#2 Korean’s Dig Sharing

30 Aug

Korean’s dig sharing.  They share everything from a collective mindset to soda’s and even mucus and saliva.  There is nothing that this East Asian nation won’t share.  It’s quite obvious that the culture of sharing has emerged in South Korea.  The Korean peninsula beneath the 38th parallel covers 99,392 square kilometers, that’s roughly the size of Portugal and a little bit smaller than Kentucky.  Due to a crap load of mountains, livable area in Korea is even less.  In this small living space about 50 million Koreans are packed like sardines.  Therefore it is necessary for Koreans to share soda’s, food, clothes and ideas because there just isn’t enough space for everybody to have their own stuff.

When Koreans go out to a restaurant the eldest person at the table will usually decide what the meal will be and the rest of the party does not have a choice but to eat it.  Oh no, Koreans cannot each order their own dish as such a menu rarely exists in Korean restaurants.  Korean food is served with tons and tons of side dishes and all the food is placed in the middle of the table and everybody just digs in.  In the case that Koreans visit western style restaurants (including McDonald’s and Burger King) one meal will be ordered for a party of two.  The Maccie D’s people will gladly cut the burger in half and supply two straws with the soda’s.  Now this is not necessarily such a bad thing as obesity is pretty much on the low down here and lets face it’s a great money saver.  In many restaurants here in Kimchiland restaurants have soda fountains with a piece of paper taped to it that reads “Service (ee)”.  This basically means it’s free and help your self.  The reason why restaurants haven’t gone under because of this venture can be ascribed to the whole sharing thing.  When us foreigners visit these restaurants we each have our own glass and refill it at least 2 times.  It’s free, dammit!

Koreans love to share clothes.  No wait, Koreans love to share “looks”.  It’s very common to see couples wearing the exact same outfits.  What the reason behind this strangeness is no one could ever explain to me.  Maybe it’s because in this, the second most densely populated country on earth it’s easy to lose someone in the crowd, and what easier way to keep track of each other than by wearing exactly the same clothes.  And it’s not just shirts, it’s the whole outfit – shirt, jeans, sneakers and even matching underwear.  That’s right, underwear stores downtown and department stores all boast mannequins with matching underwear.  The boys boxers will have the exact same print and fabric as the girls panties and bra!

It’s very common for Koreans to live with their parents until they get married.  This makes no sense to a westerner as high school graduation day usually means moving day for us.  But not in Korea, as many live with their parents well into their thirties.  Because Korea is so overcrowded I guess they hae no other option as there just isn’t enough space for everybody to just have their own apartments.  That’s why high-rise apartment buildings are more common over here than fresh air!

Sharing truly means caring here in Korea.  Koreans dig sharing!


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