I am making a list of scenes that show Korean traditions for my students of the Italian Subbing Course. It’s more fun if they watch a video and especially a drama, than just looking at me talking - and they get a deeper understanding.


wow! Please do share the list if you could when you’re done making it, I’d love to check it out! :grin:


A poem a day aka You who forgot poetry
On YT/k-drama channel
within the first six episodes, maybe 4/5

The RL Video is on a YT-channel about an afroamerican young woman with korean husband and two children


It’s long and off-topic, so I’ll send it to you in a private message. It’s a combination of articles, YouTube videos and scenes from dramas. Including a collection of scenes to help as practice for recognizing formal-informal speech I already shared here in Discussions.


Don’t owe anybody money ! Creditors will beat up your kids at your funeral ( seen this in at least three dramas )


It is because they are loan sharks, gangsters. If you owe your friend, your cousin or your colleague, it’s not the same thing. :grinning:


Well at least one I saw they were not gangsters or loan sharks…how did I know they were not gangsters or loan sharks ? A) They were NOT wearing disco era polyester shirts B) At least one member of a gang has to have a crew-cut :slight_smile:


What Kdramas taught me about Kdramas!

  • If it’s Nam Joo Hyuk who’s the main lead, you’ll fall in love with the second lead.
    Start up, School 2015

  • If Ji Soo is the second lead, then who cares for the main lead?
    Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (disputably), Page Turner



I’ve noticed that the latest fashion for gangsters is the all-black suit, especially the low ranks. (The boss may go for the more flashy look). This makes them inconspicuous in funerals but extremely conspicuous everywhere else!


Unless they are a grim reaper in disguise and need to wear black to stop from being seen by the those who can see reapers :slight_smile: …and a ton of references to Meet Joe Black


i strongly dispute!!:joy: loved both but PHS stole my heart


Please do! :grin: