Koreans to get younger from June 2023

In my blog post entitled “Want to get older immediately? Use the Korean age!“, I have explained the calculation of Korean age, which is different from the international system and results in being one or two years older than that calculated by international system. This has caused confusion as the Korean system is used in daily social matters and the international system is adopted for certain legal and administrative matters (e.g., legal age for alcohol drinking). The South Korean Government has decided to standardize the usage of age calculation system and adopt the international age for all matters starting from June 2023.

One interesting thing is that in June 2023, all Koreans will get younger by one or two years as they start to adopt the international age for daily social life matters for which Korean age is used before that time. For example, if you meet a baby boy born on 31 December 2022 during a social gathering on 2 January 2023, his parents would say the baby is two years old (as usually Korean age is used in social matters) although this baby is just about 1 month old by international age. If you meet that baby again during a social gathering in July 2023, his parents would say the baby is about 6 months old (as international age is adopted for all matters) – i.e., the baby gets about 2 years younger! This would be good news for people who worry about getting old.


Justin McCurry, “All South Koreans to become younger as traditional age system scrapped“, The Guardian, 2022-12-09

Lee Hyo-jin, “Korea to scrap local age counting system from next year“, The Korea Times, 2022-12-08

Korean “방” (“Bang”) culture

**Last updated on: 15 October 2020**

In Korean, “방” (“bang” – pronounced as “bahng”) means “room”.  In the Western world, “room” usually refers to some private spaces used by restricted groups of people, e.g., dining room, bathroom, bedroom and living room at home or conference room at the office. However, in South Korea, you can find a lot of “방” (“bang”) which are places for public entertainment. Let’s talk about some of them in this post. Continue reading

Money-related Museums in South Korea

As money is an indispensable part of people’s lives, it is a good medium through which we can better understand a culture.  In my blog post dated 6 May 2017, I have talked about the stories behind the Korean banknotes which are related to people who have made significant contribution to the Korean culture. On the other hand, you may better understand the development of a culture by studying the history of development of money used by it.  In South Korea, there are two museums to which you may go to better understand the development of Korean money. Continue reading

A Closer Look at Korean Banknotes


**Last updated on: 15 October 2020**

When you travel to South Korea, one of the items that accompanies you all the time is the Korean banknotes.  Although it is such a must-have item, many people do not take a closer look at the pictures on these banknotes and understand the stories behind them, and in the past I was one of them.  However, after I had got more information on the portraits and pictures printed on these banknotes, I could really appreciate the importance of the Confucian culture in the Korean society. In this blog post, let’s talk about the stories behind these banknotes. Continue reading

My No.1 Culture Shock – Korean Toilet Culture

Though South Korea is already regarded as a developed country, the Korean toilet culture is so different from that of the other developed countries that as a foreigner, I find the Korean toilet culture a bit odd.  This was my no.1 culture shock when I first visited the country. Even if I had already lived in Seoul for 6 months, I still could not get used to it.

Aspects of the Korean toilet culture which foreigners may find strange

Below are some features of the Korean toilet culture that a foreigner should be aware of to avoid culture shock: Continue reading

Try the Korean way of dream interpretation…

To many cultures (including the Western, Korean and Chinese), dreams are believed to be predictions about the future and there are many people and books that help interpret the meaning of dreams.  However, given different cultural background, the same symbol in the dreams can mean different things to different cultures.  In this blog post, I will talk about how Koreans interpret the symbols of their dreams. Moreover, to the Koreans, apart from selling heat (which takes place on the Jeongwol Daeboreum, i.e., Great Full Moon Festival, as mentioned in my blog post dated 2 March 2015), on a daily basis, you may also sell your good dream to the others – an interesting custom which is unique to the Koreans. Continue reading

Want to work in South Korea? Note these work culture trends…

The Korean drama 미생 (“Misaeng” – Incomplete Life) has become a hit among office workers in South Korea because it reflected the Korean work culture which may be quite different from the western culture.  If you would like to work in South Korea, it is advisable to note the following work culture trends: Continue reading

Korean-style shopping channel – TV home shopping

Although the TV home shopping concept (i.e., telephone ordering in response to advertisements or marketing programmes on the TV) started in the U.S., South Korea has become one of the biggest home shopping markets in the world.  Home shopping was introduced into South Korea in 1995 and currently the major players are CJ O Shopping, GS Shop, Lotte Home Shopping, Hyundai Home Shopping and NS Home Shopping.  TV home shopping industry has benefited from the efficient logistics and parcel delivery service and the widespread access to cable TVs and smartphones in South Korea.  Furthermore, the Korean home shopping operators have developed a Korean-style TV home shopping model which is different from their western counterparts. Continue reading