In the U.S., there is the art of tipping. In Finland
, there is no such thing as college tuition; it's almost completely subsidized by tax Euros. And in Ethiopia
, food is eaten only with the bare right hand. Given South Korea
's unique history and culture within Asia, there is no shortage of comparisons that can be made between it and the rest of the world. Even though I already reported on "10 Differences Between South Korea And The Rest Of The World,"
more and more unique cultural curiosities are revealed to me everyday – things I couldn't have possibly conceived of back in Florida.
1. Fan Death
Possibly the most internationally notorious Korean cultural quirk is the belief that if you fall asleep in a closed room with a fan on you will die
. Theories include the fans causing hypothermia or even that the fan is removing all the oxygen from the room. Today, the myth is largely dying out with the new generation, none of my Korean friends believe it whatsoever, but they mention that they heard about it all the time when they were younger.
2. Koreans work more
On average, Koreans work 2,057 hours per year, 14% more than Americans
, who on average work 1,797 hours per year. That's an additional six workweeks per year. But that doesn't really show the whole story and is probably only the officially reported and paid hours. It isn't entirely uncommon for people to work 6 days a week, clocking in over 10 hours each day for a typical office job, with little or no overtime pay.