Hanshik 101: Korean table etiquette for beginners

Hanshik 101: Korean table etiquette for beginners

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Korean people value manners in a lot of instances, but most especially during meals. While many older dining traditions have relaxed over the years, some are still in use in modern-day Korea. So if you’re planning to have a hearty meal with some of your Korean friends, here are some basic table manners you can impress them with.

Acknowledge your hosts

It is common custom to say jalmeokgesseumnida or “I will eat well” when in front of those who prepared or paid for your food. You can also say jalmeogeosseumnida after you’ve finished eating.

Age matters

Koreans highly value the elderly—even if it means your friend is just a few years or months older. In Korean culture, the older person calls the shots. They are the first to be seated and the first to take a bite. Before the eldest in the table starts eating, the rest of the group has to wait.

Youngsters can’t say no to the offers of their seniors. Be it a piece of pork or a shot of soju, refusing an offer from an older person is a huge no-no. Accept food or drinks with two hands– always.

Drink with respect

Ever wonder why they drink sideways in Korean dramas? It still has something to do with age and seniority. It is common custom for the younger person to hold their cup or glass with two hands and drink sideways (see this picture as reference) when drinking with someone older.

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Never lift soup or rice bowls

Unlike in Japan, China, and other Asian countries; it is considered disrespectful when people hold their soup and rice bowls. These should never be lifted, and must stay on the table at all times. Use a spoon to finish soup or rice in a bowl.

Sharing is caring

Koreans lay out several dishes for the whole family to enjoy, and it is just normal for them to eat from each other’s plates or soup bowls. However, one should never take a “double dip,” or dig into several food bowls and side dishes at once.

Put your utensils in their rightful place

Do not stick out utensils like chopsticks or spoons because it resembles a traditional ancestral ceremony. After you’re done eating, lay your utensils on the table. Also, never put both your chopsticks and spoon in one hand.

Hi, I’m Heather Taras. I go to school for drug counseling, and I’m also a big fan of Hallyu. Visit this blog for more on Korean food and culture.

The road to recovery: Regaining self-control with exercise

The road to recovery: Regaining self-control with exercise

In the many cases, I have observed, staying on the path of recovery and keeping sober can be difficult most of the time. Reintegrating into one’s family and community is also another concern. While challenges surround those who were once drug-dependent, I have also witnessed people who have found a way to turn back from their old ways through physical activity.

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While most people usually dismiss exercise as a chore, it is very effective in helping recovering drug addicts to remain sober. Aside from strengthening the physique, the endorphins released help in restoring the body’s original circadian rhythm. Doing one thing repetitively can also improve focus and concentration.

Taking up a sport also helps a recovering person set goals for himself. Accomplishing a target time for a race, training for a half-marathon, or joining a community basketball team is a good start. These activities require a person to be of good health and sound mind that will only be ruined if a person goes back to old habits. Engaging in sports also helps a person become more social and active.

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Above all, the most important thing I have seen when recovering addicts engage in physical activity is that it develops their self-control. Instead of being passive and dependent on substances and people, they begin to realize that they can survive with their own efforts. For me, this is a good sign that a person is recovering well. If a person can resist temptations and choose to do what’s best, then I believe that they have taken a huge step in their regaining their lives.

Heather Taras here. I am a college student from Seattle, Washington, studying to becoming a drug counselor. Follow me on Twitter for similar updates.

Embracing the path to recovery from substance abuse

Embracing the path to recovery from substance abuse

Image source: slu.edu

Going to rehab or undergoing treatment for substance abuse can be a challenge. It means changing lifestyles, reframing thoughts, and even facing fears. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way out but to accept that change needs to be done to recover. Here are some ways for a person to stay positive while on the way to a drug-free life:

1. Believe that lasting change takes time

There are no quick fixes. Rehabilitation requires persistence and commitment. There will be days when giving up seems to be the best solution. But just like the most fulfilling things in life, hard work and willingness are necessary to achieve lasting results.

2. Understand that this is just a phase in life

People rise and fall. The statement may be cliché, but it is true. Just because a person erred doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve a second chance. Those who are willing will find a way to get out of their slump—no matter what it takes.

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3. Be open to therapy and counseling

There are professionals who are trained to help in this particular area. Whether it’s a stay-in or a walk-in treatment center, there are people who were trained to deal with those who would like to be freed from their substance dependence. Those who desire to start anew in life must be open and honest with their issues. They must also be compliant with treatments.

It’s easier said than done. As I am preparing to become a drug counselor, I have seen that it is possible for people to win their personal battles with substance abuse. It may take time but with supportive people behind you, recovery can happen.

Hi, Heather Taras here. In my 19 years of existence, I have seen how drug abuse has damaged many lives. This led me to pursue my associate in applied science degree in the hopes that I’ll be able to continue my studies towards having a counselor’s certification. Right now I’m attending Seattle Central College in Washington. Follow me on Facebook to know more about what I am into.