Signs That You Have Been “Koreanized”

When you live in a foreign land, it is inevitable to immerse in their culture and tradition. Whether you like it or not, if you stay in one country for a long time, converse and interact with the locals in a daily basis and adapt the culture, tradition and values, sooner or later, you will become one of them without intending it. For countries like South Korea who has a strong identity when it comes to culture, it is not hard to adapt the traits and culture of the locals. If you will catch yourself someday doing the following mannerisms, well guess what, you just have been Koreanized. So here is the list of signs that you may want to check if you have caught the Korean Virus.

1. You automatically bow to your superiors or greet “annyeong haseyo” effortlessly

Bowing in Korea plays a significant role in showing respect to the elders, friends and even your superiors at work. Everytime you meet them at random places, it is necessary that you bow to them and they will also bow in return. Most of the time, bowing is accompanied by a greeting “Annyeong Haseyo” which means you are telling that person to “Be at Peace”. If you do this effortlessly, like you don’t need to be reminded to do this, then you have been Koreanized. The greetings “annyeong Haseyo” becomes so natural to you that you don’t have to say it as clear as possible, sometimes people will just say “…nyong haseyo” or “nyonghaseyong….” Or something like that.

2. You just don’t say goodbye, you bow too

After meeting a person, you just don’t say bye or goodbye or wave your hand, you also bow as a sign of respect.

3. When you take selfies or picture, you either make a peace sign, a saranghae pose or give a heart sign

Before, the peace sign was associated with both Japan and Korea, and there’s also a Saranghae sign where you put your two hands on your head forming a heart sign. The latest version of this is a heart sign by overlapping your thumb with your forefinger. It will form a small heart sign and Koreans usually use this when they take selfies or photo. If you do any of these poses, then you have somehow gained influences from the Koreans.

4. You use the expressions “OMO” or “Aigoooo” or “Aisshhhh” or “Otoke”

I am so guilty of this!!! Koreans have a lot of expressions that foreigners can easily adapt especially if you hear them in a daily basis. “Omo” is like a Korean version of “Oh My God!”. Aigoo is like an expression when somebody is disappointed or surprised. Aissshhh on the other hand is a prelude to a bad Korea expression “Shhhiiiibaaaalll” which means “F*ck You”, Koreans usually use this when they’re angry. And Otoke is something I often use, when I don’t know what to do or confused or if I am in a difficult situation, literally, otoke means “how”

5. You wear couple shirts

One of the quirkiest but cutest Korean traits I see is the couples wearing couple shirts, or if winter, they wear couple jackets. No matter how masculine the Korean guy is, he eventually looks mushy if you see them with their girlfriends wearing the same shirt or jacket. Some foreign couples in Korea also follow the couple shirts trend as it looks so romantic and cute.

6. When receiving or giving something, you use both hands, or if you use one hand, your other hand touches your elbow

There’s so much to say about hand gestures in Korea, but the most obvious one is their rule when it comes to receiving or giving something. You just can’t receive or give, there’s some hand gestures to follow so you will not appear rude or disrespectful.

7. In drinking, you don’t pour your own drink, you instead pour for others

Drinking is a community activity for Koreans. If you found yourself pouring the drink for others, then you have been Koreanized.

8. You do things in a hurry

Pali-pali is one of the many words you often hear in Korea. Pali Pali means, hurry up!!! Koreans don’t want to waste time, so they really insist on making things in a hurry. If you live in this country, you will soon catch yourself doing things in a hurry.

9. Your Meal is not complete without KIMCHI

Kimchi is a very important side dish in a Korean meal. When you are in Korea, a meal is not without kimchi. Aside from adding taste to a regular Korean food, Kimchi provides a lot of health benefits.


  1. Pag tawid sa kalsada ng nag hihintay muna ng Go Signal bago tumawid hahaha.. sounds weird. Pero nadala ko sa Pinas ang ilan sa mga nabanggit mo

    1. naks naman bro... at least positive naman ang nadala mo. positive virus.. hehe


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