South Korean Culture


  • Use a person’s formal title (i.e. Mr, Ms, Doctor) when addressing them for the first time, and continue to do so until they signal otherwise.
  • The most common way to greet in South Korea is with a bow. 
  • The casual bow is a dip of the head with eyes closed, sometimes accompanied by a slight bend from the waist. This type of greeting is used when informally greeting someone or walking past someone of a higher status.
  • Business interactions require a deeper bow, where the torso bends from the waist by about 30 degrees.
  • The deepest, most polite bow expresses sincerest gratitude or apology. One bends from their torso to around 45 degrees or at such an angle from which the head would have to stretch up to look into the face of the other person. The head is kept lowered in this greeting.
  • Handshakes are also used to greet in South Korea. To show great respect during this greeting, one may support the wrist of their right hand with their left as they shake. 
  • Women may also greet one another by reaching out both hands to touch and clasp the other womans’ hands.
  • A person in a position of service may put their hands together in front of their chest when greeting you or accepting something as an expression of gratitude. 
  • Many Koreans who live in Australia hug or kiss as a part of greetings.
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South Korea
  • Population
    [Census, 2015]
  • Language
    Korean (official)
  • Religion
    No Religion (56.9%)
    Protestant Christianity (19.7%)
    Buddhism (15.5%)
    Catholic Christianity (7.9%)
    [Census, 2015]
  • Ethnicity
    Korean (96%)
    Foreign nationals (2.7%)
    [Census, 2015]
  • Cultural Dimensions
  • Australians with Korean Ancestry
    123,017 [Census, 2016]
Koreans in Australia
  • Population
    [Census, 2016]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in South Korea.
  • Median Age
    32 [Census, 2016]
  • Gender
    Male (46.9%)
    Female (53.1%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Religion
    Catholic Christianity (38.9%)
    Anglican Christianity (32.1%)
    Christianity [not defined] (5.9%)
    Presbyterian and Reformed Christianity (5.9%)
    Other Religion (11.5%)
    No Religion (2.3%)
    Not Stated (2.5%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Ancestry
    Korean (95.0%)
    English (2.1%)
    Australian (1.0%)
    Chinese (0.7%)
    Other Ancestry (1.2%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Language Spoken at Home
    Korean (90.1%)
    English (8.7%)
    Mandarin (0.3%)
    Other (0.6%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 66.2% speak English fluently.
    [Census, 2016]
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (56.1%)
    Queensland (16.8%)
    Victoria (13.7%)
    Western Australia (5.5%)
    Other (7.9%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2007 (46.4%)
    2007 - 2011 (23.5%)
    2012 - 2016 (25.3%)
    [Census, 2016]
Country Flag Country South Korea