Re: Korean politeness levels (& farewells)
|Date:||Sunday, September 30, 2001, 23:56|
From: "Yoon Ha Lee"
> As a random note, it's also Very Good Korean Etiquette to accompany your
> guest to the door of your home and say goodbye--if you live in one of
> those godawful apartment complexes (I live in one now, alas; and they're
> very common in Seoul) this may mean the door of your particular apt., or
> even going down with them in the elevator and walking them to the entrance
> of the building. On the few occasions my folks had (Korean) guests over
> my sister and I would generally get Roundly Chastised for failing to do
> this without prompting.
I still see guests (Chinese or otherwise) all the way to their car (or
vehicle of choice), a habit I picked up in the mainland and have maintained
ever since. Even when I lived in a sixth floor apartment (sans elevator) in
Nanchang, you escorted 'em *all* the way down, made sure they were safely on
their bikes and gave 'em a "man4zou3" as they drove off (literally "go
slowly" but akin to "take care" or "drive safely" [a futile request in China
;) ]). It's just a nice custom.
BTW, I also picked up the delightful custom of giving people an ice-cold
face towel in the summer or a warm-but-not-scalding towel in winter when
they drop by for a visit. Americans aren't used to other Americans doing
this for them, but I remember how *good* those felt on your face after
coming in from the outside, so Western guests of mine'll just have to cope
and get into it :)