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Discussing Age in Korea


(Note: This transcript has been edited for readability.)

"Age is very, very important. [When] Koreans meet for the first time and they're going to be friends, 'How old are you?' That's the first thing that you would ask. Sometimes I think I do that too. And if it's the same year, 'Which month?' [laughing] I become [the] older person, then you show some respect.

"And there's man-to-man [relationships], brother-brother. The older brother 'hyeong' or 'hyeong-nim.' Once you have that talk [with] each other—'Okay, you're my 'hyeong-nim,' you're my big brother, you're my younger brother'—they look after each other."

In this video, a South Korean national describes the function of asking new contacts about their age.