My mother freaks out when I don’t have a placemat under my plate at all times. The last time I was home in Canada, it was 8:00am and I was munching on some toast sans-placemat. My mother also has a “sixth sense” for moments when table manners are neglected. She immediately came scurrying down the stairs from her bedroom and huffed, “You’re 26 years old! Haven’t you learned anything from me over all these years?” She then whipped a placemat out of the “placemat” drawer and placed it gingerly under my plate. She turned on her heel and scurried back to her bedroom. Under most circumstances I would be annoyed, but on this particular morn I was impressed. I was impressed by her “sixth sense” and more importantly, it always amazes me how much people care about these things, even at 8:00am.
With that being said, after spending three years abroad in Korea, I finally understand that table manners are important. Three years has given me a new found respect for the manners I grew up with (albeit my occasional 8:00am slipups) and also for manners in general, all over the world. Korean culture its own set of table manners, all of which I had to learn, and now all of which I have grown quite accustomed to following. I’ll even go so far as to say that I feel uncomfortable when I see them disregarded. So before you dig into your rice, consider Korean table manners.
Lindsey lived and worked in Seoul, South Korea for over 5 years. While there, she dabbled in different areas of work and explored the culture. She spent time teaching elementary students, business English to adults and high school students about college preparation. She also studied Korean, wrote blogs and tasted as many foods as she possibly could including fermented skate fish. Over the years, Lindsey developed a love for Korea and the culture. She is keen to share her knowledge of Korea with others and she will always consider Korea a second home.