181
COMMENTS

This week’s TL;DR is an awesome question but it could easily make for a 20 minute video. We have, however, managed to compact it down to about 7 minutes. So the question asked was if you can be friends with people of different ages even though respect and obedience to elders in Korea is a must. In fact, even a year older is considered an age gap in Korea, and the constrains put upon you, because of this age gap, might make it a bit difficult to maintain friendships.

Okay, we’re going to try and explain Korean society in a nutshell via a non-rambley mini-history lesson…HEY! I SEE YOU TRYING TO SNEAK OUT THE BACKDOOR! GET BACK HERE! TURN OFF YOUR PHONE!!! SIT DOWN!!! Good. *ahem* So, Martina studied East Asian Philosophy in University and she’s very familiar with how Korean society (including the government and the family structure) is based on the teachings of Confucius (aka Kong Qiu/Kung-tzu or my personal favourite, Master Kong), who’s teachings and thoughts are now called Confucianism.

Confucius Say

Confucius Say: Respect Your Elders

One of his most important teachings was the importance of filial piety, aka respect a child should show to his/her parents, and this was broken into “Five Bonds” which basically explained how one should properly behave towards other people. In each of the five bonds, respect to those older to you was stressed over and over again. The teachings of these Five Bonds is very deeply ingrained in Korean society, and it is not even as a religion or philosophy, but just as a normaly way of life. This concept can be pretty hard to wrap your head around if you didn’t grow up in it, and – in turn – can cause you a lot of issues if you’re living in Korea and are wondering why the hell you’re being treated the way you’re being treated.

Okay, mini-history lesson is over. Class is dismissed…but Johnny, I’m keeping your cell phone. DON’T THINK I DIDN’T SEE YOU TXTING!!! *Quick Side Note by Simon* Didn’t Confucius say: “he who goes to sleep with itchy butt wakes up with stinky finger?” No? Ok, I’ll stop trolling now.

Cute Ajumma

Oh she looks so cute, doesn't she. WATCH OUT THOUGH!

So how does this affect everyday Korean life? We’ll give you a simple example. You might have heard about Ahjummas (older Korean women) power housing their way onto the subway and bowling over anyone and everyone in line to get a seat…yet, no one openly complains or says anything about it, while all the foreigners stand around shocked at the blatant rudeness. That’s an example of Confucianism in action: respect your elders NO MATTER WHAT THEY DO. Of course this teaching also affects Korean work life, such as younger employees diligently listening to a boss that has terrible ideas and not disagreeing with him even though they know his idea will crash and burn. This concept of respecting your elders no matter what can really be hard to wrap your head around if you didn’t grow up in a society based on these teachings. In fact, I’m pretty sure that in Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Outliers” he relates a story about a copilot for Korean Air who couldn’t correct his pilot, because of the importance of respecting your elders, and the result of this failure to correct the pilot, the plane crashed. DEATH BEFORE DISHONOUR! On a side note, looking over that last sentence, I could have sworn it said “death before dinosaur” It sure looks like it. Anyhow, supposedly now actions have been put into place so that these honorifics can be disregarded in the cockpit, because, well, it’s more important to not die than to be respectful, though we’re not sure exactly how well these actions can be put into place. If anyone know more about this please do share!

FML Jihoo

Dammit Jihoo! Put up a better fight will you?!

Now of course, their are many positive ways that it effects Korean society, such as deep bonds between family, loyalty towards friends, and respect for teachers and people in authority (which is probably why things aren’t vandalized and destroyed randomly in Korea). It also affects society in a more subtle way through honorific names given those older than you. These names let the rest of Korea clearly know, “hey, this girl is older than me” or “this guy is my junior and went to school with me” or “we’re close friends, but he’s still my elder”. There are some more difficult honorifics to grasp, like “Oppa” (오빠) – which we always have a difficult time translating in our captions, but basically boils down to a term a girl says to a guy older than her. It can mean “you are literally my older bother”, “you and I are dating”, “you and I are close friends”, “you and I have known each other for a long time and you’ve helped me out”, “I’m flirting with you”. Anyone who has watched a Korean drama has inevitable come across the confusion which is the honorific name system and probably thought at one point, “Wait, I though his name was Jihoo, not Seonbae.” ^^

Alright, this is getting into a TL;DR (< —Too Long;Didn’t Read) post, and we hope you’ve stuck with us so far, but let’s do a wrap up:

TL;DR – yes, it is possible to be friends with someone older or younger than you. Some Koreans don’t care about the age gap for their foreign friends, but they might care when about it with their Korean friends.

*gasps for air* Alright, we’re ending it here, but please let us know your experiences with the honorific name system. We’re always eager to hear experiences similar or different than our own.

ToFebruary
Gmarket
  1. i actually met such ahjummas and they were really mean, not because they bumped my friend out of her turn but because we were on our way back to our home country and each of us had three or four luggages strapped to us and my friend had to shuffle like an old lady to the back of the line

  2. taigahime

    I’m 28 and I don’t drink. Never have Never will. The only alcohol I have ever drank was in NyQuil. I’m not gonna start just because I want to go to Korea Nor will I start just because I want to have friends. Is there any hope??

  3. Dear Simon and Martina :)

    I was wondering if you can do a TL;DR on Korean age and how do you know/count your Korean age?

    Thanks :D

  4. How old are Martina and Simon, they never said their ages?

  5. I need…help. I’m trying to write a story where a girl goes to Korea. What would she call a boy that she just met who is like 5-7 months older than her and they were born in the same year? And what would she call a guy she just met like not in school and he’s 2-3 years older? And what would they call her?

    Also, how would you write Lexi Valentine in Korean?

  6. All these comments and no love for the Flight of the Conchords reference? Business time!

  7. “Wait, I though his name was Jihoo, not Seonbae.”  Ha!  That’s exactly how I found out about all of the honorifics and Jondaemal and Banmal.

  8. This may be beyond your knowledge but I thought I would ask anyway. My husband is 6 years my senior, do honorific titles come in to play within the marital relationship?

  9. oh my god … using Boy over Flowers was beautiful to describe it.  And i totally knew all the Korean drinking things because my uncle was in the Korean War and taught me all this stuff.  I really impressed my dongsaeng’s hyung when we went out drinking.

  10. What about if me and my unni (who isn’t related) are really close?
    Coz we’re korean-british, and we basically speak english to each other, apart from those few korean words and that i call her unni.
    She’s 2 years older than me, so should i still use formal language on her?
    But I known her for like nearly 7 years..?

  11. Hmm, what if your boss is younger than you are? How does the respect thing come into play?

    • You should still show respect to him as if he is a boss who is older than you, due to the fact that your boss is in a higher position then you are. Of course they will also show respect back.

    • You should still show respect to him as if he is a boss who is older than you, due to the fact that your boss is in a higher position then you are. Of course they will also show respect back.

  12. what is a 16 year old and 18 year old talked for the first time??
    the 16 year old has to be respectful??

  13. what is a 16 year old and 18 year old talked for the first time??
    the 16 year old has to be respectful??

  14. i want all of Simon’s shirts!! THEY ROCK!! xD

  15. it looks easier to adapt the culture and the food and easier to fit in

  16. I’ve got a Korean friend that’s friends with Korean guys 5 years her senior, and they’re close. I’m also friends with a few older Korean guys…whom I call sunbae first then move on to oppa when we’re more comfortable with each other.

  17. My in-laws are Koreans and it’s quite hard dealing with them. I’ve been living with them for about a year now and actually I’m so glad that I’m not Korean, because they tend not to blame me for some small cultural mistakes(they blame my husband instead…:/). Well, for me this all respectfulness seems positive in official relations(school, work, public places) but I dislike it being involved in family matters. The family “quarrel” is like the most pointless thing in Korean family, because the only ones talking, expressing their thoughts or feelings are parents(or grandparents n so on) while their kids just stare at own nails/floor thinking about something else. This definitely doesn’t lead anywhere.

  18. hey i know that this is not wtf but i would like for you to make more of thoes videos

  19. I got to know you guys because of kpop music mondays, but now I LIVE for your tl;dr segments! I sincerely hope that you guys make a segment for each of the week, even though I know what I’m asking isn’t plausible. :( LOVE YOU GUYS!

  20. i’m surprised that you guys didn’t say anything about dating a person in S.Korea with an age difference

  21. This is fine for folks visiting Korea but those living in Korea needs to be aware that deeper you integrate yourself into Korean society, deeper you will be expected to behave within its social hierarchy.

    If you are FOB foreigner who barely understand Korean, Korean people will make exceptions for your behavior. But if you talks and acts like a Korean, it could get kinda suffocating, particularly if you are just mimicking to be polite and don’t understand both the upsides and downsides of tightly woven social web.

    I think the advisable right balance is to appear as if wanting to integrate but doing a poor job of it. Also, timely forgetfulness or misunderstanding can get you over many awkward situations if you signal properly.

  22. Great TL:DR vid you guys! I’m planning to visit some co-workers in Seoul this year for my birthday. However my birthday is in October. I was wondering, what can you tell us about the weather in S.Korea? Is it as unpredictable as the weather in the UK/middle Europe? Also, any tips as a first time visitor there in regards to what books or travel guides we should pick up and read before I (we) head over there?

    • I think, October is most good weather season in Korea. You don’t need to worry about unpredictable weather… You just need a jacket, because it’ll very chilly in the night. I’m sorry I don’t have any idea about travel guide..but how about check this website : http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/index.kto  Anyway, you are lucky, If you visited korea in October.

  23. Hm, I don’t think the honorifics were hard at all. Maybe because I knew Japanese honorifics before I got into Korean dramas and stuff. To me Japan and Korea seem similar in that way. Except Koreans are more complicated, having a few more honorifics and they seem to be more important. So because I learnt the Japanese honorifics first, they seemed harder to me.

  24. What do you do if you are a non drinker? Like seriously?

  25. lol old man from behind…I was thinking Diagon Alley.

  26. Does the grammar also change when you speak to a senior / junior? I remember when i was studying Japanese, there are three different grammatical forms, depending upon if you are talking to a junior, a peer, or a senior. This age difference concept is very hard for many people, because most offices encourage managers to be open so that junior staff members do not feel shy / scared about approaching them with problems. We are respectful, but all titles and honorifics are being done away with. 

    • well there are so many styles of speech in Korean. there are impolite forms, even different ways to say impolite forms, polite, really really polite forms (only used in jobs) and etc. in Korean verbs there are different endings attached to the verbs and that indicates tense, politeness, statement/question/command and etc. the root of the verb might change depending on the endings or the tenses, so yea there are a lot to memorize.
      For ex. for I love you, you can say saranghaeyo (I love you-polite), saranghamnida (more polite), saranghae (impolite), saranghanda (root form of the verb but also used in conversation), saranghetseo (I loved you-impolite), saranghetseotseumnida (I had loved you- really polite), saranghalgeoya (I will love you – future impolite) and much more….

  27. One of my best friends was born in Seoul  and moved here when she was 10-ish. She at first was very into the age differences, she would ask people how old they were everywhere….leading to some very awkward moments. SHE’S NOT NOSY..just interested in your age. >,<; However, now that she has been here for so long she curses them all out the same. haha. smh That girl. 

  28. I need to read all the Korean books I can before I even dare get on a plane there  8_8
    We also have this in our tradition, but it isn’t as strictly applied as the Korean version in terms of friendships between different ages.

  29. Last summer I met a girl who was here (Canada) from Korea on a sort of sabbatical of some sort. She said it was to learn English but there wasnt exactly a lot of English study going on. She was about 4 years younger than me and I know this was a bit uncomfortable for her because I treated her like a friend right from the start and she was very respectful of me and also very timid.

    She has since gone back to Korea (she was only allowed to stay here for a year on her work VISA). I felt we were really close during her time here. She even sent me an email after she left saying she really enjoyed our times together and she was very thankful. Now its been almost a year since shes been gone and I never get emails back from her. I think now that shes back in Korea she feels the pressures of culture again? :(

  30. what does an older guy call a younger girl? or an older girl call a younger guy? after the whole epic bonding moment, of course.

  31. Super-interesting, guys! I love the ways different groups have of making sense of each other. Organised humanity ftw. ^^

  32. That´s great. I really like (I´m addicted to) orange juice and I don´t like tomato juice at all. How lucky I am :)

  33. That´s great. I really like (I´m addicted to) orange juice and I don´t like tomato juice at all. How lucky I am :)

  34. TL;DR (< —Too Long;Didn’t Read) <– ahaha…this is hilarious! but i finished it and love the little insane talk!

  35. Well I believe it’s easier for us Spanish speakers because we have ways of talking with respect or to people your age. It is easier to relate to Korean once knowing since young that you must speak differently and polite to elders and people you don’t know. =)

    • Portugal here. Yes, different way to speak with elder people. But it feels to me like Korea has tons of that, while in Portugal we just have to change the form of address a little bit, and that more formal way of speaking works the same for parents, uncles, boss, teachers, elder woman on the street. Easy to do when you get how to do it. Like “como te chamas ” – informal “what’s your name” changes to “como se chama” – formal.

  36. So when I went to Korea for work I also had to meet my then girlfriend’s family while I was there. My, then GF, was back in the states and when I was out at the big dinner sitting across from her father he handed me a bottle of soju, I took it and poured my own glass and handed him the bottle back. Everyone at the table gasped and stared at the older patriarch to see what he was going to do. He just laughed. We are still married to this day. It turns out my wife purposely hid this tradition from me to show her family that I am from a different culture and that the Korean way is not the only way. 9 years later I pour his soju in the way he expects.

  37. oh!!! one more thing!!
    In Korea, for twin brothers or sisters, even though they were born 2 seconds difference, they would be taught to respect the 2-second-first-born-twin(dunno the scientific term for this lol) it’s this serious and important here in korea lol

  38. this just happened a week ago at an english academy that I go to… a new student came to our class…. when he introduced himself in front of the class, he said  that he lives in Canada and came here for summer vacation… just that…. and I thought he was “Canadianized” or “Americanized” so I thought he didnt care about that whole respecting the elders stuff so I said banmal to him(saying what koreans say among same aged friends) . two days later he came up to me and asked, “how old are you? you look younger than me … and I feel disrespected….” later I found that he’s eight months older than me …. I sincerely apologized and i use respectful words like HYEONG while having conversations with him now… haha

    • this is interesting.. the grey area..
      for foreigners, should we act like when we do with Koreans or is it okay to be ease up..

      one of my senior at university who grew up in France eased up to minors and let them talk to him “banmal”, and after other sonbaes found out about this they were furious and there was huuuuge drama… it was horrible

  39. This particular video should be aired on Arirang TV, MBC, KBS, and SBS!!! I’ve seen all of your videos, this is the highest quality vido so far. Not saying other videos are low quality. They’re all high quality but this particular one is the highest of all.Thanks for the nice video!!!

  40. On the other hand, as a Korean, I find it very hard figuring out when is appropriate time for asking someone’s age when they are foreigners!
    sometimes I just insensitively ask away,
    and sometimes when I’m sensitive enough, I just don’t know when to ask and I just never know and keep wondering
    Knowing age right away when you get to know somebody is so essential in Korea, so I find it very hard to how to deal with that person when I don’t know their age
    Another question is, what kind of things DO you ask when you meet someone for first time?
    when I watch foreign TV shows, they go like “what do you do?”
    and in my Korean opinion that is more rude question to throw than age but apparently its not I guess

    What I also don’t know is ??HOW RUDE IT IS?? that asking someone’s age/marital status when you barely know them and does this apply to all the other countries? is it just english speaking countries thing or is it rude to ask it in like.. Turkey or Vietnam or anywhere else too?

    I really want somebody to answer this..

    • I personally never find it offensive or awkward when people ask personal questions upon meeting me, but I wouldn’t ask some one I just met their age or marital status. Usually if they look about my age it’s enough and I don’t really need to know anything else, we just establish a relationship based on shared interests. That being said, I do have some very good friends who are much old than me-my friend Wendy for example is graduate level student in my major (I’m an undergrad) and she’s probably in her 50′s (I’ve never asked), I just know that she has grandchildren, and yet, I speak with her casually, and we’re good friends.  I’m not sure if that answers any questions, but it’s my perspective on the situation-I’m American, so, that’s the perspective I can give. But yeah, I wonder what it is like in different countries. I’m sure language affects it, because there is no honorific way of speaking in English.

      • thank you for sharing your experiences..
        when I asked foreigners their age, they didn’t really seemed to be offended but I think its highly possible that they just didn’t show it..
        I admire how you became close friend with Wendy. I often find many older people I really like as a person. but Korean culture made me be like mouse(=me) in front of cat(=elders) so I think I can never have any relationship like what you and Wendy have!

        • In spanish speakers countries it’s easy to understand korean honorifics because we have some respectful ways of speak to our elders too. We have two informal ways and two formal ways. If you don’t know the other person and is clearly older than you, you have to speak formally, the same at work even if they have the same age as you. If it’s family, it’s more complicated because depends of closeness, for example, I talk informally to my parents (I call them “tu”, “oye”, I use informal verb conjugations or by their names)
          It’s ok if you ask the age to other person you just meet, but there IS the universal western rule: you never ask the age when the other person is clearly older, specially women.
          It’s weird if anyone ask me randomly my marital status, but it’s ok if it’s an a club and I’m flirting with a guy. Otherwise that information will flow on a normal talk after some trust.
          With friends, even if they are older, you never talk to them in a formal way. It’s kinda rude and it may show you don’t want to be close to them. 
          And we don’t have honorifics like… we call everyone by their names because that’s not an impolite thing, it’s the way you talk. Just with elders we must show respect, but if you are friends with them, they will love to have a younger friend who talk to them informally.

        • In spanish speakers countries it’s easy to understand korean honorifics because we have some respectful ways of speak to our elders too. We have two informal ways and two formal ways. If you don’t know the other person and is clearly older than you, you have to speak formally, the same at work even if they have the same age as you. If it’s family, it’s more complicated because depends of closeness, for example, I talk informally to my parents (I call them “tu”, “oye”, I use informal verb conjugations or by their names)
          It’s ok if you ask the age to other person you just meet, but there IS the universal western rule: you never ask the age when the other person is clearly older, specially women.
          It’s weird if anyone ask me randomly my marital status, but it’s ok if it’s an a club and I’m flirting with a guy. Otherwise that information will flow on a normal talk after some trust.
          With friends, even if they are older, you never talk to them in a formal way. It’s kinda rude and it may show you don’t want to be close to them. 
          And we don’t have honorifics like… we call everyone by their names because that’s not an impolite thing, it’s the way you talk. Just with elders we must show respect, but if you are friends with them, they will love to have a younger friend who talk to them informally.

      • Portuguese has a simple formal way of address that works for anyone above you or just older (parents, teachers, boss) but we don’t use it all the time. Brothers and sisters don’t care who’s older, unless it’s a HUGE age gap and once the younger one hits puberty you can be sure it goes out the window. Also, I have friends older than me by 20 or 30 or more years and I don’t use formal speech because we are close.
        We don’t usually ask the age. We kinda guess it and go from there. But asking “what do you do” is perfectly acceptable.
        But at work, it’s very impolite not to use the formal way of address for someone in a higher position.
        With parents, it depends on the parents. I used it with mine, I know people who don’t use it.

    • In the U.S., I personally think that age isn’t really a sensitive question to ask, but instead of, “How old are you?” I usually ask, “When’s your birthday?” 

      As for getting to know someone we just ask questions.
      -What’s your favorite color?
      -Do play any sports?
      -Do you like to read?
      -What are your hobbies?
      -What music do you like to like to listen to?

      “What do you do?” This could refer to what type of job do have or maybe something like how they spend their free time.

      Marital status? That’s a question I don’t usually ask so I can’t help you there.

      Hope this helped! ^^~

    • I actually had to think about this response. For me it is kinda offensive when someone ask me my age ONLY if I know they are around the same age or younger than me. With that being said, I am not offended when someone who is obviously older than me ask me my age. I also find it VERY difficult to ask someone who is older their age but I can easily ask the age of someone younger  than my self. I was taught t respect my elders and I think the whole age sensitivity kinda stems from that. There really isn’t an explanation as to why this is a sensitive topic In western culture.

      • this is very interesting because in Korea, it is okay to ask older people their age..
        why care so much about respecting them and not hesitate about asking their age..
        I think something very profound is different, culturally..
        talk about cultural difference! ha :)

        • I just asked my mom how she would feel if someone obviously younger than her were to ask her age and she just shrugged and said I don’t really care about that ……. so i guess it depends who you ask.

          I love all of the customs and honorifics in Korean culture  and I understand the necessity of asking age and marital status in Korean culture in regards to formalities. I think asking some one their age is far more excusable here (I live in Canada) than if one were to speak informally to someone older in Korea.

    • I want to start off saying that I’m 18 and have lived my entire life in America.

      Whether or not someone finds the age question rude depends on the person. In America, most guys won’t care if you ask their age. Women are different. As a woman gets older, that question gets more sensitive and more likely to seem rude. She may not want to say her age or may say she’s a few years younger than she really is. That being said, it really does depend on the person.

      Also, in the west, a few years age difference isn’t as significant. A friend who is 2 or 3 years older doesn’t usually get any more respect than you would give someone who was the same age. That being said, when someone is obviously significantly older (like 5 years or above), I would show them more respect than people around my age. The only time a year or two age difference really matters is in a work environment because that year or two could relate to more experience at that job. Since small age differences isn’t as significant, it’s just really unusal to have someone out right ask about age. It isn’t necessarily rude. As to when to ask foreigners what their age is, you can ask right away, and if they seem offended or confused, just explain why you want to know. Most people will understand.

      To answer your other question, when getting to know someone in America you ask about their job, whether they married, where they grew up or come from, what their hobbies are, or what kind of music do they listen to. You ask general questions like that. The point is to try and find some common ground to talk about to build a level of trust so you can ask more personal questions. There is also “small talk,” which generally consist of things that don’t concern either of you like the weather, news, gossip.  How open a person is to answering your questions will depend completely on the person.

      I hope that helped!

    • Well, usually I’m asked how old I am by people who are older than me, meaning, like, senior citizens, and usually while at work lol. I think it might be weird to have that as the first thing I’m asked by people around my age because usually people will ask something like, where I go to school or what I’m studying. They just assume we’re close in age and then will find out exact ages and birthdays after time. A way to sneak past asking exact ages is asking what grade they’re in.
       Its also sometimes seen as rude to ask someone who is older their age. There is a saying that you never ask a woman her age haha, they don’t want to acknowledge their age. Then again, there are people who don’t care at all.And its also kind of weird to ask someone’s marital status in my opinion. That’s usually something they’d introduce about themselves or you’d just find out in time after hanging out with that person.I’m from the US, so I don’t know about other countries, or even if that is really the standard here, it is just what I’ve experienced.

    • Here in america, it is somewhat disrespectful to ask someone their name upon first meeting them. Normally, you would shake hands and tell the person your name(and how you know the person that introduced you to each other.)
      “Hi there! My name is Joe V. and I am Simon’s former teaching colleague at blah-blah-blah.”
      Asking someone what they do can happen quickly and it’s not rude at all, it helps gain more insight into their view/perspective much more than age. Asking how much money they make IS rude.

      And as far as status, american men learn early to look for rings on women’s hands so they don’t need to ask right away.

      Bonsoir!

      • hmm? I don’t find it offensive when some one ask me my name and I also wouldn’t be offended if someone asked me my marital status 
        Us women look for rings too, Mr. VanEtten, we are just sneaky about it ;) HEY WHATS THAT OVER THERE!!!! *peeks at ring finger*  lol JK

    • Knowing age isn’t as important as it is in Korea. One is still supposed o be repectful to their elders, but you can become friends with people older than you, in fact a lot of my good friends are older than me by about 2-3 years.
      When someone is asking you, “So, what do you do?”, as a foreigner they are trying to get to know more about you so that they can find a commen interest and talk about it. If, as a foreigner, I can’t find anything in common with someone, I feel it is pointless to keep talking with them because we have nothing to say to each other.
      It is also like an unspoken rule (or maybe spoken one ^^) in America that you never ask for a woman’s age. Don’t ask me why, but I think it is to not offend her if she looks older than she really is.
      I don’t feel it is appropriate for someone to ask out of the blue what my age is and if I am married. However, if a person works these questions into the conversation smoothly then a foreigner won’t think anything of it: Native:”Where are you from?” Foreigner:”____.” N:”That’s awesome. I’m from ____. I’m going to be a Senior this year at _____. Yeah, finally my 18 years of living have come to this day. So, are you in school or do you work?” F:”____.” N:”Wait so how old are you if you are doing ____?” F: “______.” N: “Oh! That’s so cool! You are my _____.” Then depending on what their answer is ask them if they have found their soulmate yet (if they are older).
      When working with American foreigners it can be a little more difficult if they don’t know the culture, because they might think you are being a creeper for asking tons of question just to get their age an marriage status. But if you go about it softly and just make the conversation like that flow naturally, then they won’t think anything of it. Wow…this turned out to be really long….dang….sorry all of you who read through this….^^

    • Knowing age isn’t as important as it is in Korea. One is still supposed o be repectful to their elders, but you can become friends with people older than you, in fact a lot of my good friends are older than me by about 2-3 years.
      When someone is asking you, “So, what do you do?”, as a foreigner they are trying to get to know more about you so that they can find a commen interest and talk about it. If, as a foreigner, I can’t find anything in common with someone, I feel it is pointless to keep talking with them because we have nothing to say to each other.
      It is also like an unspoken rule (or maybe spoken one ^^) in America that you never ask for a woman’s age. Don’t ask me why, but I think it is to not offend her if she looks older than she really is.
      I don’t feel it is appropriate for someone to ask out of the blue what my age is and if I am married. However, if a person works these questions into the conversation smoothly then a foreigner won’t think anything of it: Native:”Where are you from?” Foreigner:”____.” N:”That’s awesome. I’m from ____. I’m going to be a Senior this year at _____. Yeah, finally my 18 years of living have come to this day. So, are you in school or do you work?” F:”____.” N:”Wait so how old are you if you are doing ____?” F: “______.” N: “Oh! That’s so cool! You are my _____.” Then depending on what their answer is ask them if they have found their soulmate yet (if they are older).
      When working with American foreigners it can be a little more difficult if they don’t know the culture, because they might think you are being a creeper for asking tons of question just to get their age an marriage status. But if you go about it softly and just make the conversation like that flow naturally, then they won’t think anything of it. Wow…this turned out to be really long….dang….sorry all of you who read through this….^^

    • i live in a fairly diverse part of california so maybe my experiences differ, but here when i or my friends meet someone new, what we ask depends on the situation. if we strike up conversation with someone in a store, or in line, we don’t usually ask things like name or age, and definitely not marital status. but when i’m at a bar with friends, if we strike up conversation with someone new, we tend to immediately introduce ourselves by name and shake hands. age is kind of a grey area, too? for me, i get asked how old i am a LOT but that’s because of the context; for example, if you’d just met me and i talked about going to a bar, you would probably interrupt and say, “wait, how old are you?” because i look very young for my age — too young to be in a bar. but as a general rule, i don’t think anyone will be affronted by being asked how old they are; i’ve never had a problem when asked that and when i’ve asked strangers or acquaintances in passing, no one’s ever been offended. marital status, on the other hand, would strike me as odd. if anyone less than a casual friend asked me my marital status, i’d feel a little awkward. to be honest, the only time i get asked that by strangers is when they’re getting ready to hit on me if i say i’m single.

      tl;dr the age question shouldn’t put anyone off, even near the beginning of your conversation, but the marital status one definitely will cause some confusion and maybe a little offense.

      • I totally agree.  Age comes up because of the conversation a lot, but it is definitely weird to ask someone if he or she is married unless there’s a specific reason to be asking (like, “because I know someone who would be perfect for you”).

    • Once you get to know someone and are on friendlier terms, you will
      either figure out the person’s age through conversation or will be on
      good enough terms that you can ask. But some of my friends (not my
      closest friends), I still don’t know how old they are because it has
      never come up naturally in conversation.  I know generally, but not
      exactly.

      I don’t like it if someone I just met asks me my age, not because I’m embarrassed by it (I’m 35), but because it’s a personal question, and I’m
      uncomfortable when someone I just met asks me personal questions. If you
      asked any etiquette expert, you’d be told not to do it for just that
      reason–it can make others feel uncomfortable.

      And for that reason, it is technically not good manners to ask someone
      “what do you do” when you first meet them.  It kind of defines them by
      their job. She’s no longer “Susan who likes salsa dancing” but “Susan the banker.”  What if they hate their job and don’t want to talk about it?
      What if they are embarrassed by it? But lots of people do ask that question upon meeting someone, to the
      point that many people do not realize that others may be offended by it.
       

      So what do you say to someone you just met? Non-controversial current events, pop culture, the weather,
      mutual friends, a funny anecdote about something that
      happened to you recently, things like that. Once you get the conversation going, you
      get a feel for the other person’s interests. And sometimes the
      conversation will reveal what the other people do for a living, or their
      age, or something else to talk about.

      Many, many, many people (in the U.S. at least) don’t follow these rules because they are never taught not to.  Maybe these manners are just being phased out?  I have noticed that
      people who are younger than me tend to not care as much. So you probably
      should not worry too much about offending people.  The one rule you
      should be sure to follow is to not point out someone’s physical
      imperfections (“Oh, you look chubby in that dress! Have you gained weight?” “Did you not sleep
      well? You have bags under your eyes”).  

      Sorry this is so long, but I could talk about manners all day. :) If you
      are really interested, you could start with some columns by Judith
      Martin (also known as “Miss Manners”).  

      http://lifestyle.msn.com/Relationships/Article.aspx?cp-documentid=8318975

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/2011/03/11/ABGc4kQ_moreresults.html

    • Your story is really interesting, I never thought that “what do you do” would be sort of rude, or it would be awkward to not know the other person’s age. I guess it just shows the cultural difference :) So to answer your question, In the U.S.A. I would say to ask a teenager young adult  (around 21 or younger) their age is not rude at all. It’s quiet common actually. But to ask someone aroind 30 or older (especially a woman) is considered rude.

      Now it all gets down to your age or gender. If your obviously younger than the adult, you shouldn;t ask their age. But if you are obviously older it’s okay to. If you look around the same age, i’d say it’s okay to ask unless your 40+. In terms of gender, I think it’s okay  if your the same gender and already friends to ask the other’s age, but it’s awkward if your a single adult and the opposite gender is asking (especially if your a woman and want to seem younger to the male ;))

      How rude it is, I think it depends on the person. The not asking age rule only really applies to women. In terms of other countries, I’m not to sure because they each have they’re own cultural, though I think Europe is similar to ours.

      I hope this clears it up ^^ Though it looks like I wrote an essay and it seems a bit confusing… To give a short answer, I think it’s okay to ask the persons age if they look as old as you or younger. Just bring it up casually when meeting a new person in a conversation. You should be fine :)

    • I know this was from a while ago, and you may not see this, but here is my take on why asking age is a touchy subject.  Youth is WORSHIPPED in the States.  So a younger person asking someone who looks like they might possibly be out of their 20′s how old they are is like pouring salt in an open wound.  It’s like saying, “Hey, look at how much older you are old person.  OLD!” It’s like calling a woman Ahjumma when she’s not.  Americans don’t want to be reminded that they’re older.  Years and years of conditioning by advertisers has taught me that the most desirable demographic is 18-35.  Unless you’re the fashion industry, then the ideal ages are 18-25.  This really kicked into high gear in the 1960′s when the youth culture took over America (and American advertising) 
      The result is that asking someone their age when they are obviously older, seems unnecessary, like rubbing youth in their face.  When it’s hard to tell, then that means they’re in the same generation as you, so it still seems like an unnecessary question, because if they fall within my generation then they are treated as peers.  People in their early to mid 20′s usually don’t mind being asked how old they are at all (they’re in that most desired demographic, why should they care?)  It’s when people get into their 30′s and often, late 20′s that they get uncomfortable.  It’s a lot more acceptable to ask someone younger than you how old they are.  If they’re younger than you it’s a compliment by default (You’re younger than me!  Congratulations on your youth!)  I have several co-workers that I’ve worked with for 7 years, and I still don’t know how old they are.  Somewhere in the 50′s is the best I can do.  I should add, this is a much bigger deal for women than men.  I was never uncomfortable answering the age question until I reached my 30′s.  Now I don’t mind answering that question in a one on one conversation, but if someone asked me my age at, let’s say a dinner party where 8 other people are listening in, I’d find that VERY uncomfortable. 
      My standards for first time conversation are “Tell me about yourself” or if we have a mutual friend, “How do you know Spudgy (or whatever the friend’s name is)?” or something to do with our location and what prompted them to be there.  For example, if we’re both at a club listening to a band, asking them when they became interested in the band.  If we’re both at a fundraising event, asking how they got involved with that particular event.  Basically I’m looking for their story, and looking for similarities with my own.  

  41. Hey Simon and Martina i wanted to ask you guys since drinking is a big part of the Korean Culture…what other things can you do to become close to a korean person without having to drink because i don’t drink whats so ever because i don’t believe it a necessity to drink and because i don’t want anything to do with it but since Korea has such a drinking friendly culture i feel like i would really be more of an outsider over there because i won’t drink….any ideas?

    • I think for your working related occasions its better to attend and at least drink 1 glass.
      For your personal socializing, I don’t think you should be worried too much since you hate drinking so much and most friends would understand you. especially because you’re a woman, cause in men’s case it would be hard to don’t drink at all even if you’re with casual friends.

      • I’ve wondered this too….I don’t drink because of religious beliefs….is that widely tolerated as an excuse ??? Because, I really, REALLY DON’T DRINK :)

        • for religious beliefs.. it is absolutely excused.
          veeeeeeery rarely it might not work with few elders who has no idea about foreign culture at all
          but I don’t think you should worry about it

        • thanks!!! I really want to teach English is Korea for a year or two after I graduate, and I’ve always kind of worried about this because I know that Korean drinking culture is a big deal, but not something that I would participate in. So, good to know that that’s accepted :)

  42. “is probably why things aren’t vandalized and destroyed randomly in Korea” Why did this seem like it was aimed at the UK? Haha… XD If we British people were more like Korea, none of this would have happened at all (and there might actually be shops where I live…). D:

    • OMO! We actually weren’t thinking about the UK when we wrote that! When we walk around at nighttime in Korea, we often think about how the bus shelters, outdoor exercise parks, and patio furniture are left out (unchained) and nothing is stolen or spray painted or randomly destroyed as we sometimes saw in Toronto. :/

      • yeah i totally thought of ontario, too. in st. catharines it’s very common to see the bus shelters spraypainted, burned and the glass shattered (by ballbearings + slingshots). there’s a lot of tagging there now, it’s disgusting. :(

    • I totally thought of the UK too :) I lived in London for a little while, so I was super disappointed to hear about all the rioting and looting there :( I luv London :)

  43. which areas of toronto are you from? im from scarborough. I just feel like simon is from scarborough

  44. oh my gosh! So much to remember! However this explains why my younger korean friend calls me eunnie, i had always wondered about that. So thanks for the explanation!

  45. so i get the whole oppa/unni thing but if a guy is, say, two weeks older than me, does that count as an “age difference” and therefore require me to say oppa?? i didn’t think it would, but then i feel awkward cuz i have nothing to call him except his name, which is weird for me cuz basically all my other korean guy friends are oppas and im like “hey oppa, hi oppa, whats up oppa, hey there op…ohhh…umm.. hey…friend.” …..LOL …?!

    • we don’t call them oppa for being 2 weeks older
      oh wait
      Korean people count our age by the year they are born
      so even if the guys is only 2 weeks older, if the year of born differs from you, then you should call him oppa

      like, if he was born in Dec 31 1984 and you were born in Jan 1 1985 this count as age difference and you need to call him oppa

      if he was born in Jan 1 1985 and you were born in Dec 31, 1985 you don’t call him oppa

      if you were born in Dec 31 2000, the next day you are 2 years old (-you’re already 1 year old when you were born)
      (this is my sister’s actual case)
      so for living 1 day you become 2 year old in some situations.

  46. My head hurts. 

    My grandpa’s honorific rule was very simple. You can call me anything you want but don’t you dare call me late for supper.

  47. Oh I love this video! Helped soo much with all the different names everyone calls each other based on age and status etc! I can finally watch my kdramas with more sense! :D

  48. Respecting elders? O__o Well my sister is going to be in for a cultural shock when she debuts because she’s like the least respectful person ever. Even to me but I guess it doesn’t matter since we’re less than a year apart. . . Everyone resumes Americans have no respect for their elders but it’s just because we didn’t grow up with that discipline. American born kpop idols like Jay Park and Krystal are always being criticized ’cause they’re not “respectful” but Koreans have to see it from the Asian American side as well. 

    • Do people really assume that Americans don’t respect their elders? Ha, I know growing up (I was raised in the Deep South) if we didn’t respect our elders, we got in SERIOUS trouble. I was always taught to say yes sir and yes ma’am even to those only slightly older than me. I couldn’t address older people (besides sister and brother) just by their name, it was either “Aunt/Uncle etc + name” or “Mr/Mrs/Ms. + first name”. Similar to in South Korea, no matter if they yelled, got on my nerves, etc. I couldn’t talk back, rather just did what I was told, period. I do know that some of the younger generation tend to show more disrespect toward their elders, but I do know that are many other people in the US who grew up similar to the way I grew up.

      • Koreans don’t assume Americans to totally not have respect for elders.
        We just think that its not as much as Koreans do.

        And I think you need to have had your high school years in Korea to fully understand what I mean.
        1 year older sonbae means two mean sisters from Cinderella and being hubae means being Cinderella.
        And this is totally different thing from school bully or peer pressure.

      • Having lived all over the US I’ve noticed that there is a distinct increase in politeness to “elders” in the South. I never really heard people always using “sir” or “ma’am” until I lived in TN/KY. Not that people elsewhere are that much more disrespectful, I’ve just noticed an increase in that word usage in the Southern United States. 

  49. What I don’t get is [okay this is a K-drama so bear with me here] why does Joon Hee on Heartstrings/You’ve Fallen for Me call virtually all the girls “unnie”? I thought only younger women could could call women older than them “unnie”.

    • That’s because Joon Hee is special. He calls everyone who feeds him unnie. U are correct only girls call each other unnie.

      • correct me if I am wrong as I am no expert in Korean language or history, but in the Joseon Period didn’t men refer to hyungs as unnie?  I was watching slave hunter (chuno) and there was a translation note about it. i could be completely bat shit crazy though! Joon hee is the cutest thing evar!!! I just want to squeeze him!!!

  50. I swear if I ever go to Korea I’m going to forget “oppa” is for close people and say it to some random stranger (in a horrible accent) and their going to be like: *WTF? Slowly calls police….* 

  51. Does it matter if your friend is only a month older? Would you still have to refer to them as “Seonbae”? Or would you address them as if you were the same age?

    • I think that depends on the person. Some Koreans are stricter than others.

    • Seonbae doesn’t have to mean the age difference. Actually, it more means the grade differences. If you are in a higher grade than I, I should call you “Seonbae” no matter what your age is. (Yes, even when you’re younger than me)
      If you asked about Oppa or Eunni, Here’s another version of answer. You need to understand Asian aging system(at least Korea, China and Japan-as far as I know)  is different from the Western’s. I’m in the same age with everybody who is born in the same year. Ex. Born in April. 1984 >> call somebody born in December 1983 : Oppa, Eunni / >> call sombody born in December 1984: just name each other.

      …I just want to add one more thing. We add one year when you are born. So my age in Korea is 2 years older than my American age until my birthday.

  52. haha i like how at the :40 mark instead of saying “Hello, my name is ‘blah blah blah’,” Martina said “Hello, my name is ‘moh moh moh’,” which I think you guys said in one of your videos before is the Korean equivalent to blah blah blah. It was cute ^.^ lol xD

  53. Very nice video~ For some reason this concept was never really hard for me to grasp, and after watching this I understand everything even more! Thank you!!

  54. One thing several of us women did by accident on a trip to S. Korea involved shaking hands. We were there for the World Taekwondo Expo & our Master introduced us to several Grandmasters & people of high rank in the tkd world. At one point, we were introduced to a few older gentlemen. Being Americans, some of us women, held out our hands to shake & they seemed uncomfortable.
    I found out later that some of the older generation of men are not used to, nor comfortable with shaking hands with women, as that is a more recent event as women get more involved in the business world. Luckily we were welll trained in respectful speech and bowing etiquette so I’m sure that helped to make up for our oopsie.

  55. I have a few native S. Korean friends through taekwondo. So, we are dealing with age differences plus rank differences etc. It can get a bit confusing.
    One of these friends (he was 37, me 46) introduced me to his then girlfriend as ahumma. The hostess of the party(also Korean) & I both choked on our soju. It made me feel way too old so he laughingly started calling me noona & now addresses me that way several times in every conversation! Lol.

  56. Do months count? Like I hear Donghae calling Eunhyuk “hyung” but I’m sure they’re born only months apart.

    • Months do count as well especially if the month gap causes a difference in Korean age (you know, the +1 year and the Lunar New Year deal).  Or at least that is what I have been told.  I have even had a friend of mine only one month my junior call me “noona.”  I think that depends on the person a lot though.  If they feel they have to show you that respect or if the person treats that person like an senior would (like in Eunhyuk and Donghae’s case) even among friends it is nice to show that level of respect and let them know “I appreciate you taking care of me.”  Like I refer to a friend only 2 months older to me as my “unni” sometimes because she cares and looks out for me.  Hope this helped.  I’m not Simon or Martina but I thought I could answer well enough. ^^

    • months don’t count as long as you are born on the same year as them. Everyone in Korea born on the same year have the same age and that’s how the system works. BUT if they are born on Jan/Feb then they can consider themselves older than you.

  57. Wait….what about dongsaeng?

    • Dongsaeng is basically another way to say hubae.  It means your junior but sunbae/hubae relationships are often more recognized in school or work settings for people that may not necessarily be close to you. (like in the video before you guys go drinking, haha)  Someone just younger than you that is a friend or a family member that may or may not go to school or work with you is your dongsaeng.  Does it make sense? It’s the the oppa/unni/nuna/hyung version for a younger person. (After bonding, haha.)  It’s basically a way to show respect and keep those age labels even after you know somebody.  Correct me anybody if I’m wrong but this is how I learnt it.  ^^ Hope I helped.
      Oh also: it is not gender specific like hubae and sunbae.

    • dongsaeng is used to describe how you are related it is not a form of addressing somebody.

  58. *sigh* so this might explain why it’s been difficult to get to know my 4
    co-teachers even having been here 6 months.  I’m 30 in Korean age, so
    several years older than 2 rookie co-teachers, but the other two are
    older than me and married, so… again, social and age gap.  Heh,
    actually that’s oddly encouraging.  Maybe it’s not just something about
    me after all.  At least I finally found another teacher at the school
    who doesn’t seem to care about the age differences and just enjoys
    speaking English. :)

  59. the oppa/hyoung/unni/noona etc. thingie is not that scary i think, little practise, more k drama, and u’ll get the point XD more frightening is all respectful good morning/good bye/i’m sorry system O.O i’ve heard they have A LOT of phrases for it.

  60. *sigh* so this might explain why it’s been difficult to get to know my 4 co-teachers even having been here 6 months.  I’m 30 in Korean age, so several years older than 2 rookie co-teachers, but the other two are older than me and married, so… again, social and age gap.  Heh, actually that’s oddly encouraging.  Maybe it’s not just something about me after all.  At least I finally found another teacher at the school who doesn’t seem to care about the age differences and just enjoys speaking English. :) Thanks for the video–always something to learn or enjoy!

  61. When I was staying with my Korean friend (who is 5 years older than I) she was one of the cool ones who was like “we are on the same level, don’t even worry about it!”….but one day when we were driving in a taxi the driver asks my age and then proceeded to give me a lecture for the ENTIRE TRIP on how I should be using more formal language with her…..and how to properly talk to grandparents….and I think he continued about if I met a King (and had to speak Korean?!).

  62. What I wonder is, what if you’re born in the same year? Or what if they’re only like a month or two older than you?

  63. I really don’t know, but when watching korean dramas for the first time, all these things just made sense to me XD Well, maybe not the “turning away to drink” thing, but you get what I’m saying. And it’s not that the place where I live has a similar policy regarding respect and the elders – I think it’s just that my family is a bit like that, and I would never not show respect to someone “superior” than me, be it in age or rank. Of course, there’re always limits, like when they’re being dicks… but koreans still struggle with that :/

  64. Regarding Ahjumma – from watching my kdramas (cuz you know they’re so much like real life! j/k) it seems like you really have to watch out who you call Ahjumma because you could offend, i.e. it’s like saying that the woman is old – not just older.  Is that accurate at all?

    • I think that is accurate on a level.  Ahjumma does essentially mean “married woman” or “woman of age” (and by of age they mean married, kids kind of age.  It’s often thought as “aunt” in the western word.  Much older woman.) and some might get offended thinking that they look old or they may be bitter if they are single, etc. (though some people may not outright tell you I am only ___ years old and single)  Some women like really obviously older women don’t mind it and it is after all an honorific term for someone you don’t know so it’s not rude essentially…but it’s still good to be careful because some people can be sensitive.  Though I’ve never been faced with this situation as I’ve never been to Korea but I can hope that they would respect the fact you know the term and are trying to be formal and polite.  Just don’t do it in an offensive way, haha.  No “Ya!  Ahjumma! That’s my seat!”
      Many versatile and confusing words when it comes to Korean honorifics, wow.  Hope I helped though.  Correct me anybody if I’m wrong ^^;

      • just one big rule is: never refer any woman to ajumma unless they do look really old, they work in restaurants or shops (then ajumma becomes their title-work status), or they have kids that are at least past the toddler stage. Korean women have a hard time getting adjusted to being called ajumma, especially young married couples and etc. Rather than calling status if you’re unsure, just say “jeogiyo” which is equivalent for “excuse me/um..” There is also a way to call them more politely “ajumeoni.” I use this for my mother’s friends and etc

  65. i think my problem would be judging how old they are some koreans look young

    • To westerners yes.
      All the more reason you have ask how old they are?

      • Absolutely true.
        When I saw Lee Hyori´s photo in today´s Soompi article I couldn´t believe that she was born in 1979. She looks so young. And also when I saw Park Ming Young´s photo in today´s AllKPop article I couldn´t believe that she was born in1986. I had thought she is younger.

  66. Hey, I actually read an article about that Korean Air incident that you were talking about! Apparently, they asked the pilot and co-pilots to speak only English to each other, instead of Korean, and their safety record improved immediately. I guess it just goes to show how deeply ingrained the Korean culture is in the language itself. 

  67. I love this video so much especially the Dr. whathehexherfrigginame’s part ..haha! BTW i learnt something about the honorific name system in Korea. hehe! Thank you so much!

  68. Okay this might be a dumb question, but if you’re turning away from your elder while drinking, to show respect, is this just a rule for liquor or does it apply to, like…..orange juice or something, lol.  The reason I am asking is that I’m teaching in a private Christian school and we are not allowed to drink alcohol.  So do the rules of holding a glass and pouring stuff apply to things not related to alcohol?

  69. nice video ~ sooooooo want to go to Korean *.*

  70. This was a great video…do more like this one!! :) I like the non-rambley mini-history lesson! Thanks guys.

  71. Wow, the Korean honorific system seems even more complicated than the Japanese one. I like watching your videos beacause I can laugh *and* learn at the same time! Way neat!

  72. These are the tipical things someone must know before go to most of asian countries! Thank you so much for teach us this (I already knew a few things, as for example the way you must drink in front of your elders). 
    It’s weird for someone from Europe (for example), of course, and I can’t imagine myself telling my friends: “hey you! from now on, the youngers than me must treat me with respect!!” LOL they’d probably punch me xD
    However… Thanks for this post!! 

  73. My week is not complete without Cartoon Spudgy humping something :P

  74. OMG thank you so much for this! xDDD i’m preparing with this when my time to go to Korea comes haha ♥

  75. Actually everything what you mentioned was quite clear to me already.
    I somehow deduced it from watching K-Dramas :)
    When you have three people around you when drinking you should put your hand in front of your eyes and drink :)

    and what a shock…SIMON like girls with MOUSTACHE :)

  76. Covers a little bit of drinking etiquette. Nice video!

  77. I have Korean and Japanese friends through online language exchange programmes and they always asked my age first when I started talking to them (then there’s the awkward moment when I’m older, but haven’t really studied informal speech that much, but they tell me to speak to them informally.. D:). Also no one ever called me seonbae, only eonni and nuna. There is something really cute about a guy calling you nuna.. OTL Is this what ‘oppa’ feels like to guys? xD

  78. Thank you guys! Your video’s will be so helpful when I go to Korea to study :3. ( Korean & Mandarin-Chinese )I watch all your video’s, they’re informative and fun to watch! ^^

  79. I loved the illustrations for this video~  May I ask what camera/video recorder you use? 

  80.  This is so helpful, thank you so much!  I have a friend from Japan who is 34, and a few friends from Korea who are around 25.  It’s great to hear this stuff coming from “outsiders” like you guys.  Thanks!! :)

  81. I also think, that korean people show there respect (and a closer relationship) when they start to call you 언니 or so, if you are a foreigner. Coz normaly korean people try to be more westen.

  82. LOL. i love you both. <3 The music in the Dr Whathehexherfrigginame video sounds like Pokemon music hahahaha! XD

  83. “Principal in front of you, vice principal to the left, and head teacher to the right” OH NOOOOO

  84. I really love your videos ^^ they always make me laugh :)

  85. That explains a lot! I am 28 and I went into the chatroom of Seoul FM and people started calling me either a noona and once I told them I was married the young whipper snappers started calling me an Ahjumma . Ha ha those kids kill me! :D

  86. I LOVE the video!!! Loved the BOF reference, so funny! ^^

  87. I’m Robin noona to a Korean friend 14 years my junior (we met thru a tutoring program) in a very genuine way (he had his kids do the bow to the elders for Lunar New Year ), so it is possible. Interestingly enough, not so much with his wife, but that was due more to a language gap.

Related Latest Trending