Tuesday, February 24, 2009

KOREAN FAMILY VALUES



Korean Family Values

The Korean Family has been undergoing slow but steady change over recent years. Once considered of the cornerstone of Korean culture, it seems that traditional Korean family values such as filial duty, respect, and obedience are giving way to a new set of family values stressing independence, personal freedom, and individual responsibility.

One of the biggest changes in the Korean family structure is the decline in number of people living with their extended family. Although most children still live at home until they get married, after marriage most young couples are choosing to rent their own apartment or house rather than following the custom of living with the husband’s family. In fact, in a recent survey, Korean newlyweds less than thirty percent said they were living with their parents and extended families. Moreover, when these same newlyweds were asked if they expected to live with their parents sometime in the future, only half said they expected to live with their parents in the future.

Along with the changes in the composition of Korean household, there are also changes attitudes towards caring for elderly parents. While over ninety percent of the people survey said they felt it was their responsibility to take care of their elderly parents, over eighty percent said they favored a compulsory national pension plan to provide some measure of economic security for the elderly.

Although the results of the survey clearly shown a shift in the composition and attitudes towards the family, most Koreans still feel the family is the most important part of their lives, and the family continues to be the center of nearly every major holiday in Korea, from Hanshik, Chusok, and from Solal to Taeborum.

Discussions:

Are you living with your parents? If so, when do you expect to move out of your home? If not, when did you move out of your parent’s home?

Do you have any friends or family members who have moved out of their parent’s home before marriage?

Do you expect to live with your husband’s/wife’s parents after you get married? Why or why not?

Do you feel that children are responsible for taking care of their parents when they are elderly? If you have your own children, would you like them to take care of you?

Will your parents live with you when they are elderly?

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