The Space-out Competition is an annual event held in South Korea where contestants must stare off into space without doing anything or falling asleep. Who wins is based on audience votes and on who has the most stable pulse. The contest lasts 90 minutes.
Since 1953, women in South Korea have been allowed to take one day off a month if they have painful periods.
South Korea is the second leading consumer of Spam. Spam was introduced in Korea during WWII, and it was “godsend” for people in Korea and Japan who were starving as result of the war. Koreans view Spam as a delicacy and it is a popular gift item for the Lunar New Year.
Koreans eat about 600 million chickens per year and Korean fried chicken (or KFC) and beer is so popular that its facination has spread to China via Korean soap operas. A Chinese company once flew all 4500 of its employees to Korea so they all can have KFC and beer.
South Korea formed a covert military unit in 1968 with the intention of assassinating North Korea’s leader. Unemployed youths or petty criminals were recruited and trained on an uninhabited island for 3 years. The existence of the unit was covered up until the 1990s.
In 2014, Christians in South Korea put up a giant Christmas tree which was visible from the North Korean border. The North Koreans claimed it was a tool for psychological warfare and demanded it be taken down. The defence ministry claimed the tree was dismantled for safety concerns.
Every November in South Korea, there’s a day where everyone makes silence to help students concentrate for their most important exam of their lives. Planes are grounded, constructions are paused, banks close and even military training ceases. This day is called Suneung.
During the Asian Financial Crisis many Koreans willingly gave up their precious jewelry, heirlooms and mementos in order to help their country pay off their debt to the IMF.
BTS, a seven-member South Korean boy band, brings in more than $3.6 billion to South Korea’s economy each year, and were the reason one in every 13 foreign tourists visited the country in 2018.
The company Samsung accounts for 15% of South Korea’s entire economy, and that South Koreans often live in Samsung owned apartment buildings, can get treatment from Samsung-owned medical centers, go to Samsung universities, and even end up at a Samsung funeral parlor when they die.