For our third meeting we had planned to visit the famous Rajaportti sauna and experience true Finnish culture there. However as we reached the premises we noticed the sauna is being renovated and is closed for November. Near the sauna there is fortunately another place that has Finnish culture written all over it – Pispalan Pulteri. The decision was made and for the topic of the evening we chose South-Korean culture.
During the conversation many similarities were found between South-Korean, Finnish and Swiss cultures. Especially the school system seemed to operate on the same way as Finnish. South-Koreans, however, begin school at a different age than Finns or Swiss which is due to the way they’re age is being count. In South-Korea it is believed that at birth you are already one years old, thus if you began school at the age of 6 (by regular age counting) actually you would be 7! In addition it surprised us how long the compulsory army serving is in South-Korea – two years to be exact. Topics included also accommodation, business manners and relationship with North-Korea.
A free discussion about this subject taught me a lot about South-Korean culture. No language was taught but, nevertheless, the evening was very eye-opening.