Being Polite

Being polite is very important to Sandy and I, being Canadian and all. Of course there are plenty of rude people who live in Canada but generally one aspect of our culture is politeness. From compulsively holding doors open for others to apologizing when someone bumps into you we have our conventions that emphasize consideration for others, even to the excess. Even so, interacting with the niceties of another culture can make you damn rude!

One piece of etiquette we have been trying to incorporate into our daily lives is using two hands. Giving and receiving drinks and food, handing money to a cashier, most things we pass to one another in our daily lives, we may do without much thought. Korea has asked us to reconsider. Using two hands or using one hand while placing the left to support the elbow of the right is how to make a very casual (perhaps too casual) gesture into a friendly and polite one. One Korean friend told us that it is not essential to use two hands when giving or receiving something from, say, a cashier at a store. They are supposed to be very polite to you as you are the customer, and you have some leeway as to how polite you are back. But, when giving gifts or dealing with people of higher rank/older age than yourself, you need to be cautious of your hands to avoid offence.

Check out this video from one of our favourite Canadian blogs. If you are interested in Korean food, places in the Seoul area, or all things KPop, make sure to browse their site.


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