Monday, April 12, 2010

Cultural Differences between Korea and North America

Many Koreans that I have spoken to are interested in the cultural differences between Korea and North America.
Korea has a very long and ancient history but North America is a relatively new place. Being that way, Korea is very much steeped in tradition and there is a lot of obligation to society and to one's family. In that way, life choices in Korea made be looked at more narrowly.
In North America, many people are encouraged to discover what they want and pursue their dream, no matter how unique it is. This leads to a lot of self-actualization and personal growth. However, it comes at a price as a lot of people in North American cultural feel disconnected from each other. Sometimes this manifests itself in an attitude of everyone for themselves.
In Korea, there is a lot of respect for one's family and for one's elders. To reciprocate a lot of the seniors try and teach and take care of their juniors. So it creates a tremendous bond in the culture but it is a lot of responsibility as well.

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