Thank you very much

One of the things that takes getting used to, in terms of interacting with Korean people, is their tendency to offer thanks or apologies for things that they are involved with in only the most abstract of collective ways. Two examples spring instantly to mind. The first is the reaction by ROK government officials to the Virginia Tech shootings. The second is the reaction of my Korean language teacher to any praise of things Korean. Do you like doenjang? She will express her thanks, despite the fact that you are not praising her doenjang, and she does not even know how to make it. Do you find the countryside in Gangwondo particularly beautiful? She will be grateful. And on and on. This is not isolated to this particular person, although it may be isolated to Koreans with limited interactions with non-Koreans, or to Koreans with a particularly strong sense of identification with the national/ethnic collective. I have met many Koreans who do not do this, so it is hardly a universal phenomenon, but it is striking when it occurs. I have decided that I shall from now on take credit (which, of course, is not what they are doing, I’m just being a dick) for the mass-produced automobile.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in korea. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s