8 Crazy Facts About South Korea (you’ve probably never heard of)
1. Korean women are pregnant 10 months NOT 9.
If you ever heard a pregnant Korean women saying she is 10 months pregnant, don’t be confused.
Here’s the explanation:
When the mother first learns she is pregnant, the baby is already 1 month old. Usually a Korean woman (or any woman for that matter) usually doesn’t learn she’s pregnant until the baby has already started growing 30 days in her womb.
Koreans count age differently than people from Canada and the US and as most countries would…
Did you also know that a newborn bay is actually already 1-year-old at birth in Korea?
Okay, you probably get the 10 months pregnancy thing but you’re probably asking yourself… how do we go from 10 months to 1 year (12 months)?
Here’s the math to prove it:
The pregnancy is considered 10 months. But the father’s sperm was actually housed in the seminal vesicles of his testicles for 2 months before it was released into the mother. Korea is a male dominated society, so the father’s expect a little credit!
The Korean baby was actually created before consummation with the mother. That’s 2 months in the man’s “nut sack” + 10 months in the womb and there you have it – a 1-year-old kid at birth.
2. If You Get Caught Cheating on Your Spouse In Korea You Used To Get Locked Up!
Up until February 2015, a husband (or wife) who was caught cheating on their spouse could go directly to jail.
I knew one Korean guy who actually spent 2 years in jail for infidelity in Korea.
Did you know that for 62 years if you cheated on your husband or wife you could end up in prison.?
But that law changed in February 2015 because it invaded a person’s personal privacy…The Korean supreme court eventually struck down that law as unconstitutional.
The “cheating website” Ashley Madison was actually banned from entering Korea in 2014 since infidelity was illegal at that time.
But in 2015, when the “cheating law” was renounced by the Korean court, the Canadian based company wanted back in!
3. Korean Men Have Crude But Clever Ways To Avoid Mandatory Military Service.
Korea is technically at war. North and South Korea have been enemies since July 27th, 1953.
This means men in South Korea ALL Men MUST attend 2 or more years of mandatory military service when they are of required age.
With the North Korean border just 45 minutes away by car, Korean men must do a hardship tour in the South Korean army to prepare themselves and their country against the possible reality of war.
But here’s the kicker:
If you’re a Korean man with a tattoo on your body, you may get an exemption for mandatory military service.
A couple of years ago, some desperate young Korean men were getting full back tattoos to avoid military service. It turns out “back tattoos” are a sign of “gang membership” in Korea. So, the Korean army won’t conscript any Korean men with these types of tattoos.
And get this…
Korean men have also been known to literally starve themselves, so they were too weak to pass the physical required to be drafted into the Korean army.
Just goes to show that Korean men will do just about anything to avoid this “unpleasant” part of their young adult lives.
4. Nearly Half The Korean Population Have The Same Last Name.
46% of Koreans have the surname “Kim”. Followed by 21% “Lee”, and 14% Park.
Now here’s a thought:
Would this mean if you’re a Korean man (or woman) for every 10 members of the opposite sex that you meet with the last name “Kim” then 4.5 of them could be a “close or distant relative”?
Must make dating and marriage a real numbers game, no?
5. Koreans spend more money per month on private tutoring their elementary, middle ,and high school children than ANY country on the planet.
Koreans are addicted to education.
In a country with few natural resources, the ticket to the best colleges, careers, and social status stem from acquiring the highest level and quality of education.
This means the best private tutors (who charge handsomely) which include Math, Science, and of course English lesons are in huge demand.
As a matter of fact….
Koreans spent 17 Billion USD in 2015 on private tutoring alone!
Second was Japan with 12 Billion (a country with more than 3x the population of Korea) and way down the list were the US with only 5 B (9x the population of Korea) and Canada with 1 Billion (a similar population to Korea).
Did you know?
In 2014 the average Korean Spend on private tutoring was 2440,000 per student per month.
Yes, PER MONTH! That’s about $215 USD per month per child.
6. Even the planes stop flying for Korean’s College Entrance Exam Day.
In the Republic of Korea there’s 1 day each year that is UNLIKE any other.
It’s called Korea’s National College Entrance Exam Day.
It’s a stressful day, not only for students taking this life changing test, but for their parents, and Korean pilots as well!
Exactly 1 hour before the big test begins, the skies in Seoul go SILENT.
Nobody wants to disturb the mental concentration of the Korean high school students taking this test called Suneung.
So, what exactly happens during Suneung?
Believe it or not…. Korean airplanes are NOT permitted to fly inside Seoul airspace until the students complete their university entrance exam.
Take a look at the 2 map below:
Planes avoid entering Seoul airspace during the College Entrance Exam.
Planes re-entering Seoul airspace after the College Entrance Exam.
And commercial airlines aren’t the only ones who take special precautions to help students succeed during this SAT style Korean college entrance exam.
The Korean stock market opens 1 hour later than usual as do Korean businesses.
Meantime, mothers of students fill up local churches and temples to pray for the children’s test success.
7. The Korean “Goose Father” Phenomenon
In Korean this is called a Gireogi-Appa. Gireogi, meaning “goose” and appa = “father”.
A goose dad is a Korean man who works in Korea while his wife and children leave home for English-speaking countries like America or Canada for the sake of their children’s education.
The expression goose father implies that a Korean father must travel far to see his family once a year, or depending on how much money.
Perhaps more lonely than a goose father in Korea is the “penguin father.”
A penguin father does not even earn enough salary to visit his family abroad like a goose father. Since penguins cannot fly these fathers are called penguins.
While the children of geese fathers get good educations and learn English quickly, it’s often the marital relationship of their Korean parents that suffer.
A father’s loneliness sometimes leads to infidelity and the existence of a local girlfriend, while the mother is away with the kids (or vice versa).
And last, but NOT least….
8. The Trump Tower in South Korea Ain’t So Tall, Y’all
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