Why Are Korean People So Humble? Jay Park Gives A “Refreshing” Interpretation Of Why Korea Has A Culture Of Humility And Respect

It has a deep-rooted history.

Jay Park recently shared his interpretation of why Korea has a culture that seeks humility and respect.

Jay Park | @moresojuplease/Instagram

On the YouTube channel FO Squad Kpop, Jay Park sat with hosts Lou and Ousmane (also known as OUS), a duo from West Africa who makes content about K-Pop and its culture. In a video titled “The side of Jay Park that nobody sees,” the three talked about Jay Park’s career and the K-Pop industry.

Lou, Ousmane, and Jay Park (left to right) | FO Squad Kpop/YouTube

One of the topics that came up was humility. Visiting Korea and meeting Korean celebrities, OUS was confused about why K-Pop stars were humble even when they were at a level where they could flex.

In America, the culture of their music is—as you already know—you have to put it on, have an ego, and show off. When I came to Korea, people bigger than the people who flex over there—they’re so humble out here… I’ve never seen a cocky Korean celebrity in my life.


OUS | FO Squad Kpop/YouTube

Jay Park didn’t agree that there were no cocky K-Celebrities, but he agreed that flashiness was accepted in the United States, whereas respect and manners were more important in Korea.

In the States, it’s much more accepted to be flashy, to be flambloyant, to be loud. It makes for great entertainment. As for [Korea], respect and manners is a very big thing.

— Jay Park

FO Squad Kpop/YouTube

He shared his interpretation of why respect, manners, and humility were important in Korea with a detailed explanation—and a deep dive into Korean history. First, he shared why being flashy or flamboyant can be looked down upon in Korea: it had to do with the country’s rough and painful history as a nation.

It was looked down upon because Korea was super poor. Super duper poor. Not a lot of people know this—a lot of people know K-Pop, Squid Games, and Korean barbecue—but Korea was annexed. It was illegal to speak Korean at one point. They tried to change our last names. Rape, torture… and they tried to take all the artifacts away from Korea. And then after gaining independence, the Korean War happened. And so million of Korean people died, and all the cities were wiped out. And that’s why until this day, all Korean males have to go to the army. It’s not just something that’s just tradition; it’s because the war technically still hasn’t ended. There’s a peace treaty but it hasn’t officially ended.

— Jay Park

| FO Squad Kpop/YouTube 

Jay Park then gave his main point emphasizing why Korean people may have looked down upon people who flashed their money.

The country was super poor, right? So everybody had to come together to build the country back up. And so individually, if someone flashes their money, I think it was looked down upon.

— Jay Park

FO Squad Kpop/YouTube 

He also pointed out that Korean people love luxurious and expensive items because they come from a deep-rooted past of struggling as a nation.

In Korea, brands, jewelry, and foreign cars are a big thing. Maybe not with the celebrities because they get flagged for it but for people with money… People here like to be flashy and flaunt their wealth because they want to be like, ‘Look at me. I’m this now.’

— Jay Park

FO Squad Kpop/YouTube

When Korean netizens came across Jay Park’s explanation of why Korea has a culture of humility, many were surprised for two reasons: first, because they were impressed by Jay Park’s knowledge of Korean history, and second, because they had never thought of this interpretation before. Some agreed that Jay Park had a good point and that it was a “refreshing” perspective.

| theqoo
  • “Oh, he has a point lol”
  • “Jay Park is so smart”
  • “Smart… Idk why but I’m thankful”
  • “Oh… That’s true… I guess you can see it that way”
  • “That never occurred to me”
  • “Oh, that’s a good point”
  • “Wow, Jay Park is so good, describing history like that…”
  • “Oh, I haven’t thought about it that way before”
  • “Oh… Now that I hear it, I think he’s right. It’s my first time hearing it explained like this; it must be Jay Park’s personal thoughts, right?”
  • “Wow, how can he explain all that in such a cool way? He’s amazingㅠㅠ”
  • “He has insight”
  • “Wow, I can tell he has depth. He’s awesome”
  • “I see Jay Park in a new light”
  • “Wow, that never occurred to me but I think he’s right. Jay Park’s insight is amazing. There’s a reason why people like him make it big”
  • “Ooh, that’s a new perspective; Jay Park is so cool…”
  • “I’m not sure…”
  • “Oh, hearing Jay explaining with a new angle is refreshing”

Although there is no 100% correct answer to this question, Jay Park contributed his insight into the topic of why Korea has a culture of respect, humility, and a love for luxurious goods.

What are your thoughts?

Source: FO Squad Kpop and theqoo

Jay Park