Bow when meeting someone (even if you’ve met them already.) When giving something to someone (money, papers, a business card,) do so with both hands. When offering something (carrying bags, giving up your seat,) don’t take no for an answer; offer at least once more and if the offer is still refused, then relent, though asking again later is recommended. Take shoes off before entering a home and some public spaces. Don’t blow your nose at the table.
Before moving to Korea, I bought the books that guided me through the cultural do’s and don’ts. I don’t like making mistakes, at least not in public, and certainly not those that cause offense. I read up on everything - social hierarchy, professional etiquette, table manners. I noted what products and services were readily available and what I would have to learn to live without. I made a list of “Must-Bring” items: vitamin and mineral powder with lots of zinc, salmon jerky, plus size clothing. Upon arrival, however, I qui... more