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Cultural Notes: Greetings & Kimchi

Proper greeting etiquette, and yummy kimchi! Cultural Notes I have learned during my studies of the Korean Language, Korean people and culture. I love learning languages, and I would love to share what I've learned with others. I will log any interesting cultural notes I find here in this log. This is more of a personal log for myself to see my progress, and review what I have learned. Maybe you will learn something new from this Daily Language Log. These are my own personal notes to help me in my language journey. In no way is this a lesson, I am not teaching languages here on this blog. This is for self development, and I welcome others to share with me what they have learned, their experiences, and any corrections or suggestions they see I need to make in my notes. If you have any suggestions, or would like to share something about the culture or language I am learning please feel free to leave a comment or contact me. Thank you!



  • When greeting others, Koreans will slightly bow. To greet someone younger than yourself, you can simply nod or bow your head. To greet a Boss, or CEO of a company would require a more formal bow. Your bow will depend on how much respect you show that person.

  • You can also shake hands while bowing.

  • For very formal situations, (very polite) such as a business transactions, you would use two hands to shake hands. This is very formal.

The use of 씨

  • In Korean the word 씨 takes place of “Mr, Mrs, or Miss.”

  • You place this after a persons first name. You can place it after their last name but it can be very confusing. It‘s recommended to use with first names.

  • You can also use it with a persons first and last name but that’s considered very formal and impersonal.

  • In English it is acceptable to call someone by their first name where it’s is considered a friendly gesture. In Korean, calling someone by their first name without 씨 is only acceptable in casual situations with close friends. Other times, it would be considered impolite.

  • when talking about a person or using their name in the sentence it comes at the beginning of the sentence.

  • do not use 씨 when referring to yourself

examples: 알렉스 씨, 안녕하세요

Alex (씨) hello. - Hello Miss Alex

What is Kimchi?

  • Kimchi is a very important food staple in the Korean diet. Almost every meal is eaten with some form of pickled side dish like kimchi, or pickled radish.

  • Before there were refrigerators to store food, people used salt to preserve food. Koreans added salt to cabbage, storing underground in large clay pots where the temperature was much cooler. Eventually it would ferment. Kimchi is fermented cabbage, filled with tons of vitamins and nutrients.

  • There are so many different versions of kimchi out there. In some Korean homes, there is an even a separate fridge for kimchi.


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