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Korea - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Culture & Customs Paperback – Sep 5 2006

3 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Kuperard; Reprinted edition edition (Sept. 5 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857333659
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857333657
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 1.3 x 17 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #665,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Culture Smart! has come to the rescue of hapless travellers, Sunday Times Travel - ...the perfect introduction to the weird, wonderful and downright odd quirks and customs of various countries, Global Travel - ...full of fascinating, as well as common sense, tips to help you avoid embarrassing faux pas, Observer - ...as useful as they are entertaining, Easy Jet Magazine - ...offer glimpses into the psyche of a faraway world, New York Times.

About the Author

JAMES HOARE spent over thirty years in the British Diplomatic Service, with postings to Seoul and Beijing. His last job was Chargé D’Affaires in Pyongyang, North Korea, where he established the first-ever British Embassy. He has written numerous books and articles about East Asia, including Embassies in the East: The Story of the British and Their Embassies in China, Japan and Korea from 1859 to the Present (1999), and, with his wife, Susan Pares, Conflict in Korea: An Encyclopedia (1999).

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
The Korean peninsula has been occupied by two independent states since 1948: the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK, known as North Korea) in the northern part, and the Republic of Korea (ROK, known as South Korea) in the south. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book turned out to be more complicated that I expected. I was looking for a little book with short, simple explanations about the culture of the Korean people and how it affects their approach to living in a new country (Canada). There is more information than I need in this book and it isn't exactly what I excpected.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9bf0ce70) out of 5 stars 19 reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bee68d0) out of 5 stars Small Book, Packs a Punch! Dec 7 2007
By M. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For being so small, this little book is the best book on Korean culture I have read in a long time. It contains so much, so quickly that I read it twice in just one week. It provides an insight not just as a traveler, but as someone who interacts with Koreans. It provides bits of knowledge, trivia, and tips that is well worth the modest cover price. There are several "crash course" books like this, and take it from someone who owns them all practically, this one is the by far the best.

Seeing as how it is designed as an overview, you get more than your money's worth (less than ten bucks including shipping on [...]). Want to give a friend something to read on the airplane ride over before they meet you in Korea? This book fits the bill quite nicely.

I'm honestly surprised that this book gets over-shadowed by the "Lonely Planet" series. Ignore the hype and pick up this book.
33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bee6cfc) out of 5 stars Outdated and Useless Oct. 20 2010
By Brooke - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't believe all the good reviews on this book. I recently moved to Korea from the US. I read this entire book and it really was a waste of my time.

South Koreans have progressed quite a bit since this book was first printed and I don't think the reprint really did too much editing. There are a lot of things that are inaccurate or over exaggerated. For instance flip flops, Koreans wear these very often and don't make comments to others who wear them. Drinking in groups of both men and women, again this happens quite often and doesn't seem to be a strange occurrence. The author also laments the fact that most of the deciduous forest have been wiped out. I'm not sure what country he visited, but all the hills around as far as the eye can see are covered in trees. Not reforested but native to the country. I'm not sure if he never left Seoul, but it might behove them to remove this particular comments as it doesn't apply.

Also bothersome was the Author's story about interfering in a domestic dispute. He contends that he should have just minded his own business and not tried to interfere. After all that is the country's culture and really who was he to intervene. So typical of an academic, care more about the keeping things pristine and allowing "nature" to flow than consider assisting another human being. His theory is flawed though. In the story he is obviously older than the instigator, as such, according to the culture, he had every right to intervene and attempt to assist as he is an elder and it is an age defined hierarchy. Just imagine if it was your daughter who was involved in such a situation, do you think the author is providing good advice in stating that we should just leave things alone, even if we know that another human being is possibly getting hurt? After all that's just the culture. At what point does human accountability fall by the way side or are we suppose to enable abuse and ill treatment?

It would behoove the publisher and the author to take another look at the country as it is now, not how it was 10 years ago. It might even help if they actually lived in the country for a while, instead of making generalizations from a brief visit and theory.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bee6f24) out of 5 stars Korea! Culture Smart Aug. 13 2008
By Omoni - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Daughter headed to Korea for a year and I purchased this book for her. Small and concise and full of great information on customs, traditions, do's and don't's for those unfamiliar with the Korean culture. Very informative yet small enough to tote aound and read whenever there were a few minutes. This book would be most helpful to anyone traveling to Korea and wanting to be sure to behave properly and not be offensive simply by doing whatever is done in the United States.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bee6e1c) out of 5 stars Outdated and Unhelpful at present time (2010-2011) April 28 2011
By Callie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Much informations are useful perhaps at the time between the late 80's to the early 00's. Korea have progressed alot from how the book has put it. Yes, some of the information offered are still accurate but much can now be classified as for "history" purposes. If you are looking for a guide in society in present day (2010 onwards), this is not your kind of book. You'll probably be better off by just watching korean dramas at learning how the society works than relying on this book.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bee7030) out of 5 stars good and useful May 23 2009
By Blanca - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This books talks a little bit about korean history at the begining, and then it talks about traditions and things to do/not to do in Korea. I really enjoyed reading it.