Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Guideline: What should I bring to my Korean friends???

It's September already ! Owh I am nervous, excited everything in between!! My trip will be soon! Can't wait! Weeee ^^~~ My trip planning were almost 80% done, it just some small stuff I haven't figure out yet. While gathered all information, somehow I find out that I miss out on something!! Oh My!! >_<

As I plan to meet my Korean friends, it would be nice for me to bring them something. However I don't know what exactly stuff that I should bring to them! As that concerned me so much, I did search about this topic on the internet and ask some of my Korean friend randomly. ^^

Since I do some research on this gift giving topic, I'm surprising to found out a very different culture they have compare to any other countries I guess! :D This is because I ask to some of my other foreigner friends about gift giving etiquette and most of them gave quite similar answer compared to Korean!

What is the differences?? For birthday, wedding or funeral, the gift is quite similar to any other countries. However for moving to a new place (house) the gift were different! In my country if my friend moving to a new house and making house warming party, normally we will bring food such as cake, fruit or traditional cuisine. 

What about Korean then?? Guess what would they bring if a friend move in to a new place. I ask around and they told me its basic necessities such as toilet roll, waste paper, candle or detergent! This is my first time hearing it! My mind was like @_@! Why??? I kept find the reasons behind this practice! The answer I get is it means that "all be good" (잘풀 린다) or hoping them to be happy and clean family.

Then I ask them if a foreigner friend coming for the first time, what should they bring? They told me nothing. However simple gift like chocolate,imported coffee, flowers or fruits are acceptable. For being extra ordinary, why not bring something that represent your own country, specialty about your country or any stuff that expensive or hard to get in Korea. Hearing that give me so many ideas!! Hahaha!! My Korean friends must be curious about it :P, It's secret though! LOL :P

Next gift giving etiquette is the way you present your gift. Some Korean may think that the item or gift is not really important but wrapper is a Must!! Gift must be wrapped nicely before giving to them. There are some proper colors wrapper for them as it have meaning between it. Yellow or red wrapper significant as royal colors. You may also wrap your gift in pink or yellow as it denotes happiness.

As blue is considered as lucky color in South Korea, blue gift or blue wrappers would be good too! ^^ People who give the gift should be handed over the gift using both hands as well the recipient. Apart from that normally once the gift were hand out, do not expect them to open it right away. For them its kind of impolitely to open the gift in the presence of the giver.  

Last but not least are never write your gift card in red ink as it significantly to cut ties of relationship. Beside that avoid using green, white or black wrapper when you wrap your gift. Scissors and knife should not be given to them as a gift as it shows termination of relationship. Gift also should not be given in set of four or multiple four. For them number 4 is considered as unlucky number as it denotes death.

p/s: Before choosing gift to any Korean, you must consider recipient economic, rank, status or class, do not give expensive gift to any one because if she or he cannot reciprocate, it will hurt their kibun (pride) and cause losing face


Photo Credit:



  1. Hi, I am planning to sent a gift for my korean friend. she already sending a gift for me. Any ideas what shall I gave to her??? . Thanks in advance.

  2. Hi, I am planning to sent a gift for my korean friend. she already sending a gift for me. Any ideas what shall I gave to her??? . Thanks in advance.