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Korea is known as the Land of the Morning Calm. This expression comes from the beginning of the modern history of Korea. Korea means high and clear. This word symbolizes the clear blue sky of Korea. The beautiful nature of Korea is expressed through this ancient name. The beginning of Korean history started from 2333 B.
C. The Korean peninsular adjoins China and Japan. Korea was conquered by Japan and divided into South and North Korea at the end of World War II. The Korean War caused devastating damage to Korea. However, it should be noticed that despite frequent foreign invasions, the Korean Peninsula has been under a single government while maintaining its political independence, culture and ethnic heritage. Not that long ago, South Korea was one of Asia's economic success stories one of the regions hungry tigers looking around for new markets to conquer.
Seoul, its capital, modernized in a very rapid amount of time to accommodate the needs of business travelers and has brought the countrys colorful traditions and trademark tranquility. The unique elements of culture The population of the Korean Peninsula, sharing a common language, ethnic identity, and culture, was one of the worlds most homogeneous. Although there were significant regional differences even within the relatively small land area of South Korea, neither the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North Korea) nor South Korea had significant non-Korean ethnic minorities. This homogeneity, and the sense of a shared historical experience that it promoted, gave the people of South Korea a strong sense of national purpose. The division of the peninsula after World Ward II, the establishment of two antagonistic states in the north and south, and the profound changes in the economy and society caused by industrialization and urbanization since the 1950 s led many South Koreans to search for their national identity and place in the world.
Many modernized; urban-dwelling South Koreans embark on a search for the essence of their culture, which commonly expresses itself as hostility to foreign influences. Basically the family is a body of relations, which is first formed by marriage. In Korea, the family often has a habit of living under one roof. The family member is related by blood. However, the family based on blood relatives has changed over time. However, to ensure the continuance of the family lineage, the oldest son is to succeed the father as the head of the family, showing the emphasis on the paternal line of the family.
Koreas educational system is noted for its high quality and standards. Illiteracy is practically non-existent. Korean students pursue their academic goals enthusiastically, and diligently shoulder heavy workloads. Children begin their school at the age of 7. After three years of middle school and three years of high school, students may advance to university for four years of higher education.
The university entrance examinations are extremely rigorous, as indicated by the term admissions war, which aptly describes the fierce competition. The election of President Kim Young-Sam in 1933, the nations first genuine civilian government in 32 years, has heralded the establishment of a New Korea that is leading its people towards social justice and national stability. President Kim's administration is also looking outward through its segye hwa globalization campaign designed to bring Korea into the rapidly changing global environment and to establish it as an Asia-Pacific power. The Korean press had a strong reformist and nationalistic flavor from the beginning, but faced efforts at political control or outright censorship during most of the twentieth century. Many Korean journalists established a tradition of remaining independent. They were often critical of the government, obsessively protesting any attempts at press.
Korean culture includes a wide variety of religious elements that shapes peoples way of thinking and behavior. At the early stage of Korean history, Shamanism was a primitive religion, which penetrated into the daily life of the people through folk beliefs. People believed in the spirit of nature and universe. They also believed that all objects in this world had spirits. This belief can also be found in some groups of Thai people. They also believed in the power of incantation.
The traditional costume, which reflects a part of the Korean culture, is called Harbor. Men wore a jacket known as sho gori, page or trousers, and turumagi or overcoat with hat, belt and a pair of shoes. Women wore colori, short jacket with two long ribbons which are tied to form an otkorum knot, a full length, high-waist wrap-around skirt called china, worn together with white cotton socks, post, and boat-shaped shoes, Even though nowadays Korean people wear western-style clothes, the people do not neglect harbor. The Koreans usually wear harbor on special occasions like the lunar New Year holidays. In my opinion, Harbor, the traditional dress, is important in a sense that it reflects the unique culture of this country.
The Korean people have a 5, 000 year old history of artistic talents that have evolved over the generations consisting of original music, dance and painting. Even though they have taken on forms of art from the western world, their uniqueness still flourishes both in their pure forms combined with modern arts. Despite some similarities to China and Japan, traditional Korean music called kodak, can easily be distinguished. It has a sound that is different. For example, Korean music has three beats per measure rhythm, while Chinese and Japan have only two.
Kodak is divided into two types, court music and folk music. The music of the upper class is slow and complicated while the more domestic music is very fast. The Korean language consists of a Korean alphabet called Han-gul. It is composed of 10 simple vowels and 14 consonants. The language has been in existence since 1443.
Because of the substantial differences between English and Korean, native English speakers may find that learning Korean is somewhat difficult. There are vowels and consonant sounds that English does not have. Standard Korean is spoken across the country. English is not widely spoken, although most major businesses will have some English-speaking staff. Business Customs and Practices Doing business with international clients requires more than just financial intelligence. A lack of knowledge about a customer's culture can lead to misunderstanding, frustration, and potential embarrassment.
The building of successful business relationships is a vital part of any international venture, and such relationships rely heavily on an understanding of each partner's expectations and intentions. Each culture has its own eccentricity when it comes to social business relations. Business customs are as much a cultural elements of a society as is the language. Culture not only establishes the criteria for day-to-day business behavior, but also forms general patterns of attitude and motivation. In South Korea like any other country around the world the customs and traditions reflect the peoples behavior in conducting a business deal.
First appearances count a great deal in Korea, so it is important to always wear a suit when conducting business. Women should always wear a smart, conservative outfit. English is not widely spoken, although most major businesses will have some English-speaking staff available. Koreans will always shake hands at meetings, but it is also customary to bow slightly when shaking hands for the first time. If business cards are exchanged, it is extremely important that a few seconds are taken to examine the card in the presence of the person to whom the card represents. This act will show that you are showing interest in the status of the card giver as well as the company they represent.
It is also important to remember that when exchanging business cards, it is always done with both hands, as this is considered an act of respect. When addressing a Korean businessman, it is...
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