Random Social Reactions to a Foreigner in Korea


Korea is a unique country to travel. There are some funny reactions you may get from the locals when you interact with them. All of these reactions come from my personal experience of my trip to Korea. 

1.    You are getting looked at

In a country where forgeiners are a small minority, you can’t help but look different from the majority. Your overall style of clothing or the way you act might matter if you are wearing something crazy, but people will take curious peeks at you no matter what you are wearing. This just can’t be helped, wheater you enjoy it or hate it. It is simply a fact that you differ from the typical crowd. 

2.    You look like an American celebrity

Koreans are more or less obsessed with looks. It means that many enjoy dressing up and putting on make-up. As they focus on their own appearance a great deal, they will do the same to you. Someone will search for an American celebrity that looks exactly like you. Well, it is just that important that there is a famous good-looking person that looks like you, right? Also, be prepeared for straightforward comments about your body or face. They can’t help saying what they think. 

3.    Old people start to talk with you in Korean 

Korean elderly are quite active and go around in subways and busses. They also like to talk to strangers. Even if they are not sure whether you understand, they will say something in Korean. When that happens and you have no idea how to react, just smile and nod. Of course there are eldery who know English and they will say random comments in that language.  

4.    Are you Russian? 

Night clubs in Korea are wild. You can party until morning or as long as there are other party animals in the club. While having your Korean nightlife experience you might have an encounter with an old man asking you (this is only if you are a female) do you happen to be Russian. Always say no to this question even if you are, because they are not asking about your nationality. They want to know if you are a sex worker. Feel free to yell that disgusting person to go to hell. 


All in all Koreans are friendly people and curious about you. Be open-minded and try not to get upset by their comments, because it’s simply a different culture and they may say things in a different manner than in the place you come from. Meeting and talking with locals is always fun and you will definitely make great memories to share when you come back from your travels in Korea.