Korea and Russia. Two countries - two cultures.

XV Международный конкурс научно-исследовательских и творческих работ учащихся
Старт в науке

Korea and Russia. Two countries - two cultures.

Чельдиева А.А. 1
1МБОУ СОШ 5 г. Алагира
Бутаева Ф.Д. 1
1МБОУ СОШ 5 г. Алагира
Автор работы награжден дипломом победителя II степени
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The actually of the research work: Nowadays many people of different nationalities, especially who don’t live in their historical motherland, forget about historical roots. Of course, all the nationalities have been keeping important historical features, and they were mixed with way of life of native population. But we should remember and respect our native traditions and customs. AndFar East regions of Russia is a place where we can strongly see crossing of two cultures: Korean and Russian.

The aim: to understand and find out the specific features of each culture and the essential things which help them be united.

Research problems:

- to find out the information on Korean and Russian cultures.

- to analyze and compare the most interesting features of Russian and Korean cultures.

- how do Russian and Korean cultures influence people’s lifestyle

- to follow the old customs and traditions nowadays

The object: Korean and Russian cultures.

The hypothesis: if we study and work on this theme, we will able to interest teenagers and come to the conclusion, that two different cultures with their inherent features, can live together, share a wealth of experience, help each other and create a new individual and independent culture, where two various standards can be continuation of each other.

The research methods: we have used two basic methods in this project: theoretical and empiric(al). By theoretical method we are familiarized with scientific literature, which is based over the hole Russian and Korean historical time.

Also we used empirical way to do our best, it is represented by real experience of past generation, which are got on foundation of life facts, analysis and interview.

Main part

So many countries so many customs

People of different nationalities live side by side and they share experiences, outlook and ideology with each other. We decided to compare Russian and Korean cultures not only their histories and traditions, but aspects of modern life.

Tradition of treatments

Since ancient times Korean people has developed an unspoken but firm rule of etiquette: everybody should avoid using personal names. This rule persists today, although not as strongly as in the past. Name without surname is used only in the case of an appeal to the child. In the case of referring to friend, when the age difference is small between speakers and in the unofficial situation Koreans use the word “Ssi” , in addition to the name which is translated as “lord”, “lady”. If informal discussions going on with someone older in age, or if the speaker wants to emphasize his special respect to the other, he uses the word sonsen-nim (venerable teacher). Sonsen literally means "one who was born earlier." Nim is polite particle. Perhaps, a combination of names and words “sonsen” (-nim): Kim sonsen (-nim), Pak-sonsen (-nim).

If the communication takes place in a formal setting, the contact by name isn’t allowed. It is replaced by job titles interlocutors. Positions in Korea are extremely detailed and it’s correct to use of their names - one of the manifestations of politeness. That’s why business cards indicating the name and title of person are so important. Most of the working and holding certain positions in business men like to refer to them by post, even at home, if the speaker has entree into the house, but does not belong to the family members (family’s members call each other by the degree of kinship).

Provide examples of posts:

Sajan-nim (the master of the company / enterprise)

Kesu-nim (Professor)

Sinbu-nim (his father - in relation to the Catholic or Orthodox priest)

Moxie-nim (an appeal to a Protestant pastor)

Kukchan-nim (Head)

Pudzhan-nim (department head)

Vondzhan-nim (the owner / director of the hospital), etc.

At the household level (between neighbors, in a campaign, on the market, etc.) Koreans often use words that indicate the degree of kinship - depending on age - even when the interlocutors are not relatives. For example, a man may call the senior man – “hyun” (elder brother), “abodzhi”, or more politely, abo-nim (father), “harabodzhi” / “harabonim” (grandfather), the older woman – “noonan” / “nunim” (older sister for a man), a “homonym” / “homonym” (mom), “halmoni” / “halmonim” (grandmother). Women use the same form, but call their older sister not “noonan” but “onni” and their elder brother isn’t not “hyun” but “oppa”. This is a confidential and informal form of a sympathetic, emphasizes the speaker's benevolence.

In Russia, when a formal application people can use a name and a patronymic (Elena), in informal situation - only a name or often diminutive form (Lena). In the formal treatment we can also used name or position or rank in combination with one of the words-of-address (господин, товарищ etc.): господин Ivanov, товарищ President, Comrade Major. In the Russian army comrade treatment remains from Soviet times.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, many Russian organizations have chosen of form the Treatment by name, as is usual in many English-speaking countries. However, according to the rules of modern business language, the correct treatment is considered formal. That means treatments by name and patronymic.

Form of address associated with the degree of friendship implies and simplified or stylized in mutation names (Mikhail - Misha Mihon; Paul - Pasha Pashok; Elena - Lena, Alena, Lesya, etc.), the formation of derivatives of the name, surname or patronymic name (P. - Pavlovich, A. - Sanych, etc.) Also, there are - usually based on friendships - humorous options, they are also produced from the formation of the name, surname or patronymic (Arthur - Arturische, Tsapkin - Tsap-Tsarapkin, Stepanovich - Stepanich - Stakanych (Mentioned in the movie "Parade of Planets"), etc.)

Holidays in Russia and Korea

Holidays in Korea and Russia are different. Certainly, there are holidays which are the same for example New Year, St Valentine’s Day and etc. But in Korea family holidays are predominate, in Russia on the contrary more religious, political holidays.

The most important and big holiday traditionally is New Year.

In Korea, it is called Solnam. It is holiday on the first day of first month on lunar calendar. By this day Korean prepare in depth: buy new clothes to children, cooking, cleaning up their home. By tradition all family celebrates Solnam at home of the eldest member of family. On first New Year’s Day accomplish ceremony of memorial ancestry. By the way this ceremony is made in the morning, before breakfast. At the end children should celebrate adults with making a kowtow, after that all members of the family sit down to table. On the festive table the main dish, except traditional rice, is tokkuk, it is a soup with round cake. It is said that every person who ate this soup became one year older. During celebrating Lunar New Year there are many plays, which are unite families bonds. That’s why Solnam is a perfect way to assemble together with family and make a present to each other. As a rule, something eatable.

And what about Russia? We celebrate this holiday at night on 31st December to 1st January. Besides we have a tradition to buy a New Year's tree. And all children write their letters to Grandfather Frost, for find present under the New Year's tree. Celebration become at 11 o’clock. All the family assemble at table, and wait for presidential speak. After last striking of a clock it should open the door or window leaf that New Year come. Then holiday continue. The main dish is salad “Olivie”


Each country has its own traditional cuisine. Food is an important part of every culture. And let’s compare Russian and Korean cuisines.

At first we should explain how Korean and Russian lay the table.

In all Russian families even in our dinning room in gymnasium meal is divided into three parts: the first (soup), the second (meat, sometimes fish with garnish or vegetables) and the third (drink). Of course there are some salads on the table that you can eat with the second. But they aren’t necessary part of the meal.

On the contrary in Korea the main food is rice (but in Russia it is kind of garnish). Korean people eat rice at the same time with special snacks named banchan. In general banchan consists of different Korean dishes. Most of them are salads. Menu of banchan depends of holidays. For example on New Year it’s necessary to have tok-kuk on the table. But when family celebrate birthday of it’s member, housewife sets soonde (blood-pudding), fried kim-chi and muk on the table.

As you know, Korean food is different from Russian, because of its bitter spices. Korea is famous all over the world for its national dish – kim-chi. To taste it is bitter and salty. Kim-chi is made of Korean cabbage named picha with spices’ addition. You can find it on every table in each family, because it is special food for Korean.

Slavic cuisine is known for its borsch. It is red-beet soup and it is usually eaten with sour cream. Besides that everybody knows pelmeni (ravioli). Pancakes are also very popular and in every country you can find many varieties of this dish. But in Russia pancakes are connected with celebrating leaving winter (Maslenitsa), that’s why they are also can be symbols of Russian food.

What cuisine do my friends prefer?

Crossing of two cultures in different ways on one place. Mixing of holidays and cuisine.

Since two different people have lived side by side for many years, exchange of trials, philosophies and traditions is inevitable. Koreans on Sakhalin began to celebrate New Year on December 31 to January 1, although Korean New Year is usually celebrated on the Lunar calendar. In South Korea, Christmas is also an important holiday and celebrated on 25 December; but in Russia Christmas is celebrated on January 7 and is considered a working day, that’s why Russian Koreans began to celebrate it on January7.

Often, in many Korean families living in the Far East our country we can see Slavic dishes on the table: pialat of rice (without butter, Koreans do not add oil to the porridge) simply get along with the soup (shi), boiled potatoes are seized with bitter cabbage - kimchi. Russian housewives took over the cooking skills of traditional Korean snacks: Korean carrot, seaweed and so on.

Modern life

2.2 Music

Music became an integral part of the life of any person. Teens are especially fond of music. So we want to compare the modern Korean and Russian music.

In the Korean music pop style is more popular than other genres, it’s very difficult to find rock or rap artists. Idol groups are the most popular, they are very similar to each other, and, for example, Europeans often can not distinguish one group from another, if they’re not keen on Korean music. It should be noted that Korean music groups have a big number of singers in each ensemble, because almost all groups are music and dance (for example, very famous boys band EXO consists of 9 artists). Every group should create a new dance for their new song if they want to have a success. In Korea soloists are less popular.

On the contrary, in Russia you can find artists of every music direction. Solo artist are not less popular than music groups. Dima Bilan and Sergey Lazarev, for example, are famous all over the world. Unlike music groups in Korea, Russian music bands can consist of both men and women (for example, Band’Eros and popular duet Potap and Nastya Kamenski). And what about dance and music groups, that are very popular in Korea, in our country you can see such ensembles very seldom.

What kind of music do teenagers and adults prefer

2.3 Cinema

Nowadays cinema became an essential part of the culture of each country. It comprises all the national features inherent to every nation, because its main purpose - to display and show the reality in all its colors.

We attempted to compare the modern Russian and Korean cinema.

At the present time, Russian film industry is represented by such names as Nikita Mikhalkov and Andrei Konchalovsky, everybody knows movies by Eldar Ryazanov and Leonid Gaidai. Films like “Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears”, “Irony of Fate’’, “Office Romance”, modern movie “Admiral” are known all over the world.

The most revered Korean directors are Lee Eung Bok and Baek Sang Hoon, which are known by fans of Art House. The most well known films are “Goblin”, “The descendants of the sun”, “School” and “Empty House”.

Today's young people en masse have fancy of the phenomenon of serials, which are among the most popular shows. In Korea they are called dramas (from English drama). Asian drama became the same phenomenon as Brazilian soap operas. Abundance of humor in every episode, the rapidity of the plot, naive, even some infantilism and sentimentality make them different from the other serials. Dramas have these features because their plots are often taken from the Korean and Japanese comics. All the dramas are mostly romantic comedies and family dramas. Such works as ”Winter Sonata”, “Full House”, “You're beautiful”, “Boys over flowers”, “Love, Bread and Dreams” are the most famous.

In Russian TV series there is a strict line between realistic and comedy and often every soap opera aimed at a certain age audience. Thus, the "Father's Daughter" is for family viewing, "Interns" is for young people, "Carmen" is for grown-up woman.

Contemporary talents in the Russian and Korean cinema are Elizabeth Boyarskaya, Park Shin Hye, Alexei Chadov, Gong Yoo, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Ku Hye Son, Konstantin Khabensky, Song Hye Kyo.

2.4 Style

Korea and Russia are different not only in cultural wealth and inner features of life but also in external manifestations like style. We would like tell more about it.

2.4.1 Modern style

In Korea, earlier it was a strict conservative regime in society, which influences even on appearance of Koreans: it condemned bright, short, shining and so on. Nowadays such views have a place in official and educational institution (for example in all schools in Korea uniform was put in force and exist to present day).But now Korea has changed, perception becomes more free and deeper, so on the streets of modern cities you can see two predominant styles: sport and glam. Glam style was born not long ago, because the main value for Koreans is comfort and practicality, but the views become more up-to-date, and Korea also follows fashion and orientate on Europe vogue: heels, skirts, jackets, bags and etc. - all that is womanly. But as we said earlier sport style spread in Korea very fast and Korean people can skillfully combine sports and really stylish clothes.

Presently, Korean clothes are distribute in whole world, because people value it for quality and reasonable price

Russian style also orientates on Europe. Russian people look elegantly and smart. Russian style is glam also, where prevail disco tendency.

The whole world knows that Russian ladies are the most beautiful, and they are considered like icons of fashion and examples of beauty, so many famous models are native of Russia. For example, Natalya Vodyanova and Alexandra Pivovarova.

Also we should say about fashion designers: Russian creators of clothes are famous for their originality and unusual taste. As you know the most successful young designer in the world is Kira Plastinina, who has her own shops all over the world. Some designers left a trace in history of fashion, such maîtres as Vyacheslav Zaycev or Valentin Udashkin. Fashion-mongers all over the world mind advices of Russian fashion critics such as Evelin Khromcenko (editor of “L'Officiel” ), Alexander Vasilyev (Head of the Moscow Academy of Fashion) unlike Korean fashion leaders.

2.4.2 Traditional dress

Korean traditional costume is called hanbok, its beauty lies in the harmony of colors and clear, simple lines. Male suit "hanbok" consists of: "cut" (Men's hat), turumagi ( a traditional overcoat worn on special occasions over the jacket and pants, pachzhi (pants)), "pachzhi" - the lower part of the male costume. Compared with Western-style trousers they are wider, because it provides men sitting on the floor.

Women's costume "hanbok" is presented by jeogori (Jacket), chima (skirt) and otkorym (ribbon)

"Jeogori" is the upper part of the costume "hanbok." If men's jackets are sewn spacious and simply, women's jackets are rather short and characterized by rounded lines and exquisite artistic design.

"Chima" is external female skirt. There are several options chima: single-layer, double-layered and quilted. "Phule-chima is skirt with multiple back and" Thon-chima is skirt, sewed integral.

"Otkorym" is an ornament of female dress, which hangs upright across the front of the skirt “chima”.

Traditionally, the “hanbok” was classified into several types depending on social status, class, gender and age of the person who wears it. Today, the “hanbok” is worn mostly on special occasions and is divided into types depending on its functions. In modern Korea, the “hanbok” is usually worn at weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, baby and folk festivals.

Russian national costume is quite difficult to describe, in this country it is the division of social status. Urban Russian national costume presented mostly outerwear - is long leather or wool coat, tall black leather boots as the Cossack hats, etc.

Russian national costume can be identified separately male national costume, which is based on shirt or undershirt, and women's national costume, based on a long shirt decorated with embroidery or fringe, and sometimes embroidered with pearls.

Another distinctive feature of Russian national costume - a great variety of women's hats:
Kichko (headdress)
Forty (headdress)
Kokoshnik (headdress)

The main tissues were: homespun and linen, cloth, silk and velvet. Kindyak is lining fabric. People used fabrics of bright colors: red, blue, green, crimson, purple, blue, pink, white and mottled. Later, there were black fabrics. Since the end of the XVII century black was considered a funeral color. In Korea traditional funeral costume is white.

In general, our foreign friends have simple associates and stereotypes with Russian national costume: blouses, tunics, coats and bast shoes.


I made such research work because I think that it’s necessary for people to know traditions and customs of their native countries better. This research work helped us to understand Russian and Korean cultures better and now we can see differences and similarities between them. And, if you don’t live in your historical motherland, of course you’ll be interested in the modern life of your mother country. Having analyzed and compared these different cultures (Russian and Korean), we understood that every nationality has its own visual of life. No doubt they are very different, but some features are the same in all cultures like respecting human’s life, values and relations. We found out the specific features of each culture and our work prove the hypothesis that two different cultures can live together, share a wealth of experience and that two various standards can be the continuation of each other.\

Traditional food habits in both countries.

The research in this work showed the original of traditional clothing and modern style experience.

Список использованных источников и литературы

Проблема российских корейцев: история и перспективы решения. Москва, АРГО. 1995.

Курбанов С. О. История Кореи с древности до начала XXI века. — СПб.: Изд-во С.-Петерб ун-та, 2009. — ISBN 978-5-288-04852-4

Сергеева А. В. Русские: стереотипы поведения, традиции, ментальность. — М.: Флинта; Наука, 2006.

Александров С. М. Остров Сахалин. — М.: Наука, 1973. — 183 с.

Жельвис В. Эти странные русские. — М.: Эгмонт Россия Лтд, 2002. — 96 с.

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