- Series: Culture Smart!
- Paperback: 168 pages
- Publisher: Kuperard; Reprinted edition (September 5, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1857333659
- ISBN-13: 978-1857333657
- Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.5 x 6.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,045,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Korea - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Culture & Customs Paperback – September 5, 2006
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Culture Smart! has come to the rescue of hapless travellers, Sunday Times Travel - ...the perfect introduction to the weird, wonderful and downright odd quirks and customs of various countries, Global Travel - ...full of fascinating, as well as common sense, tips to help you avoid embarrassing faux pas, Observer - ...as useful as they are entertaining, Easy Jet Magazine - ...offer glimpses into the psyche of a faraway world, New York Times.
About the Author
JAMES HOARE spent over thirty years in the British Diplomatic Service, with postings to Seoul and Beijing. His last job was Chargé D’Affaires in Pyongyang, North Korea, where he established the first-ever British Embassy. He has written numerous books and articles about East Asia, including Embassies in the East: The Story of the British and Their Embassies in China, Japan and Korea from 1859 to the Present (1999), and, with his wife, Susan Pares, Conflict in Korea: An Encyclopedia (1999).
Top customer reviews
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culture different from the USA and sometimes very different from other Asian countries is
important. As a guest in their country I wanted to present myself as well as I could.
This book helped me acculturate enough to get by and not insult the Korean populace we met
along the way.
Two big items jumped out at me when reading the book.
One is that Koreans do not use chop sticks to eat rice. It is considered gauche to do so. In any
eating establishment we entered, from roadside diner to elegant eatery we found chopsticks and
a spoon. The spoon is for the rice.
Another is how you exchange money or items with another person. You should use your right
hand to exchange items and not your left. This was a bit difficult as I am left handed. The people
I encountered either personally or at a business were very nice about my faux pas but I felt it
was important to try to respect the culture. After a while it came more naturally.
I found the part about not entering into a domestic dispute good advice. I am not so sure I would
do so even in this country without understanding my options first. To do so in a foreign country
where my language skills are limited, at best, means I would attempt to find other options than
direct intervention. Treading lightly in another culture is good advice, especially from someone
who has spent time in the diplomatic service.
Overall I found the book had a good brief history of the country, its culture and its mores. You
definitely want to supplement your reading with other books to corroborate and enhance your
understanding of the Land of Morning Calm.
I gave the book, purchased in 2010, 4 stars because it can use an update but provided a good
guide to traversing the beautiful Korean culture.
Upon learning that Michael would be soon leaving us to travel to this beautiful country, we decided to acquire these items to learn where he would be spending the next year of his life.
We are glad to have shared this experience, we learned much about the country, its people, folkloric dance, foods and religion.
If you plan to travel to South Korea and want to arrive with a pocket book in hand that supports your awareness or if you simply want to learn about this country, then this is an excellent choice.
Culture Smart will provide information as to life in South Korea, manners, costumes, religious beliefs, and those little issues that could help you manage your relationships abroad.
Seeing as how it is designed as an overview, you get more than your money's worth (less than ten bucks including shipping on [...]). Want to give a friend something to read on the airplane ride over before they meet you in Korea? This book fits the bill quite nicely.
I'm honestly surprised that this book gets over-shadowed by the "Lonely Planet" series. Ignore the hype and pick up this book.
Two things I did like about this book in particular were the emphasis on business interactions (this could be really helpful if you are a Western business person visiting Korea) and I like how the author constantly explains about North Korean culture as well, it's not all focused on South Korea.
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