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Interesting South Korea Facts

10 South Korean Facts

South Korea Facts – 10 Fun and Interesting Facts!

With the influx of Korean culture spreading across the world, Korea is an exciting new country to explore! With its emerging entertainment industry, stunning scenery and deep cultural history, it is a perfect time to learn Korean. If you are planning to learn Korean abroad or just want to discover more about the country for an upcoming visit, these Korea facts we have researched and compiled are perfect to start your journey with.


10 South Korea Facts:

1. Born at 1

Unlike other countries around the world, in Korea, when a baby is born, they are classed as being 1 years old. All birthdays are celebrated on the 1st January each year and every person becomes a year older.

South Korean Facts - Baby

This can be confusing when speaking to a native Korean as their true age may be in fact a year younger. For those born on 31st December, they will automatically become 2 years old the following day. Confusing, huh?


2. Blood Matters

While most people will ask about jobs, birthplace or hobbies when first meeting someone, in Korea don’t be surprised if you are asked your blood type!

Korean couple talking

In Korea, it is believed that your blood type is intrinsically linked to the type of person you are. It is therefore very common for the subject to come up in conversation very early on in a meeting with natives.

3. Facial Hair

The popularity of facial hair in western countries has increased over recent decades. In Korea however, facial hair is deemed as a sign that the person is dirty, poor and uncaring about their appearance.

This isn’t necessarily the case with visitors or tourists, but very much so amongst the local population.


4. 3,400 Islands

Korea is actually made up of 3,400 separate islands! While this is an impressive figure, some of these islands are incredibly small. In fact, only 473 of these islands are actually inhabited.

South Korean Facts - Korean Island

Each of the islands however have something different to offer, so island hopping is highly recommend for those visiting the country!


5. K-Pop Sensations

Over the last decade the popularity of Korean music has spread across the globe! Boyband BTS are considered to be the most popular group in the world, with millions of fans across all continents.

South Korean Facts - BTS

This influx of Korean pop music, or K-Pop, has also introduced other countries to other forms of Korean entertainment. Films such as Parasite and the Netflix hit Squid Game have taken the world by storm, winning multiple awards across the world.


6. Getting Online

Korea has one of the fastest average internet speeds in the world! On top of this, it also has the fastest and most accessible free Wi-Fi networks on the planet! 93% of the population use the internet, and with free access on transportation, city centres and other public areas, its not a surprise.


7. Family Names

In most countries the variety of surnames is incredible. While there are more popular ones (Smith, Jones etc), in Korea you will only come across a handful of surnames regularly with Kim being the most popular. Nearly 20% of the population have the surname Kim which equates to nearly 10 million people!


8. Written in Red

When visiting Korea, be sure not to use a red pen, especially when signing documents. It is believed that the use of red ink is a signal of death! The symbolism of red ink is linked to blood and is a bad omen for those signing or being handed the document in question.

Red ink writing

While all other ink variations are perfectly acceptable, it is advised to leave your red Biro’s at home when travelling to Korea.


9. Big Drinking

Despite nations such as Japan having Sake as their favourite beverage, it is the Koreans who hold the title for the top drinkers in Asia. Even with a minimum drinking age of 20, over 50% of men and 26% of women reportedly binge drink according to a recent study. On average, they drink 13 units of alcohol per week!


10. Sir, Miss, Doctor, Officer

When speaking to an elder in Korea, it is considered standard practice to refer to them by their title rather than first name. This could be a case of using their professional title e.g. Doctor or Professor, or as simply as Mr or Miss.

It is also common to refer to parents of children in relation to their child’s name such as John’s Mum.


Interesting South Korea Facts

While Korea remains a mystery to many, its popularity as a destination and language is growing! These South Korea facts are just some of our favourites, but there is so much to explore in this East Asian country! What better way to discover Korea and the Korean language than studying in the country itself! At Cactus, we offer a range of language holidays and courses to suit everyone. With a variety of languages and destinations to choose from, you can be sure to find your perfect course with us.

Are you looking to find out more about language holidays abroad? Cactus Language Holidays Brochure gives you all the information you need for your next unforgettable experience! Learning a language have never been easier and is a great way to start uncover a different culture.

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