Say you are invited over to a Korean friend’s house for the first time. You are coming over for dinner, but you want to make a good first impression. How can you act in a way that will not offend anyone? What should you keep in mind so that you will be invited back at a later time? Here are a few things you may want to remember before you arrive at their house. These will usually apply if you are at a Korean person’s house in Korea, or outside of Korea. The rules for meeting the parents of your boyfriend and/or girlfriend will be a little different than what will be discussed in this article.
Be On Time
You may have heard of Korean people being on Korean Time, same principle as CP Time, but this does not always apply. Many times, Korean people are on time or early for events that are important. If you show up late and do not say anything, it may be viewed as disrespectful. Do your best to be on time to your friend’s house, especially if they will be waiting for your arrival to eat food.
Ask Before Bringing Something Over
Many people are taught that you should always bring something over when visiting someones house. In Korea, it is sometimes customary to bring over some fruit to someones house when visiting. In fact, fruit that people bring to other peoples house during the Korean holiday season can be very expensive. However, you will want to ask before bringing something over. Some people may be allergic to certain fruits. Others may be trying to avoid alcohol. Some may be gluten sensitive. Whatever the case may be, you don’t want to spend money on something that the person(s) don’t use are cannot use. Simply ask what you can bring over before you come. If they say nothing, do as you are told and don’t make waves.
If you have ever watched The Fung Bros, you are familiar with T.O.Y.S. If not, it stands for Take Off Your Shoes. You do not wear shoes inside in Korea. Even some restaurants in Korea require you to Take Off Your Shoes when you enter. Be respectful of this and make sure you are wearing clean socks when you go over. If you have friends who will invite you over at random, keep clean socks in your car just in case. That way, you will always be prepared to visit your friends and be respectful.
These are a few things to keep in mind before you go to your friend’s house. Next time, we’ll look at some ways you can show good manners after you have entered the house.