The Reason Why Koreans Are So Tired

December 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Ever wonder why your Korean friend (or at least his/her parents) firmly believe in the ‘all work, no play’ mentality? It’s probably because the whole nation is obsessed with studying, and that’s never been as clearly summarized as in the following picture. I laughed so hard when I found out about this! This picture has been circulating in Korean cyberspace for a few weeks now, of five titles (all translation is mine) that have been collected to show that “The reason why Koreans are so tired is not because of the liver” (picture from 한국인이 피곤한 이유, 간 때문이 아니다):

In order from left to right are the following titles:

10대 꿈을 위해 공부에 미쳐라: In your teens, study like crazy to reach your dreams

20대 공부에 미쳐라: In your 20s, study like crazy

30대, 다시 공부에 미쳐라: In your 30s, study like crazy again

40대 공부 다시 시작하라: In your 40s, start studying again

공부하다 죽어라 : Study until death

As demonstrated by the above titles (they’re not part of series, although it seems like they could be, right?)… studying and being crazy while doing it is often recommended, and lauded in Korea culture. The Korean people’s passion for education and their dedication to studying is not new; however, this picture delineates the obsession in a way that is more clear (and funny) than before. I don’t read that many Korean books but I hope there are some out there to counter these titles with something like “In your 20s, try new things” and “In your 40s, adopt a new hobby”.


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