• Indonesia!

    Indonesia: Lombok. Go Now!

    Indonesia
    This archipelago nation is culturally diverse from big cities to isolated islands. Begin Your Journey!

  • Nepal!

    Nepal: Phewa Lake. Go Now!

    Nepal
    This landlocked country mixes the cultures of the Indian sub-continent with the high Himalayas. Explore Nepal!

  • Mongolia!

    Mongolia: Desert. Go Now!

    Mongolia
    This vast country has a culture that spans past and present... a nomadic life shifting to a modern & sedentary society. Begin Your Journey!

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    Qatar: Dhows in Doha Bay. Go Now!

    Qatar
    Although little more than a deserted peninsula, Qatar has a thriving culture based on technology and immigration, with Doha (pictured) taking the lead. Explore Qatar!

  • Kyrgyzstan!

    Kyrgyzstan: Tian Shan Mountains. Go Now!

    Kyrgyzstan
    The mountains, including the Tian Shan Mountains (pictured), give Kyrgyzstan a unique culture, partially formed from this isolation from the mountains. Go Now!

Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of South Korea

Ethnicity

South Korea is extraordinarily homogenous as every person (other than about 20,000 Chinese) is ethnically Korean. The Koreans are most closely related to the people of Manchuria (in modern day China), making them more distantly related to the Altaic people of Mongolia and the Turkic people. They are also distantly related to the Japanese, but to what degree is arguable.

Language

Korean is the only official language of South Korea. This language is unique in that it has no close relatives; some people believe it is distantly related to the Altaic Languages, but this is debated. The Altaic languages include Mongolian, the Turkic languages, and arguably Japanese.

English is the most commonly taught second language in South Korea, but it is not commonly taught to fluency. Many young people have a working understanding of the language with many employees in the business and tourist sectors having a much higher fluency level.

Religion

Nearly half of South Korea's population claims no religious affiliation. Among the other half of the population, about half of these people are Christian (primarily Protestant) and about half are Buddhist.

Protestantism is a general term referring to nearly every Christian religion that is not Catholic or Orthodox. Like all Christian faiths, Protestants believe there is one God and that His son, Jesus is the savior and forgiver of sins. Protestants also believe that the Bible, which includes the Old and New Testaments, is the only true word of God. Due to this reliance on the Bible, nearly every protestant faith, and even individual, may interpret the Bible differently, which has led to a huge number of Protestant churches.

Buddhism is a religion or philosophy that encourages people to strive for enlightenment. Adherents believe that each being is reborn until enlightenment is reached, at which time they escape the cycle of birth and death. To accomplish this, every being must speak, act, and live in a positive manner; this is magnified with the force of karma, which dictates an individual's later life and/or their rebirth.

This page was last updated: May, 2014