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Check Out Our Cultural Differences and Similarities between North Koreans and South Koreans Essay

The Northern and Southern Koreans share a common cultural practice regarding division of labor between men and women. In South Korea, women take the responsibility of handling housework. Even when a woman is employed either in the formal or in the informal sector, house chores are regarded as women’s work (South Korea). Similarly, in North Korea, women handle most of the housework, which includes child rearing, cooking, and washing (North Korea). Both in North and South Korea, men spend most of their times working outside their homes.

However, the North and South Korea hold different cultural practices concerning the relative status of women in the society. In North Korea, women do not hold the same status as men. To North Koreans, men are superior to women (North Korea). In this regard, men dominate the North Korean political scene. Women are not supposed to participate in politics, especially after they get married. North Korean women are expected to act feminine; they are not allowed to object men’s decisions or wear trousers, unless they are factory workers or farm laborers (North Korea). On the contrary, the South Korean constitution provides for equality between men and women. Although the traditional norms and values that control gender relations, continue to influence the Southern Koreas’ ideology of male supremacy, women are given equal chances as men, to participate in political, social, and economic activities (South Korea).

The Northern and Southern Koreans do not hold the same cultural practices concerning marriage, family, and kinship. Northern Koreans do not prohibit marriage between two people who share the same ancestral name, as long as the two are not relatives. However, they prohibit marriage between two people of different socioeconomic classes (North Korea). On the contrary, Southern Koreans prohibit marriage between a man and woman who share the same ancestral name, but they do not prohibit marriages between people of different economic status (South Korea).

Moreover, the North Koreans domestic units are based on nuclear families. North Korean families constitute of parents and children only. In some occasions, elderly parents live with the families of their children, mostly, those of their elder sons (North Korea). On the other hand, the domestic units of South Koreans are based on extended family. Three-generation households: parents, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, constitute many families in South Korea (South Korea). 

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