The last time we touched upon such aspects as drinking, learning, and time-travelling – nice selection, isn’t it? In this original essay, you will learn more about luck and relationships with colleagues.
It will be better if this article will be dedicated to the cultures of Japan and South Korea, countries, which the author admires and claims to have the right to characterize, because lack of experience in watching all the other dramas will not allow to give you the holistic picture of the cultures they were made in. So, to avoid misunderstandings: the following material revolves around the cultural peculiarities of South Korea and Japan that can be observed while watching dramas.
The Asian mentality does not allow authors to screen most of the things that could be easily found in the western TV shows. Dramas take us back to the long-forgotten but still relevant values, recalling that love is much more than sex or passion, and that respect for the parents and teachers is what stands by human morality. They also remind us that the most luxurious “interiors” are actually the stunning landscapes, which need to be protected and cared for.
Tact, prudence and accuracy help to show the simplest and the most important human feelings. It seems like you rediscover that true love lies in looks and touches, but not in a crazy sex after the first date. In the Korean dramas, love does not begin in the bed and, in general, the most intimate scene would be the light kissing part.
Mischievous Wishes in Japan
As you may know, Buddhism and Shinto are the main religions in Japan. Their philosophies, mythology, absolute values and prohibitions, the very core of it are completely different from Christian teaching, and it is great because we all are diverse! Hence, it cannot come as a surprise that the believers of the world, indigenous and of other religions have a unique ritual, which they do while praying.
In Japan it works like this: you should find a temple, and there look for a large wooden box, step up into it and bow at ninety degrees to the shrine. Throw some coins into the box (a five-yen coin signifies good luck, but you may use any other as well). Then ring the bell (it is usually attached to the rope) and clap two times. After that, you can make a wish and pray to the spirit of the shrine. When you finish with your prayer, bow again at ninety degrees. Complete!
There is one exciting tradition that is worth your attention too! It is called omikuji. These are random fortunes written on the strips of paper at Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan.
The omikuji predicts the person’s chances of their hopes coming true, of gaining success, or, in general, matters of health, business, life and so on. When the bought prediction is not that good, one should fold up the strip of the paper and attach it to the special pine tree on the temple grounds.
A possible reason for this custom might be connected with the pun of the words standing for the ‘pine tree’ (matsu) and ‘to wait’ (matsu). The key idea here is that the misfortune and bad luck will stay on the tree rather than stick to a prayer.
Look Out! Big Wig Is on His Way
Trustful and kind relationships in a working team are always hard to establish. Sometimes it is even harder if cultural commitments add to personal antipathy.
Very often in South Korean dramas the big bosses are shown, their lifestyle, troubles with parents, love adventures and so on. What strikes the most is that there is an unwritten code that every subordinate must obey the boss in any circumstances. Some of those rules can make a western watcher really puzzled. For example:
- If a great feeling of love inflames between a subordinate (usually a girl) and a boss (usually a guy), then to prevent gossips about the loving couple, the man must confess in front of all the staff members about their relationships. He should do it clearly and straightforwardly. Otherwise, it will undermine the image of the whole company, because usually relationships at work are strictly prohibited.
- To break the ice among the colleagues, a collective trip to the mountains or the lake (hot springs in Japan) is practiced. Well, they do achieve an opportunity to build warm relationships, but it is the East! Perhaps, a person can escape from the tense working subordination (though, they continue to address each other according to the occupied post even during picnics), but the cultural rules of keeping distance will not go anywhere.
- When a big boss comes to his/her company, the closest subordinates (like councilors, department supervisors, secretaries and others) must line up, make a bow, and welcome their chief.
- The most popular kind of common relaxation in Japan and South Korea is going to the karaoke clubs. (By the way, karaoke itself was invented by a Japanese musician, and the word means ‘empty orchestra’). Such modern clubs have everything they need: strong and sound-proof walls, microphones, great screens, big sofas, stages etc. It is also possible to make a video of oneself singing and upload it directly to the Internet.
Do not be afraid to make wishes – you can always leave bad fortunes behind, like the Japanese do. Do not be afraid to start relationships with your colleagues – we live only once.
Thanks for your attention. Hopefully, these articles will inspire you to immerse yourself into the charming world of dramas.