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Bill Gates "Rude" Behavior in Korea

Posted by on Apr. 23, 2013 at 3:54 PM
  • 23 Replies

Do you think it was rude of him not to educate himself on their customs and culture before travelling there?



Koreans Slap Bill Gates for ‘Rude’ Handshake

Apr 23, 2013 7:35am
epa bill gates south korea handshake vblog thg 130423 vblog Koreans Slap Bill Gates for Rude Handshake

Credit: Yonhap/EPA

SEOUL, South Korea – The buzz in town today is this photograph of Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ shaking hands with South Korea President Park Geun-hye.

Gates, 57, might have not realized it Monday, but a one-hand shake in Korean culture – and also in Asia – is notably casual, done only when the other party is a good friend, of the same or younger age. Using one hand with the other tucked in the pants pocket is considered rude here, done when one is expressing superiority to the other.

“Perhaps it was his all-American style but an open jacket with hand in pocket? That was way too casual. It was very regretful,” said Chung Jin-suk, secretary general at the Korean National Assembly.

President Park’s office has said nothing publicly about the incident and a spokesperson for Gates declined to comment.

But Internet chat rooms and social network sites are filled with views debating cultural differences and analyses of Gates’ laid-back style.

“I don’t know if that was ignorance or just plain disrespect,” Cho Park, a Korean student studying in New York, said. “It was pretty rude of him. The thing is I’m not sure if it is rude in Western culture.”

The controversy doesn’t end there. Gates had met with two other previous South Korean presidents: Kim Dae-jung and Lee Myung-Bak. He apparently gave the proper handshake with both hands to the late Kim in 2002 but was spotted giving an improper shake to President Lee in 2008. That also became a subject of debate.

Some South Korean media have been speculating that perhaps it was intentional, showing his political preference; respect for the opposition leader Kim but disrespect for the ruling party leaders Lee and Park, 61.

“Cultural difference or bad manners?” the Joongang Ilbo newspaper wrote.

“A disrespectful handshake or a casual friendly handshake?” DongAh Ilbo newspaper said in its photo caption.

“It’s a head of state we’re talking about,” said Rick Yoon, a brand retailer in Seoul. “And she’s a lady. This is not just a Korean thing. It’s an international protocol.

“Maybe it was intentional. Otherwise, he has a very strange habit.”

Gates was in South Korea on a three-day visit to promote his start-up TerraPower, which is developing next-generation nuclear reactors.

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by on Apr. 23, 2013 at 3:54 PM
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Replies (1-10):
TheQueenOfChaos
by Gold Member on Apr. 23, 2013 at 3:57 PM

bump

Cymbeline
by Platinum Member on Apr. 23, 2013 at 4:00 PM
4 moms liked this

I think Bill Gates is likely unaware of the customs, as he is probably unaware of most American niceties as well.It's not that he's intentionally rude, but often, the highly intelligent have some spectrum like traits. Understanding all of the social cues can be an issue.

That's just one perspective.

It is also possible that he was nervous and was not thinking.


Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Apr. 23, 2013 at 4:01 PM

lol so not news worthy.

Pooobaihr
by Platinum Member on Apr. 23, 2013 at 4:01 PM

I'm one to believe that a person should learn a little of the cultural "okays" before going to another country. If anything, learn the proper greeting.

A_McCool
by Gold Member on Apr. 23, 2013 at 4:04 PM
1 mom liked this

I don't really see the big deal. I likely would have fucked it up more than that.

jen2150
by Platinum Member on Apr. 24, 2013 at 8:23 AM
Maybe she should have been aware of our customs. Most Americans go out of their way to accommodate other cultures. Why don't other cultures do the same? I am not a fan of Bill Gates. I personally would have done some research.
Roxygurl
by Emerald Member on Apr. 24, 2013 at 8:27 AM
I would imagine it was an accident, that he just didn't know the cultural norms or that he was just nervous and forgot. Granted I don't know the man personally but it just doesn't seem like him to intentionally be rude like that.

I do hope he is aware of this so he can address it now with people who think he was being rude and in the future when he visits an Asian country.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
momto2boys973
by Ruby Member on Apr. 24, 2013 at 8:29 AM
3 moms liked this
Because there aren't more important things to worry about in the world....
Leobaby2007
by on Apr. 24, 2013 at 8:31 AM

This. I couldn't have aged it any better! :)

Quoting Cymbeline:

I think Bill Gates is likely unaware of the customs, as he is probably unaware of most American niceties as well.It's not that he's intentionally rude, but often, the highly intelligent have some spectrum like traits. Understanding all of the social cues can be an issue.

That's just one perspective.

It is also possible that he was nervous and was not thinking.



Leobaby2007
by on Apr. 24, 2013 at 8:31 AM

Lol! I know, right? What. The. Fuck. 

Quoting momto2boys973:

Because there aren't more important things to worry about in the world....


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