Aug 16, 2017
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A Peek Inside the Etiquette World of Malaysia and South Korea

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Southeast Asia is comprises of 11 countries located between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, making those countries as the hosts of numerous wonderful beaches, mountainous areas as well as home to developed cities and successfully attracts thousands of globe-trekkers from all over the world. These countries however are very particular with proper mannerism and etiquettes that must be observed very well in their daily lives, and even the travelers are expected to do the same.

The South Korean Etiquette

For example, South Korea, being one of the strictest of all in preserving their traditional customs and etiquettes are very wary on this issue. Mind your manners when dining with them. It is in their customs that the elderly must be given the priority, in other words, let them hold their spoon first and only then the younger ones can enjoy their meals. You do not leave the table until the elderly finished their meals and stood up to leave the table. When visiting and entering into their homes, you are expected to take off your shoes as a sign of respect to their belief of the importance to keep their floors clean. Just like the Westerners, the Koreans do love alcohol or called as Soju and again, they do have strict etiquette when it comes to drinking alcoholic drinks. Pour the drinks not in your own glass, but to your other acquaintances especially the elderly. The Koreans are really nice people especially when we as the travelers show much respect to the traditions and customs, what more their strict etiquettes.

The Malaysian Etiquette

Malaysia on the other side is a multicultural country consisting of different races that practiced different religions, yet they live peacefully as they respect each other’s faiths, believes and customs. The main religion practiced in Malaysia is Islam, in which the religion has laid down numerous rules and etiquettes for its believers to observe. The same goes to the other religions practiced in the country such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhs and the Christians. Just like the Koreans, everyone is expected to take off their shoes upon entering the homes of the residents as well as the worshipping places such as the mosques and temples. As for the greetings, you are basically not allowed to touch or have handshakes with people of your opposite gender, particularly with the Muslims. This is to respect the practice in their religion. Well, unless they offered handshakes first, then you are free to do so as well.

The list goes on if we are to discuss further on the rules and etiquettes that need to be observed when you are travelling to any of the Southeast Asian countries. Different countries do have different customs and traditions; hence they do have different etiquettes which might confused some of us even if you come from one of the Southeast Asian countries as well.

Article Categories:
Blog · General Customs · Malaysia · South Korea
Asian Customs
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