It’s amazing how, simply by self-studying Korean (and watching all that dramas etc), have made me more ‘Korean’ over the years. Language and culture are always tied together and without realising it, I’ve already started to pick up many of the cultural bits of Korea while staying in sunny Singapore. I don’t claim that I want to be ‘Korean’ and I’m certainly not (and not planning to) embodying all the traits associated with Koreans. But here are some quirky habits (?) that I’ve adopted subconsciously without even spending an extended period of time in Korea! Some of which are not really… Korean xD
A friend of mine recently went to Korea for exchange and soon, she started using ^^ in her facebook posts. And it’s only when her friend commented on it that I realised that it’s not a very typical Singaporean emoticon. I’m not saying it’s exclusively Korean but it seems like that’s the default smile-ly face for Koreans. Singaporeans are more used to ‘:)’ xD ‘:D’. And subconsciously, I’m now using ^^ most of the time. I like to use this too ~~~~~~ kekeke
2. 검색순위 (search rankings)
This is a concept that I was previously unfamiliar with (or simply not bothered with). However, I’m now very very sensitive to rankings in all forms. The music charts, naver search rankings, portal polls, rankings of the top 10 4-D celebrities, you name it. I subconsciously check out the naver real-time search rankings every time I’m on that page. And cheer whenever I see my favourite singers hit an all-kill on the music charts.
3. Sharing food
I’m not adverse to sharing food in a big pot or anything but most Singaporeans are definitely more used to having their individual servings and using a separate common ladle even when sharing food. However, it now seems very natural to me to be with a group of friends and simply using our own utensils and eating from the same stew etc. Food tastes the best when shared among a group of friends and poking spoons/chopsticks into the dish!
4. Strange cravings
I crave for bimbimbap when I’m upset and I want hot stew in the hottest days. Bimbimbap is therapeutic, seriously! The idea of throwing random things into a big bowl, mixing everything up and spooning everything in is so.. comforting! Better than a tub of ice-cream. But I can’t say for sure which option is more fattening, but certainly bimbimbap is at least.. healthier? I used to avoid hot soup in the hot weather, preferring something cold like an iced coffee. But it just feels so good perspiring after a bowl of hot stew. 시원하다~~~~
5. Spice tolerance
I would say my spice tolerance have improved tremendously over the 3.5 years. And I’m no longer intimidated by the red, fiery soup.
6. I am now convinced that kimbap is a must-have for picinc food
7. My favorite catch phrase is 짜증나!!
8. Cracking an egg into Ramyeon is enough to make me happy.
9. I’m exceptionally sensitive to Korean and can accurately identify a Korean on the streets
I’ll suddenly turn my head when I hear snatches of Korean. It’s subconscious.
10. I’m now more tech-savvy
Koreans are very tech-savvy and maybe that has accounted for my recent interest in social media
There are still many more changes that I may not have realised yet. I have changed alot as a person since learning Korean and I think I’ve changed for the better ^^
Do share your experiences! In what ways have you changed or become more ‘Korean’ after learning Korean? ^^