Thursday, 9 September 2010
Traditional Way of Bow Down (for female)- Etiquette
Adopt Gong-su position (with your hands):
For men, you put your left hand over your right with fingers straight and arms hanging calm at the waist
Gong-su traditional Korean bow. Thumbs under.
For women, put your right hand on your left, and keep your hands straight facing each other. Thumbs under, and hands clasped at your stomach, right under wherever your Jeogori reaches, which for me wasn't nearly far enough...
Do a Keunjeol (big) bow:
For men, take Gong-su, stand in front of your elder buddy, bend your body until your hands reach the floor, drop your left knee, and bend your right one down until you are sitting on your heels. Slowly lower your head to your hands, which should be in triangle format, still left over right on the floor in front of you and hold for 5 seconds. raise your head, then elbow, and come back up, right knee, then left knee. All in fluid motion of course.
For women, take Gong-su, bring your hands up in nice parallel format so your hands touch your forehead and shield your eyes, bowing your head slightly. Drop the left knee, and bring yourself down like the men, but minding your poofy dress so you don't fall. when you get to the floor, don't drop your hands, but how your body from the waist 45 degrees, and patiently hold for 5 seconds
Gong-su hand position. Come back up, bring up your right knee, trying not to step on your dress, then the left leg, and stand, then after a pause, drop those hands.
Of course, after each of these, short bow with hands at stomach for both genders, I suppose for the performance of bow? sigh. It should be noted that our lady leader in this demonstration nearly bit it twice on her own poofy dress, giving me hope that it is not just me, but that the procedure is hopelessly hard, and therefore probably pleasing to elders, who don't get out much anymore, and need any entertainment they can get. Common bows are called Pyeongjeol, and can apparently be used at any time between equals, though it still involves hitting the floor, and really should only be used for super super successful people or really super duper ancient people. I think.
Koreans I've met in my short time here usually opt for the quicky arms to the stomach head bow, of different lengths depending upon situation and people involved, but I'm eagerly awaiting the day when someone busts out Pyeongjeol!
So far, I find Korea most fascinating because of it's incredible similarities in industry and cultural function, tempered by that rare idiosyncrasy which reminds me that whoa, I'm not in Kansas anymore, but quite a different culture with vastly different internal views, values, and culture. Source