Take the Quiz: How Korean Are You?

Jul 9, 2012 by

Opinions are purely generalizations of the author and does not represent the Filipinos, the Filipino community in Korea or the site owner. No part is intended to harm, ridicule or discriminate Korean culture and way of life of Korean people and Koreans in the Philippines.

How Korean are you?

You’ve had a few too many encounters with Koreans, believe it. You’ve seen them everywhere—in schools, restaurants, airports or in your neighborhood. Some may even have a few close encounters— a student, a workmate, a friend or perhaps a lover! We’re not even getting into Kpop and Kdrama influences yet. With over 2,000 registered Koreans settled in Iloilo, let alone the tourists, students or short-term visitors, let’s try to find out how much “Korean” has rubbed off on you. I hope for starters that you understand that being Korean is beyond Kimchi or Sandara Park!

  1. Which book appeals to you most? 

a) Fifty Shades of Grey     b) Sherlock Holmes     c) Steve Jobs

2. You’re thirsty, so you head to the nearest coffee shop. What would you order?

a) Green tea Latte     b) Iced Americano     c) Caramel Frappuccino

3. Which smartphone brand do you prefer?

a) Iphone     b) Blackberry     c) Samsung

 4. Which personal item do you have the largest stash of?

a) Deodorant     b) Tissue     c) Bath Soap

 5. What does “kkk” mean?

a) :) smiley face     b) LOL     c) Ku Klux Klan

 6. Where is your dream destination?

a) Los Angeles     b) Paris     c) Tokyo

 7. Which strange ingredient would you like to try in your pizza?

a) mustard     b) apples     c) sweet potato

 8. It’s your friend’s housewarming party. What present would you give?

a) Detergent     b) Plant     c) Food

 9. You meet a person for the first time. Which personal question would you be comfortable asking/answering?

a) Who is your first love?     b) How old are you?     c) Where do you live?

 10. You have an important trigonometry exam. Which tool would you NOT leave at home?

a) Protractor     b) Pencil     c) Scientific calculator

Sandara in her pre-highlights and KPop days. In short, her Star Circle Quest days.


1. Which book would appeals to you most?

a. (1)    b. (2)    c. (3)

Korean people are obsessed with success stories. From Bill Gates, Obama, to Jeremy Lin etc. Sherlock Holmes Adventures have a constant presence in bookstores along with other bestseller series so yes, they should come in second. As for Grey, I don’t think the average Korean is ready for BDSM. Note that literary bestsellers are often translated in Korean language so just try to imagine!

2. You are thirsty, so you head to the nearest coffee shop. What would you order?

a. (2)    b. (3)    c. (1)

Frappuccinos are way too sweet and heavy for the calorie-conscious Korean. Having frequented a good number of coffee shops, I’ve observed that anything with cream or caramel is truly way down in the most-ordered list. Koreans like their coffee plain, black and unsweetened. On hot days, a more watered down version with ice is preferred but otherwise, the hot Americano to-go is the staple.

3. Which smartphone brand do you prefer?

a. (2)    b. (1)    c. (3)

No doubt, it’s Samsung! This one’s given. There’s a myth that Koreans will only buy Korean brands for home appliances and electronics. This is absolutely true. Only recently they have opened their arms to Apple with the popularity of the Iphone (and Jobs!). Not too long ago the Macbook is totally unheard of. As for Blackberry, well that still remains a fruit!

4. Which personal item do you have the largest stash of?

a. (1)    b. (3)    c. (2)

Yes, rarely would you find deodorant in a Korean bathroom because they don’t normally use it. Before you question their hygiene, let me point out that they rarely smell in that part of the anatomy. (the smell has other outlets, which I would rather not discuss here unless someone asks) Anyway, the tissue or toilet paper is the best answer. Try visiting a Korean home and there’s tissue in every corner. Pls refer to item #8 for more info.

5. What does “kkk” mean?

a. (2)    b. (3)    c. (1)

If you have texted or sent an email to a Korean, you must have answered this correctly.  “kkk…”is the Korean online expression for laughing or the sound of suppressed laughter. Another form could be ??? in Korean characters. If you answered Smiley Face, well that’s close. But if you answered Ku Klux Klan, well…Ikaw na ang Genius!

6. Where is your dream destination?

a. (2)    b. (3)    c. (1)

Koreans go to America to study, work or visit relatives. So this is surely not on the top list of vacation places. Japan is considered too expensive, too near or too familiar for them. If they should splurge, they would certainly “backpack” to Europe! So have you spotted a Korean “backpacker” lately? These are young, stylish urbanites in fedoras, maxi-dresses, shiny carry-ons, newish SLRs strapped on the neck for scenic shots and a cutesy Instax/Polaroid for that instant “kimchi” poses under the ‘aypel tap’ (Eiffel Tower)

7. Which strange ingredient would you like to see in your pizza?

a. (2)    b. (1)    c. (3)

Sweet Potatoes are well-loved by Koreans, rich or poor. We can see the simple boiled/roasted variations from street vendors to the upscale bakeries or restaurants reinvented as cake, pizza, bread or tea. And yes, mustard is also seen in pizza though it’s a little on the sweet side. So the next time you try to impress your Korean guests, “Bring on the Kamote!”

8. It’s your friend’s housewarming party. What present would you give?

a. (3)    b. (2)    c. (1)

All of those gifts are valid but in order of importance, laundry detergent is first. Odd, you might say. Along with powdered detergent, toilet paper is another common housewarming present. Respectively, these two are symbols for wealth/money (bubbles) and acquiring wealth (the longer paper you pull, the longer you will receive wealth). Now, that explains #4 as to why Koreans will never run out of toilet paper.

9. You meet a person for the first time. Which personal question would you be comfortable asking/answering?

a. (2)    b. (3)    c. (1)

In Korea, age always matters. Have you ever wondered why Kpop Idols are called “Oppa” on stage? One must show respect as to who is the senior even just to your group of friends. So it’s not rude for a Korean to ask a person’s age even if they’ve only met in order to address him properly. Asking someone about their first love is quite common as an attempt to get close. So don’t be offended if a Korean asks this outright!

10. You have an important trigonometry exam. Which tool would you NOT leave at home?

a. (2)    b. (3)    c. (1)

Yes, Koreans can definitely do without a calculator. They almost never use a scientific calculator in solving Math problems nor are they taught how to use one. So the best answer would be just bringing a pencil and your brain on your Trig test! A protractor should come in handy as well but you could always beg, borrow or steal in case you left it at home.



25-30 points   YOU ARE Korean!

Go ahead, fly to South Korea and you will absolutely fit in. The smell of Kimchi makes your mouth water! You automatically stand and nod when somebody walks through the door. You have no problem walking barefoot inside the house. You’re a natural! Or who knows, you may actually be Korean pretending to be a Filipino! Just kidding!

15-24 points  SO-SO Korean

Chances are, you have close ties with a Korean. You know the difference between samgyeopsal ang galbi. You often suggest eating at Korean restos so you can show off your chopsticks skills. You prefer Korean cosmetics, and you watch Arirang if there’s nothing good on TV. You may have a lover, a workmate, a friend, a student or an employer who is Korean. Other than these, you must have seen too many Korean dramas or just a huge Kpop fan!

10-14 points   You are NOT a Korean.

You move to Jollibee if there’s a long line of Koreans in Mcdonalds. You can’t tell the difference if one is Korean or Chinoy even if one speaks Filipino! Good job for staying a nationalist! But don’t be too ignorant or insensitive for long as Koreans are growing in numbers everywhere in the world! Koreans are the next Chinese!


**The author is from Bacolod city. She is currently based in Korea and is married to a Korean. Go visit her blog.

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