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[Land of Squid Game] Laughing when embarrassed

When Koreans make a mistake, they often smile to conceal their embarrassment. This is often misunderstood by foreigners, who usually expect a person to look contrite.

To a non-Korean, a smile on such an occasion often implies, "I have done something wrong, but I don't care."

Koreans are not, however, being discourteous in this case; they are simply admitting their fault through an embarrassed or nervous laughter.

Min Byoung-chul is an endowed chair professor at Chung-Ang University who is widely known as a multicultural educator and for his practical English teaching. This content is based on his book, “Land of Squid Game,” which can be purchased at major book stores. -- Ed.

By Korea Herald (
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