The odd things K-Dramas taught me about Korea!


not ‘whenever possible’, but whenever the love interest comes on the scene. I guess all Korean boys are educated in riding bicycles but girls aren’t allowed to TOUCH a bicycle till their man arrives. After like a five-minute lesson, they’re riding like pros ready to enter the Tour de France. :joy::sunglasses:


See? Korean men have great teaching skills! :man_teacher:


I certainly get the impression that it’s very hilly from the many scenes filmed on roads and alleyways with quite the steep angle to them. Be it the walk you to your home, killers following victims or the filmed from the doorway shots where the camera is horizontal but the actor/actress is walking pass going up or downhill, and lastly the waiting for the love interest looking down the steep road tentatively (out stretched neck and anxious side to side body swaying shot optional) to have the character’s face light up upon seeing expected person puffing slowly uphill. (face appearing over the road horizon shot optional)
If the Koreans don’t have legs like tree trunks from cycling then they certainly do from hill walking.


Korea is 70% mountainous after all. :wink:


It might be different now, but back in the days, only the boys rode bicycles around and girls played doing other games with ropes and such. So a lot of Korean women do not know how to ride a bike. And even the ones who know learned it as an adult. My husband started teaching me and just when I was about to be able to ride a little, I got pregnant and I never had a chance to master it afterwards. So sadly I still don’t know how to ride a bike! Just imagine when I was in high school and my driver’s ed teacher kept yelling at me saying, “Keep steering! It’s JUST LIKE riding a bike,” and I was too embarrassed to tell him that I didn’t know how to ride a bike! lol


see? didn’t know that about Korea being hilly! thanks for the info


Balance is everything. Given the best script , actors , photography , soundtrack ever , Hallyu will contact the biggest turd to design the promotion poster, giving you no idea of wheather you want to watch it. Some of the worst promotional posters have been the best dramas I have seen.


heres one, and maybe its been on here, but guys wearing ear rings whats with that? culture? rank? what?


ohhh… wow sorry I spoke without knowing anything :grimacing:
you must have wondered what’s UP with us foreigners… :sweat_smile:


coolness quotient i guesss :grin: some of them are really cool


No problem! :smile: I’m enjoying reading how others perceive Korean culture based on dramas. Some are true, others are not, and some others have a good explanation for it. I just think it’s pretty humerous in general. A lot of people in a certain Central Asian country loved watching the 80’s American TV series such as Dynasty and Dallas back in the 90’s, and they thought all Americans lived/acted like that, and they were surprised that we (the “visiting Americans”) weren’t anything like that. lol


no problem here I am just curious is all


You mean K-dramas actually have truths in them?! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Haha, yes! Some are definitely exaggerated but a boyfriend teaching his girlfriend how to ride a bike, for one, is definitely plausible! The only unrealistic thing about that is how the girls master it within a few minutes! lol


In The Netherlands you see it too, sometimes, but they usually wear them only in one ear, and never a hanging one. Koreans on the other hand, at least the famous ones, seem to have no problem to wear the kind of earrings that would here be considered women jewelry. :joy:


Ok, here are some that are mentioned that are at least partially true or explainable.

  1. Korean men are all very very tall.
  • Obviously there are a lot of short Korean men out there, however, Korean men have always been on the taller side among the East Asians.
  1. Korean women are very well dressed and wear a lot of makeup.
  • True, in general. They even wear heels and nice clothes going to the market. I went to visit Korea when I was in college, and showed up at my old friends gathering in my regular t-shirt and shorts, and my old friends teased me and called me an “American beggar. (미국 거지)” Most of them (not all, as there are always exceptions) do care about how they look in public.
  1. The wrist grabbing
  • Hand holding between opposite sex is reserved between boyfriend/girlfriend, so a guy would not dare grabbing a girl’s hand unless if they were already in a committed relationship. I’m sure you’ve noticed how “sacred” their first hand holding is between the lovers. So I guess the alternative is to grab her wrist in order to stop her.
  1. “According to K-Dramas, Korea has only two cities, Seoul and Busan.”
  • No, but they are the two largest cities in Korea.
  1. Seoul has a river and has only one bridge.
  • Han River is the main river cutting across Seoul and there are 32 bridges over that river. But it may look like the same bridge in the drama.
  1. “The mother-in-laws” almost always reject the choice of partner of their children.
  • Well, a lot of them do. Unlike in Western culture, where children leave their parents when they turn 18, Korean sons are expected to support their parents, and some have to live together. So parents have certain expectations of their future daughter-in-laws, and a lot of them do not seem good enough. Of course, I’m generalizing as there are many who will not only accept their future daughter-in-law but love them as well. But if that’s the case, there wouldn’t be a drama, would there? :wink:
  1. There are many blind dates.
  • True. It’s very common for parents to set their children up for something called “Seon” which is essentially a blind date that’s supposed to lead to marriage. They usually look at the other person’s family background first and the girl/guy has to be deemed worthy enough for a blind date. They also have paid matchmakers, who will compare family backgrounds and such to set up a blind date. Think online dating/marriage app, but it’s a person doing it.
  1. Another thing that K-Dramas taught me about Korean men is that they never sleep next to their girlfriends on the bed. They either sleep on the floor, or at another bed in the same room, or in the sofa.
  • Well, that’s out of respect for his girlfriend. A lot of honorable guys will try to keep the girl’s “purity” by doing so.
  1. They sleep also with all their clothes on, probably because they want to protect their modesty, but their clothes never get creased after a night on the floor. They wake up in immaculate condition, with freshly ironed clothes, combed hair, freshly shaved and with full make up on their faces ready to kiss their girlfriend.
  • That’s because it’s a drama! Who wants to waste 30 minutes of drama time by watching them taking their makeup off, get changed, iron their shirts, etc? Same thing goes about not washing hands in the bathroom. I think it’s just assumed that they do it in real life.
  1. Koreans are allergic to / terrified of blood, even if it’s from the smallest, insignificant cut. They’ll exclaim “pi! (blood!)” and immediately require you to get some kind of ointment or cream treatment, sometimes with a bandaid. They proceed with the utmost care, as if tending to a surgery.
  • This one is kind of funny to me, because I used to be like that (and I still am to a degree) until I had kids and also until I started watching/subbing more medical dramas. Don’t know why. But my kids are also afraid of blood and would not look at it.
  1. Ancient Koreans invented laminate floors, nail varnish, rubber soles and synthetic fabrics!
  • Obviously, that’s just a prop team flop! lol
  1. Koreans faint easily due to psychological stress.
  • Don’t ask why, but I’ve definitely seen people faint in Korea much more than in America.
  1. If the person doesn’t have a life-threatening condition, one bag of IV solution usually cures loss of consciousness as soon as the bag is used up. IV solution is great for loss of consciousness, the flu, dehydration, mental or physical exhaustion, or just about any affliction.
  • Koreans are really into getting the IV solution for various reasons, especially for fatigue, having a cold, etc. It’s almost like a “cure-all” solution for minor sickness.
  1. Smacking the lips while eating, stuffing the mouth while talking,
  • Smacking lips, slurping, making a lot of noise while eating is not considered rude at all. It’s showing how good the food is so it’s almost being respectable in a way to show appreciation of the food. As for stuffing the mouth while talking, it’s not necessarily respectable, yet it’s not considered ill-mannered, either. It actually never bothered me until I came to America and learned to not to talk with a mouthful. I know it’s not very hygienic, but Koreans don’t really think it’s rude or disgusting. It’s just a cultural difference.
  1. KDramas make it look like people are giving piggyback rides to people allll the time!
  • It’s actually not that uncommon for a guy to give his girlfriend or a love interest a piggy back ride, even if she isn’t drunk. It’s a nice gesture when a girl is really tired from walking too long, etc.
  1. Poorest people have the latest smart phones.
  • Well, the phones and internet services are a lot cheaper in Korea in general than say, in America. So it’s definitely more readily available even if you are not super rich. But the latest model phones are probably PPL endorsements from Samsung, anyway.
  1. Don’t forget the compulsory pat on the back …when the one you love is sad… Every time.
  • True. I do that. I still hug and pat my kids on their back when they are feeling sick or down.
  1. Oh! LOAN SHARKS can come in at any time, and take everything and anything they want and they can drag you out of your home or work with you having any legal protection whatsoever.
  • That’s only if you take out the loan from “Sachae” - Certain dubious private loan sharks, which is mostly run by gangsters. They are notorious for having unrealistic interest rate that balloons up like crazy, and the borrowers willingly sign their lives or body parts or organs away. Obviously, these people are desperate and they weren’t able to get the bank loans (probably because they have nothing for collateral), so they are giving what they have (their own bodies) to borrow the money, hoping that they will somehow miraculously be able to pay them back.
  1. Perhaps not as often as a few years ago, instead of waiting for an ambulance or going in a car, when someone suddenly collapses, the hero carries the person piggyback and runs like the wind to the nearest hospital.
  • There used to be a lot of small independent Dr’s offices everywhere, and I can think of a few times when my dad/mom put us on their back and ran to the nearest Dr’s office which was only about 10 min away, when I or one of my siblings got hurt when we were little. Once was when I fell on a sharp object at home and had a cut right above my eye, bleeding a lot. I remember being on my dad’s back as he ran to the Dr’s office. I ended up getting 4 stitches, but otherwise, I was fine.
  1. Washing someones back??
  • Yup, it’s the thing to do at a public bath house. You take turns scrubbing each other’s back among family and friends. :slight_smile:

Disclaimer: This is purely based on my personal experience. I am not pretending to be an expert on Korean culture. :wink:


Wow, very interesting information there. It’s like The odd things ajumma2 taught me about Korea!
Although cgwm808 might want a word with you about 15!
17 just looks a bit odd though, that slow lever like patting motion from the wrist like a flip top lid. I figured it might have been a drama thing or you had to have grown up in Korea for it to be the norm! Odd in the sense that I don’t pat, I hug and rub with arms like a single windscreen wiper type motion.


I guess “tall” is still a relative matter. The Korean guys who told me their height were all somewhere around the height of an average Dutch woman, haha.

That doesn’t necessarily happen here (in The Netherlands). Most children do at some point leave the house, but the age differs. Some stay with their parents through their studies (if the university is not too far away), to reduce the costs or just because they prefer it that way.
And I even know of a few who stayed with their parents for decades.

Does that also mean that we might offend a Korean if we eat his/her meal without showing these tokens of appreciation?


Yea, I’ve been meaning to write about these for a while but didn’t have time and/or too lazy to do it before.

Like I said, other people, even Koreans, may have a very different experience in Korea than I had/remember. All my responses are based on my personal experience and knowledge. I am ethnically Korean and lived in Korea when I was younger, but I also know that Korea has changed a lot since I lived there.

As for back patting, it’s not that strange if you consider that Koreans, especially the older generation, were not all touchy-feely, and didn’t freely hug/hold others, especially in public. So a gentle back patting is a nice way to comfort/console someone.


Yes, Korean men are (or at least used to be) a lot shorter than Western men in general. But now with better nutrition and exercise, a lot of younger generation Korean guys are much taller than the generations before.

No, I don’t think any Korean would feel offended if a non-Korean eats quietly. Not all Koreans do that anyway, especially girls. It’s just that when you see others do it, it’s not offensive at all. Having said that, if you ever visit Korea and truly show your appreciation of the food, please feel free to slurp really loudly and say, "Ah… 맛있다! (pronounced like Ah… Mashidda!) lol