Traditional Korean culture is best typified by the six components of the Han Style: clothing, music, houses, food, paper, and the Korean alphabet. Taken together, they provide an excellent introduction to the nuances of Korean culture that set it apart from that of China and Japan.

Korean culture teaches respect for tradition and history, but by no means does it inhibit progress and innovation. The technology sector in Korea is thriving, led by corporate giants Samsung and LG. The Korean entertainment industry produces television series, movies, and recording artists with a global reach. International foodies have recognized the uniqueness and intricacy of Korean cuisine, which continues to be reimagined by top Korean chefs. Underpinning all this success is Korea’s emphasis on education. The literacy rate, for example, has risen from a mere 22% in 1945 to 99% today.

Modern Korean culture is a unique blend of historic tradition and postmodern reinvention. And while it has been shaped by aspects of numerous Eastern and Western cultures, it has emerged as something wholly authentic.