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Posted : 2014-07-09 21:52
Updated : 2014-07-09 21:52

Big firms, kimchi represent Korea's image

A recent survey conducted by the Corea Image Communication Institute, headed by Choi Jung-wha, on foreign and Korean opinion leaders found that conglomerates such as Samsung, Hyundai and LG were the most representative image of Korea. / Korea Times file

By Kim Ji-soo

Choi Jung-wha, president of CICI

Foreigners think of Samsung, Hyundai, LG and other conglomerates as most representative of Korea's national image.

That's according to the result of a survey the Corea Image Communication Institute (CICI) released Monday.

The CICI surveyed 280 foreigners and 344 Koreans from June 24 through July 8.

A total of 40.7 percent of foreign respondents said they first thought of Samsung, Hyundai and LG.

About 22 percent said that Korean food such as kimchi, bibimbap and bulgogi represents Korea; while 8.9 percent said they thought of a "divided nation."

For the Koreans, conglomerates such as Samsung, Hyundai and LG were the most representative image of Korea according to 34 percent of respondents.

The second strongest image was that of hallyu or K-pop and K-drama with 17.2 percent, followed by smartphones and high-speed Internet with 16.9 percent.

The results show that the image of Korea as a divided nation no longer prevails in the minds of foreigners compared to CICI's previous surveys in 2003, 2008 and 2010 when this was the case.

In 2012, the Korea as a divided nation was listed by foreign respondents as the second most Korean image. Asked about the merits of Koreans, 50 percent of foreign respondents cited Koreans' industriousness, followed by 12.9 percent who said the will to educate and 12. 1 percent said unity.

Koreans respondents also industriousness as a top merit at 56.7 percent, followed by 16.6 percent who said the will to educate and 16. 3 percent said "jeong" or affection.

Of the downsides, 40.7 percent of foreign respondents said the "palli palli," or hurry hurry, attitude, followed by 16.1 percent who cited hierarchial structures and 12.9 percent who said obsession with looks.

From the Koreans' view, 41. 5 percent said that Koreans were emotional, followed by 20 percent who listed obsession with school pedigree and 12.7 percent who "palli palli."


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