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K-Culture Fun Facts: Weird Korean habits

You’re in Seoul and someone compliments you on your V-Line? You see people walking around in the streets wearing masks and it creeps you out? Don’t panic, because there’s an explanation for all that. Curious? Read on to find the answers and learn about some pretty strange things that Koreans like to do and say.

Fun Fact #1: Koreans appreciate a nice V-line and S-line

What lines are we talking about? The V-line refers to your chin’s contour. In Korea, people find a V-shaped chin very attractive – on both women and men. Such a chin tends to streamline your face and gives your head a defined, elegant shape. A V-line that’s on fleek is a must-have element for the Korean beauty ideal. The S-line on the other hand, refers to a woman’s ideal body silhouette. The closest thing we know in Europe is the hourglass figure. Contrary to the Western ideal, Koreans desire a more lean and slim body silhouette. Nevertheless an ideal Korean woman’s body should still show some curves or that so called S-line. So if someone compliments you on a nice V-line, you’ll know they mean your chiseled chin.

Fun Fact #2: Korean women cover their mouth when laughing

You’re probably going to see Korean women covering their mouth with a hand while they’re laughing out loud. This gesture apparently has a historical reason. Girls and women back in the past were taught that laughing is not very feminine. So they would either turn away or cover their mouths when laughing. Today it’s still seen as a sign of modesty, politeness and lady-like behavior. So when you see someone cover their mouth when laughing, you know it’s not because they try to hide bad breath or because they’re afraid of having something stuck in between their teeth.

Fun Fact #3: Koreans wear masks when outside

In this case we’re not talking about sheet masks. Though you shouldn’t be too surprised to spot these in public as well. After all we’re in the land of K-Beauty! The masks we’re talking about now are protection masks that cover the mouth and nose. They’re commonly made of thick cotton and come in many different colors and patterns. Koreans wear them out of health reasons. Pollution can be tough in cities like Seoul, so it’s often advised to wear protection masks outside. Besides that you’ll also find Koreans sporting these masks in public transportation and at airports. Those people are either having a cold and are trying to prevent others from catching it or they’re trying to fight motion sickness. Apparently those masks help block out the typical vehicle odors that trigger motion sickness for some.

Fun Fact #4: Korean women place a hand over their décolleté when bowing

Here we have another gesture of lady-like behavior. When Korean women are wearing tops with a deeper neckline and they need to bend down to pick something up or bow down in front of their superiors and elders, they put a hand over their décolleté. Hereby, the neckline of the top doesn’t even have to be a deep one. This gesture obviously prevents her from revealing too much décolleté. You mostly spot this gesture in more formal situations.

Fun Fact #5: Korean women get extra blankets to cover their legs

And here we got another fact about Korean ladies. Ever watched a Korean TV show and saw female stars sitting there with blankets on their thighs and legs? That’s a very common view. Now listen up gentlemen: It’s actually considered very chivalrous from you to take initiative and place a blanket (or your jacket) over a lady’s legs when she’s sitting down somewhere. You’re hereby protecting her privacy. This gesture is especially required when the lady is wearing a short skirt or shorts. Often times bars and cafés in Korea provide such “protective” blankets for their female guests.

 

 

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