Research paper on the Koreans culture

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Professor’s name
Research paper on the Koreans culture
Koreans is one of the ethnic groups that have suffered a lengthy history of political
disagreement. For example, the war between the Southern regime and the Northern regime that
took place between 1949 and 1953 was chiefly incapacitating, thus leaving the Northern Korean
isolated, communist, and poor. The symbol of an ideological disagreement between South and
North Korea, The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), is the distressing reminder of the Southern and
Northern war. The DMZ winds 155 miles across the Peninsula of Korea. The symbol reminds us
that the war did not cease and that an uneasy lull persists between the zones. Large numbers of
the Koreans have been immigrating to the United States since before the start of the war (Hanbok
1). The Koreans constitutes third largest numbers in New Zealand of immigrants from Asia.
Many of them migrate for improved healthcare facilities, education opportunities, and lifestyles.
Both Japan and China have a vital influence on the Korean culture. Therefore, the paper focuses
on discussing some of the Korean cultures since the start of the ethnic group to date. The
following are some key concepts that will be captured in the paper to ensure extensive analysis
of the ethnographic research paper on the Korean culture: communication, tradition, health care
beliefs, special events, work of art, and spiritual practices. Other minor aspects that will be
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discussed in the paper include equality of men and women, loyalty, and honesty in the Korean
Koreans value greetings, thus being part of Korean culture. The following show the
common greetings used by the Koreans during different times of the day, and the greetings are
The greetings are through shaking hands and bowing as a sign of honor and respect. The Korean
key language is Han-gul, and there are various dialects of the key language. The dialects are
similar, thus making Koreans from different ethnic groups to understand each other at ease. The
Koreans tend to be reserved regarding using a novel language until they have a feeling of
expressing themselves efficiently, thus making Koreans considered reticent in interactions
compared t some immigrants (Hanbok 2).
Koreans have beliefs that the eldest sons are considered the ones to inherit family wealth
and leadership. The elder sons are also considered to take care of the parents. Contrary, the
younger songs are required to leave their homes and leave near the homesteads (Hanbok, 2).
Fate, translated to Korean as Karma, is observed as the motive for ill-health. For
instance, when we consider the Mahayana tradition, Korean Buddhism has vitally influenced
Korean culture, and many Korean’s beliefs are focused on the Buddhist’s principles resulting in
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death and sickness being observed as part of the Korean life. Moreover, Koreans have beliefs
that disharmony is a natural force and such natural forces are Yang and Um. Um, open a
way to cold illness such as abdominal cramps, hypothermia, indigestion, depression, and many
others. Yang imbalances result in stroke, seizures, hyperthermia, and many others. Koreans
beliefs that such conditions can be treated by the use of opposite forces to achieving balance and
dietary food are prescribed accordingly. Koreans accepts the western perception of disease
causation. The following are some of the traditional methods of treating diseases adopted by the
Koreans: massage or acupressure, cupping, acupuncture, dietary therapy, herbal remedies,
traditional treatment methods, and Shamans, although not widely used by the Koreans.
Koreans have a belief that a children disability is an aspect of punishment by ancestors on
parents, and Koreans accepts physical problems more than they accept mental illness in the
family (Hanbok 4). Additionally, homosexuality is not tolerated by the Koreans and the aspect of
homosexuality would probably remain suppressed so as to prevent Korean community from
ostracizing. Donation of organs is not common among the Koreans, and much of the patient’s
cares are provided by the family while the patients are hospitalized. Koreans have a belief that it
will be a misfortune in carrying the body at home when a patient dies while receiving medication
in the hospital. However, this belief is accepted by few Koreans. The bodies of those Koreans
who die from home are kept for few hours to show the last respect to the deceased. Respect is
done through the display of emotions such as moaning and crying rituals with the eldest son
remained near the body.
The Lunar New Year, regarded as Seol-nal in the Korean, traditionally holds much
essentiality for Koreans. Koreans usually make pilgrimages in their hometowns and cities during
the three days of Seol-nal. They always gather with their extended families in the hometowns
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and home cities after making the pilgrimages. The holiday of three days includes various
opportunities and traditions for ancestor worship and food preparation. The Chinese Lunar
Calendar determines the dates of the holidays and the days are usually quoted from January to
February each year. Moreover, there is a disinclination among the Koreans to spend the three
days holidays in churches since gathering as a family is essential for the Korean culture.
It is not common for the Koreans to include various spiritual opinions into the religious
system of belief. The common religions in Korea are Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism,
Confucianism, and Shamanism. Some academic sources claim that Shamanism religion is not
widely used today. However, the Shamanism has woven a rich and colorful tradition into various
elements of the Korean culture. Other academic sources assert that Shamanism is alive, and the
religion is growing although the religion has been incorporated into other religious system. The
religion has not disappeared, but it is still continuing to exist together with other key religions
(Ryu 2). Based on this information from different academic sources, we can assume that some
Koreans that are impacted by the principles of religion. Other Koreans consider Shamanism as a
heritage that makes up the culture of the Koreans (Hanbok 9).
Clothing and textiles are some of the essential artwork of the Korean culture. Embroidery
and sewing are the key domain for the Korean women of all classes. The sewing tools were well-
decorated since they were considered precious and represented the aesthetic taste for the Korean
women. Some of the tools that are widely used for the embroidery and sewing includes ja
(ruler), silpae (spool), beoseonko indu (sock-shaped iron), and among many others (Salem
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Korean culture is hierarchical based on the aspect of men and women. According to the
Korean culture, men and women are not equal. Let us consider the discussed words to
understand the culture of Korea based on the equality of men and women: There is no word in
the Korean culture for “brother.” However, there are words such as elder brother and younger
brother. The elder brother is regarded as hyong, and the younger brother is regarded as
tongsaeng. Korean brothers are not equal since the elder brother is given responsibility to take
care of the family. The younger brother is given the responsibilities different from the elder
brother, thus showing that men are not equal in the Korean culture. Besides, Koreans separates
words for younger sister and elder sister. The words are considered different because they are
given different responsibilities, thus making Koreans claim that women are not equal as per the
Korean culture (Underwood 3-4).
Loyalty and honesty are considered virtues by the Koreans. Honesty is considered to have
a higher virtue in different cultures. However, in the Confucian society like Korean culture,
loyalty is considered to have a higher virtue compared to the aspect of honesty. The difference in
the two virtues is based on the Korean culture, and the differences have implications in the
Korean culture (Underwood 3-4).
When we consider marriage in both North and South Korea, we will find that a woman is
required to leave her parents and to start living with the identified husband’s parents only if the
husband is the first son in the family. Traditionally, women have limited independence within a
family not until the women is passed the years of childbearing. With modernization and
development of the economy, women in Korea are enjoying a great deal of independence that
they experienced in the past years (Hollingsworth 2).
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Both men and women in Korea are marrying later than the marrying age was considered
in the past decades. For example, the Korean men marry at the age between 28 and 31 years
while women are married at the age between 26 and 30 years. This trend of marriage in men and
women in Korean culture tends to take place following two phases incorporated in with the level
of the economy or economic development. For example, at an early phase of economic
development, the population in the rural settings will tend to enlarge until an adequate land is
acquired for cultivation. Once a suitable land has been acquired for cultivation, families with
many children will start to face a key challenge. In this case, such families must subdivide the
acquired land into smaller parcels of land. Also, there is an alternative to such families to leave
the reduced land and look for another alternative land ((Hollingsworth 2).
The choice and decision to marry and whom to marry are different from different young
adults with work experience and level of education than young adults who depend on their
families. Therefore, an essential element of the shift in the number of years towards late marriage
is because of different facts such as dependent of the men and women of their families, the level
of education, and work experience.
Divorce is another aspect that is rare in the Korean culture. Divorce is a rare aspect in the
Korean culture because of the strengthened awareness regarding the issues related to divorce.
Also, unmarried men and women are motivated to obtain good jobs and get a good education,
thus solving the issue of divorce (Hollingsworth 5).
All the captured aspects evident in the Korean society makes up the Korean culture, and
the Korean culture has survived over a long time since the start and the end of different wars
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experienced in Korea. The cultures are changing slowly although they cannot disappear
(Underwood 9). The culture will remain in place and appear in all the Korean generations, thus
making the young generations understand that there existed culture since particular period. The
cultures are unique from one society to another society. However, migration and evolution of
western lifestyle are considered as a key aspect that can lead to the disappearance of culture, but
the culture of society will remain just like the Korean culture.
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Works Cited
Hanbok. Korean Culture. 2016. Print.
Hollingsworth, J. Tradition and Change in Marriage and Family Life. 2002. Print.
Ryu, T. Shamanism. The Dominant Folk Religion in Korea. Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.
1984. Print.
Salem, M.A. A Teacher’s Sourcebook for Korean Art & Culture: Featuring Korean Art
Collection of the Peabody Essex Museum. Print.
Underwood, H. Series of Essays on Korean Culture. Yonsei University. 2015. Print.

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