What are 5 interesting facts about South Korea?

Answered by Randy McIntyre

1. Blood types: One interesting fact about South Korea is the emphasis placed on blood types. It is a common conversation topic and many Koreans believe that blood type determines a person’s personality traits. For example, people with type A blood are thought to be sensitive and organized, while those with type B blood are seen as outgoing and creative. This fascination with blood types has even led to the development of blood type-specific products, such as food and drinks tailored to each blood type.

2. Age system: Another unique aspect of South Korean culture is the way age is calculated. In Korea, everyone is considered to be one year old at birth, and then gains a year on New Year’s Day, regardless of their actual date of birth. This means that someone born in December can be considered two years old just a few days after their birth. This age system takes into account the time spent in the womb and is believed to align with the lunar calendar and traditional Korean customs.

3. Fan death superstition: South Korea is known for its superstitions, and one of the most intriguing is the belief in fan death. Many Koreans believe that sleeping in a closed room with an electric fan turned on can be fatal. They believe that the fan can cause asphyxiation, hypothermia, or even generate deadly amounts of carbon dioxide. Despite no scientific evidence supporting this claim, the belief in fan death persists, and it is common to see warnings about the dangers of leaving a fan running overnight.

4. Drinking culture: South Korea has a reputation for being one of the largest drinking nations in Asia. The consumption of alcohol is deeply ingrained in Korean social culture, and it is not uncommon for people to engage in heavy drinking during social gatherings or business meetings. There is even a drinking etiquette called “jeonseon-eui” which involves a strict set of rules and rituals when drinking with others, such as pouring drinks for seniors and drinking in a specific order.

5. Korean War and the DMZ: Contrary to popular belief, the Korean War never officially ended, and the two Koreas remain technically at war. The conflict ended in 1953 with an armistice agreement, not a peace treaty, leaving the Korean Peninsula divided by the demilitarized zone (DMZ). The DMZ, a 2.5-mile-wide buffer zone, has unintentionally become a haven for wildlife due to limited human presence. It is home to various endangered species, including the Korean tiger and the red-crowned crane. Efforts are being made to preserve this unique ecosystem and promote peace between the two nations.

These are just a few interesting facts about South Korea that highlight its cultural beliefs, traditions, and historical background. The country is rich in diverse customs and unique aspects that make it a fascinating place to explore and learn about.