In1948, the South Korean split from the larger ancient Korean culture that had been maintained for over a thousand years and influenced by the ancient Chinese culture. South Korea’s economy and the country’s citizens’ lifestyles changed when the country experienced urbanization, industrialization, and westernization. the change in lifestyles led to the large rural extended households to be separated since many South Koreans decided to migrate to the urban areas many people decided to move to the urban areas. In today’s society, the South Korean culture has widely spread across the world. Moreover, the culture is one of the most prominent ones globally due to its unique aspects such as promoting collectivism unlike the western cultures that promote independence and individuality. Opposed to the South Korean culture, the culture of Georgia emerged as a result of the influence of Ottoman, Arabian, Persian, European and other Far Eastern cultures. It believed to be one of the most hospitable cultures across the world. This paper explores South Korean and Georgina culture, including their cultural elements, the role they play in education, how they approach disability, the belief of the cultures on the origin of disability, the cultural significance associated with early intervention services, and their impact on the today’s society.
The South Korean culture is the shared cultural and historical heritage of Korea and southern Manchuria and is full of unique and interesting traditions. The culture is believed to one of the oldest continuous cultures across the world. Additionally, to ensure survival of the culture, South Koreans decided to pass over the cultural beliefs and attitudes, and customs to other generations through traditional narratives. Despite the South and North Korean cultures sharing similar history, they differ in various cultural aspects. Some of the culture’s unique aspects include traditions, beliefs and attitudes, religion, sense of self and space, and social relationships. South Koreans value their status, and the way people behave is used to judge their status. For instance, it is considered childish for people to use first names to refer to themselves. Additionally, it is unacceptable for any individual to refer their superiors using their first name instead of their positions’ titles. South Koreans also seem busy and self-centered, and they tend to be unwelcoming to strangers. However, they tend to apologize whenever they engage in conflicts with strangers. On the other hand, the culture of Georgia is an exotic and ancient culture stretching back to millennia. This culture is one of the unique and hospitable ones across the world. The culture is unique because of its traditions and beliefs and attitudes. Georgians believe that to cure various diseases, an individual should drink mineral water. The country is rich in natural springs and it is customary to drink a bottle of Borjomi, a local mineral water to cure nausea and food poisoning. Besides, the Georgian culture requires that every dinner should have a leader or Tamada. The leader’s main job is to keep a pleasant conversation with the audience present at the table. This should include entertaining them and delivering good toasts on different topics.
In South Korea, individuals have the freedom of worship and common religions such as Buddhism, Christianity, Islam. However, historically, most people across the country believed in Buddhism, which supports the culture’s doctrinal and meditative traditions that state that humans’ desires are the major cause of suffering amongst humankind. Therefore, religion encourages South Koreans to detach themselves from human desires. While Buddhism has one of the most influential religions in the history of South Korean culture, it is dying because Christianity is growing in popularity. Christians are estimated at 29% and Buddhists at 22% Min & Kim, 2005). As such, the religious beliefs of the nation are changing. Christianity is also the main religion in Georgia (Nodia, 2005). However, the country’s constitution, laws and policies provides the citizens with freedom to join various religious denominations.
South Korean culture also considers personal space important. According to the culture, people are required to give each other sufficient space whenever they are having conversations (Robertson, 2012). Space is expected to be especially large whenever South Koreans are engaged in a conversation with strangers. Additionally, the culture has some rules related to greetings. For example, hugging is not regarded as a form of greeting amongst friends; it is only encouraged between families or couples. The country’s citizens also bow to each other first then shake hands to greet each other. Opposed to the South Korean culture, there is a little sense of personal space in the Georgian culture. The culture allows people to have close conversations to one another and it regards hugging as a form of greeting.
South Korean country urges everyone to preserve the image of its culture in various work habits and practices. For instance, business persons are required to always bow down to each other before shaking hands. Moreover, when exchanging business cards, individuals should use both hands as a show of respect to each other (Kim & Ryoo, 2007). As aforementioned, the culture requires individuals to introduce themselves using their position titles rather than their first names. On the other hand, Georgian culture requires individuals with higher job status to initiate handshake during any business meetings. Besides, the culture recognizes that maintaining an eye contact with the other during the greeting is as how of respect. The culture also recognizes that it is polite to wait for a woman to extend her hand during the greeting.
The traditional South Korean family hierarchies emphasize patriarchal authority in the household. The man is responsible for protecting his family and provide for them and is the head of the house. The women are expected to serve their husbands and charged with the role of cooking and cleaning houses among other household chores. Women were also responsible for raising children and were required to teach the children the cultural beliefs, attitudes, and morals as well as support them through challenging stages in life, such as adolescence. The culture of Georgia also focuses on patriarchal authority within every family unit. The culture recognizes the man as the head of the house and is responsible to protect and provide the family. Besides, the culture recognizes women as the primary caregivers in every household. However, the culture allows for both men and women to share various roles when there is a need.
Many households in South Korea prioritize educating boys rather than both genders because they believe that boys will help them in the future, unlike girls who will be married and build their lives with other families (Cheah & Park, 2006). The South Korean culture is of importance in education as it gives teachers the same authority as parents to instill morals into children and support their academic development. As such, South Korean parents view teachers as individuals who can help their children to reach their full potential. The culture of Georgia also gives the teachers same authority as parents to instill morals and support the children’s academic development. Teachers are viewed in Georgia as individuals who can help the younger generations to be the future leaders across the country and the world.
The South Korean culture has various beliefs towards the causation and treatment of disability. Many believe supernatural agents, such as punishment from God and curse from the parents or ancestors, are some of the major causes of disability in South Korea. Others think that disability may be a result of violating certain taboos by a woman during pregnancy, thereby making the unborn pay off the mother’s sins. Besides, some believe that disability amongst individuals may be caused by inheritance of genetic defects or diseases from their parents. The culture encourages the use of herbal medicines to treat disability. South Koreans also believe that offering special prayers and conducting spiritual rituals may help to treat individuals living with a disability. Opposed to the South Korean culture, the culture of Georgia recognizes that disability is caused by illnesses such as cancer and an individual’s lifestyle choices and behaviors, among others. Many people across the country believe that it is difficult to treat disability. The culture approaches this issue by urging everyone to treat individuals who have disability with respect and kindness.
South Korean education system established free education for all and required children between 6-15 years to attend school. The country’s education curriculum includes a two-terms learning period: students are required to attend school between March and July for semester one and between September and February for semester two. The curriculum strives to assist children in acquiring the best skills that will make them into creative citizens and global leaders. For example, between grades 1-6, educational centers are required to equip children with basic skills such as problem-solving and productive life habits. To provide the best quality of education and care to the young children in the lower grades, the country established the Infant Care Act in 2009. Georgia on the other hand adopted the Law of General Education in 2005 that makes education form grades 1-6 compulsory for the Georgians and other citizens with a native language. The law strives to provide the best quality education to everyone across the country.
I choose to research on these cultures because of their unique aspects, such as the respect people have for the elders and people with higher titles (South Korean) and the need to have leader during dinner (Georgian). The South Korean culture values the Confucian ideals, thereby it requires all individuals to show the elderly respect and those with higher position titles than them respect and humility on a daily basis. Besides, the culture requires South Koreans to show respect and humility to the mentioned people by bowing their heads down when greeting them. Besides, the Georgian culture requires that every dinner should have a leader who is also known as Tamada. The leader’s main role is to entertain the audience set at a table and deliver toast goods to them during dinner.
The South Korean and Georgian cultures governs communication styles, parenting styles, beliefs and attitudes, and traditions among other cultural aspects. The new understanding and insight into these cultures will influence how I will be working with the families from South Korea and Georgia in many ways. For example, I will have to embrace some of their mannerisms. For example, I would adopt their communication styles, such as displaying respect to others through bowing down, and maintaining an eye contact during greetings. However, I do not believe that maintaining an eye contact and bowing down are ways to show respect to one another. Now that I realize that different things mean different things to people of distinct cultures, I strive not to impose my beliefs and biases on those with which I work. I would examine the reasoning behind actions, decisions, and behavior before responding to them to increase the chances of effective communication. I realize that doing the mentioned may be hard for me because of their peculiarity, but I thinking reminding myself that strange and normal are relative when it comes to culture will help me to ignore my points of view.
Cheah, C. S., & Park, S. Y. (2006). South Korean mothers’ beliefs regarding aggression and social withdrawal in preschoolers. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 21(1), 61-75. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0885200606000056
Kim, E. M., & Ryoo, J. (2007). South Korean culture goes global: K-Pop and the Korean wave. Korean social science journal, 34(1), 117-152. Retrieved from http://www.kossrec.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/kssj%EC%B5%9C%EC%A2%85PDF%EC%88%98%EC%A0%955.pdf
Min, P. G., & Kim, D. Y. (2005). Intergenerational transmission of religion and culture: Korean Protestants in the US. Sociology of Religion, 66(3), 263-282. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/socrel/article/66/3/263/1665616
Nodia, G. (2005). Georgia: dimensions of insecurity. na. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/672b/52e5f77044ccdfb4f7297891d986bb9fb5a8.pdf
Robertson, J. (2012). South Korean FTA negotiations: patterns of negotiation outside a South Korean cultural context?. Asian Survey, 52(3), 465-483. Retrieved from https://as.ucpress.edu/content/52/3/465.abstract