Downsides of the Oppa, Eonni culture in Korea


There are many upsides to the Oppa, Eonni, Hyeong, Nuna culture in Korea, but of course there are also downsides.

Hyunwoo mentions a couple of them. What do you think?


Downsides of the Oppa, Eonni culture in Korea
  • Sofia Fadil

    Thank you for the video and yes it’s interesting and It would be good to have more of these culture related videos frequently.
    I have an average english so I will write my comment in french to express myself easier 🙂

    Je suis tout à fait en phase sur le fait que les “oppa/eonni etc…” instaurent un certain respect du plus grand dans la société et c’est très important.Comme expliqué dans la vidéo ceci implique également une certaine relation protectrice du plus grand vers le plus petit. j’ai visité Seoul en Octobre et cet aspect n’est pas flagrant mais est quand même visible si on y prête attention.
    Ceci dit , si cela est exercé comme source de pouvoir de la part du plus grand que ce soit dans les relations familiales ou professionnelles , il pourrait en résulter une grosse frustration voire oppression pour les plus jeunes qui a leurs tour risqueraient de faire de même plus tard créant un cercle vicieux difficile à briser. le respect mutuel est donc très important à mon avis.

    Thanks again for all the content you provide, keep up the hard work 🙂
    Have a nice day !

  • Dahli6

    I love the video. I want to give feedback because I want you to make more of the culture based videos.
    I run into the 오빠 topic a lot because I am an avid drama fan and talk to other drama fans. The subject of calling a man who is the same age as my child 오빠, this feels not ok! I am in my 40’s I don’t know if a man under 30 could even properly call me 누나. It would be flattering of course.
    The argument over and over is that I feel celebrities deserve respect for the hard work and sacrifice so they should be addressed properly. Calling a man who is a decade or more younger than myself 오빠 seems grossly inappropriate. People often tell me that I am too uptight. This may be the case but am I wrong?
    In the United States we have a similar type of problem to the one you mentioned about age.
    People with formal education tend to look down people who lack formal education but instead have practical knowledge and first hand experience. In the case of the ageism people shut each other down using age. In the scholastic version the person who went to school brings up their diploma; much in the same fashion. If someone argues with them over any topic the scholar will mention their degree, even if the degree has no relation to the argument. I admire the scholars for their ability to go to school and study for their degree but it doesn’t always mean they are wiser.

  • jai n

    Thank you very much, I really like this lesson.
    I have a question about how to call people. For example, I was born in 1994, should I call someone who was born in 1993 but he/she just 6 months older than me “oppa” or “eonni” ?

    • Sophie Song

      Yes. Your age is counted by year in Korea, and everyone is considered a year older on the first day of a new year, regardless whether their actual birthday is toward the beginning or end of the year.

    • jai n

      thank you and happy new year 🙂

  • waytheonly

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  • Richard Babin

    Good video and information, thanks. It’s even difficult for a Korean to post something negative about their culture so, well done. I’ve been here for almost 15 years (South Korea) and am outside this oppa Culture so I don’t have to deal with it. As you said their are some benefits, but I see and hear from my students other more serious consequences of this. Examples include problems in the work place when men have younger bosses (ageism), when younger security officers have to deal with older people, be it the police, security guards, lawyers, safety inspectors etc., as well as while the respect shown elders in Korea is laudable, it definitely isn’t a two way respect in practice.

    Anyways, there’s my two cents, good video and keep up the good work!