Learn about the Korean tradition of gifting someone with money

Many say that the best way to gift a person is to give them money. Many Brazilian families are already contextualized with this scenario, but did you know that this is an Asian practice? More specifically from Korean culture.

Giving a gift is much more than decorating a loved one with an object of value or remembering an important date. What value do you give to people? In what context is a gift ideal? 

These questions are asked every day by thousands of people who are not sure what to give a loved one. It would be much easier to give money at once, after all, the person can choose what they want, but in the West this practice still lives some taboos.

Many economists argue that giving cash is much more profitable, after all, the value given is precisely what you can offer at the moment. While giving physical or digital gifts can be wasteful or overexcited. 

A family man entrepreneur has just paid for a environmental license for a new business. It's the beginning of the year and all taxes and bills like IPVA, IPTU, health insurance and other bills appear at once.

This family man still needs to pay his children's school fees. At the end of the day, your wife remembers that a nephew will have a birthday and it will be necessary to buy a gift, after all, they are very close.

At that moment, even without being able to spend much due to accumulated bills, the head of the family passes an expensive gift on his credit card to reward his nephew and leaves the installment of another important account for the following month.

A value of R$50.00 could be much better used by the nephew who could decide what to buy, in addition to being more profitable due to the situation experienced. Gifts are goods that can be replaced by physical presence and affection and customs services

However, the social duty imposed on this family will mean that they will have to stop spending on other things and give gifts to the loved one. This is the meaning of sacrifice and offering, but the difficulties could be avoided and the purpose of the action completed if a definite value were given. 

Let's put a canvas cover in this complicated context to be understood and we go to the other side of the world. More specifically in South Korea. Brazil is a country that shares a lot of Japanese and Korean culture and the traditions of these people are very common here.

However, Koreans are experts when it comes to gifting a loved one. The strict education that Orientals receive from birth means that simple acts of love are enough to win the heart. 

Therefore, the taboo present here in Terra de Vera Cruz does not exist there. The coolest thing is that, in addition to Koreans preferring to receive cash, this can happen at any stage of the year. Let's understand a little more about this custom.  

Cultural heritage of the Korean people 

To this day, South Korea is well known for its agricultural production. Rice is the largest grain produced. On the extraction side, coal is also well exploited by the country.

Before technology arrived and took over the country, people worked on these large farms where everything needed for survival was produced. However, these were difficult times, the empire of Japan was prevailing in the place. 

The poorest suffered, but there has always been a culture of helping others. The neighbor was seen as a friend and ally, so the Koreans had this custom of giving gifts and helping their neighbors with money obtained from the sale of products to help them. 

This was synonymous with honor and loyalty, something that Asians understood as essential pillars of their moral and ethical conduct. Another occasion that occurred a lot was at Korean weddings.

Unlike Brazil, weddings do not have lists, but people who know the couple and want to join. In the old villages, for example, the families of the couples paid for the entire ceremony that could take place over several days.

A tradition similar to the Jews, but the difference is that the guests knew the high cost of the party and already took it without anyone asking for a value to help with expenses. It was like a prepayment of check receivables

Money in any situation

 When we commented that any situation could be presented with money, we were not saying, see in which places Koreans give themselves with value in cash or bank transactions. 

  • Wedding;
  • Birthday party;
  • engagements;
  • Buying a new house or a new job;
  • Funerals.

You might be thinking: do people give themselves at funerals? Exactly, and this is due to the cultural difference between Brazil and South Korea. The Asian funeral takes much longer than the Brazilian one and the costs are quite high.

Understanding the situation of the family that has lost a loved one, the community usually presents them with a cash value to defray any values that are needed at the funeral such as flowers, intersheet paper, coffins, services and others. 

Can I give any value?

We said a little above that smaller values can be given without problems, but the example was for a Brazilian case. When we talk about South Korea, the value of gifts varies according to the type of event and degree of proximity to the recipient.

For example, a mother would place a higher value on her daughter on her birthday than a friend from school. Just as a grandmother would gift a grandchild closer to her than one from a distant city.

It is also necessary to emphasize that there are unique situations in the lives of these people, such as marriage. CADRI.

There is a certain respect among humbler people, but it is clear that more valuable amounts are better regarded among the culture there. This doesn't mean you can't give a physical gift that I believe this person would like.

The difference is that people prefer to receive money in South Korea. The value can vary from 50 thousand to 300 thousand wons (Korean currency). Value that represents between R$230 to 1400. We emphasize that these numbers can change according to the season. 

In a single year, it is estimated that a Korean family spends around R$6500.00 per year on gifts, but these figures can vary. In these cases, many families stop going to parties and accepting invitations due to the need to give that money. 

Fancier parties demand more expensive amounts as a kind of entry fee. Quite different from what we have around here, isn't it? Have you ever thought about paying to go to your friend's daughter's birthday? fiberglass dispenser from the city?

Food is also good

Have you ever thought about receiving a melon worth around R$500.00? Well, I'm sure we prefer a good piece of picanha. In South Korea it is quite common for people to also give food to their loved ones.


They are usually products that are not easily found in the supermarket or even a basic basket of vegetables and meats. Koreans love to spend their time drinking and going to Karaoke. It's the way they enjoy their parties and have fun.

There is empathy in what is given 

The main value of this Korean custom is the need to build a good relationship between family and neighborhood. Children respect their parents a lot, despite the fact that the elderly life is very lonely there. 

These numbers are information that we take from sources living there, but that doesn't mean that more humble people can't witness a wedding or a luxury party. Respect between these people is essential.

 Therefore, people who can give more money usually donate, but precisely so that the simplest can participate. There is this relationship of complicity which we explained at the beginning of the article. 

 It's like dealing with a drilling license, it will be necessary to organize important points and define the day of performance, but the rest is quiet when there are responsible people. 

We need to learn a lot from these cultures and there is no right or wrong, but what we are used to living. 

Japan, South Korea, China and other Asian countries often give us great lessons on how to deal with problems we find difficult. In the case of Brazil, our indigenous origin and Catholic catechization generated different customs from other countries.

And that's okay. Just adhere to what you think is important for your socializing and learn the differences of all peoples. And this is the Korean tradition of gifting loved ones with money. 

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