Foreigners coming to Korea learn a word for the first time is “Ppalli Ppalli”. It is clear that many Korean use this word. “Ppalli Ppalli” means “hurry up hurry up” or “fast fast” in English. Why are Koreans always in a hurry? This is because the word is related to Korean’s impatient personality. Usually, Korean cannot endure slowness. If the dish Korean already ordered made a little bit lately, they rush the staff into making the dish. Also, if a product that was ordered at an online shop takes more than one day to deliver, the company, which sold the product, would be paralyzed due to customer’s complaint out of slow delivery.
Where does Korean’s disposition to like a swift action come from? Only sixty years ago, Korea were in ruins in itself due to recently getting out of the shadow of the Korean War. At that time, Korean had to resume anyhow. They had to live more diligently and harder than anyone else in the world. All things they had was human resources in this land that is smaller than New York. If they didn’t rebuild as fast as possible, they thought they would be left behind. The majority of people, companies and government made efforts to achieve fast growth of economy.
After these process, Korea became more advanced country in a short time than some countries that aided Korea in the Korean War. Foreigners would call Korea “Miracle on Han River”(a river flowing Seoul, the capital city of Korea) that means the rapid growth of economy after the Korean War, naming after “Miracle on Rhine River” that means Germany’s dazzling growth of economy after World War II. These were originated from Korean’s personality about promptness shouting “Ppalli Ppalli”.
After achieving the rapid economy development, urgent nature of the Korean people did not stop. When Korean people surf the Internet, they can hardly endure a low speed of the Internet. If the speed of the Internet is slow, they complain the Internet companies about the slowness, or buy a better line right away. Typically, Samsung did their best to devise faster wireless machine following Korean people’s needs. Finally, “Ppalli Ppalli” that Korean people often said made Korea has a power of IT with the rapid Internet speed.
Furthermore, Korean people’s disposition seems to be a fire. If an issue rises up, people are enthusiastic only for one issue somewhere during a moment. After time was passed, they forgot as if nothing had happened, and then they also are enthusiastic to another issue. This temper is expressed by a them, “pot fiber(disposition)”, because generally Korean’s personality is the same as a pot that is being boiled in a moment, and then is cold in a short time after.
Usually, Korean people are persistent and pertinacious. Majority of people are self-conscious about other’s eyes. In other words, they think highly of a group, not an individual, of course, it is also a usual tendency in oriental countries. Tendency that ‘if others do, also I have to do’ is very strong. Therefore, so to speak, rich mothers in “Gangnam(a rich village, is a background of “Gangnam Style” song by PSY)” make their children learn English in an English kindergarten in order to let them grow as a bilingual person, even before they get to know Korean. Mothers who have children, would invest to their children with private education because others do, and they really don’t want their children to lag behind.
The SAT in Korea was taken lately. During the exam, taking off and landing of all planes was prohibited and commuting time of public official was postponed. In addition, before the exam started, polices were put from place to place to control the traffic. Due to Korean people’s persistent personality, private education prevails instead of public education. Students should learn one year earlier in order to be superior to other classmates. Therefore students have to consider the rank of the university rather than their dream or aptitude. It is not surprising that the main reason that middle and high school students commit suicide is pessimism about their academic grade.
I am nor against or defending Korea in this topic. I have expressed the cultural background of Korean people in an impartial position. As I have mentioned above, the personality of Korean has double side. Because of Korean people’s tendency to hurry, they could develop their nation as an advanced country faster after the Korean War. Additionally, the rapid speed and distribution rate of the Internet is attributed to Korean’s personality to like promptness. However, this disposition is not always good. When I saw them to commute on a subway in the morning, they looked so tired. I thought they seemed to be press out of time and intense competition. I want say, “Even though speediness is good, please keep composure instead of saying “Ppalli Ppalli, please”.