South Korean Culture

Do's and Don'ts


  • Laugh with Koreans whenever possible as they enjoy sharing humour.

  • Make an effort to compliment what you like about Korea. This may help in giving you face.

  • Be aware of how you fit in the social hierarchy that Koreans observe. Discern who is superior to you based on age, position and family name, and show respect to each person as necessary. If you do not adhere to these expectations and fail to give a Korean the respect they are due, you may lose face in their eyes. You may even find that they wish to avoid you after.

  • Expect a Korean to be modest and subtly deny any compliments you give them.

  • Be sensitive to the hardship South Koreans have endured and sympathise about the situation in North Korea.

Do not’s

  • Avoid drawing parallels between the Korean culture or language to Japan. Korea should be acknowledged for its distinctiveness and difference from other East Asian cultures.

  • Avoid exhibiting anger or distress in heated displays or outbursts of emotion. Doing so may cause you to lose face.

  • Do not underestimate their knowledge and intelligence as the Korean population is very culturally educated and politically aware.

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South Korea
  • Population
    [2015 census]
  • Languages
    Korean (official)
  • Religions
    No Religion (56.9%)
    Protestant Christianity (19.7%)
    Buddhism (15.5%)
    Catholic Christianity (7.9%)
    [2015 census]
  • Ethnicities
    Korean (96%)
    Foreign nationals (2.7%)
    [2015 census]
  • Cultural Dimensions
  • Australians with Korean Ancestry
    123,017 [2016 census]
Koreans in Australia
  • Population
    [2016 census]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in South Korea.
  • Average Age
  • Gender
    Male (46.1%)
    Female (53.9%)
  • Religion
    No Religion (24.3%)
    Catholic Christianity (22.4%)
    Presbyterian and Reformed Christianity (21.6%)
    Uniting Church Christianity (10.1%)
    Other (21.5%)
  • Ancestry
    Korean (94.9%)
    English (1.4%)
    Australian (1%)
    Other (1.4%)
  • Language Spoken at Home
    Korean (89.3%)
    English (9.3%)
    Mandarin (0.3%)
    Other (0.7%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 65.1% speak English fluently.
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (56.1%)
    Queensland (16.8%)
    Victoria (13.7%)
    Western Australia (5.5%)
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2001 (36.1%)
    2001-2006 (25%)
    2007-2011 (32.3%)
Country Flag Country South Korea