North Korea Lifestyle and Culture

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Despite the continuous streams of foreign cultural influence mainly from China and Japan, Koreans have kept their identity and maintained and developed their unique language and customs. The various religious including shamanism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism have somehow affected Korean culture to some extent. 

General etiquette

The standard greeting in North Korea is a handshake, no matter whom you're meeting. When you say hello you bow. You will be expected to give a detailed introduction regarding your background


Officially, North Korea is an atheist state. There are no known statistics of religions in North Korea. According to Religious Intelligence in 2007, about 64% of the population follow no specific religion, 16% practice Korean shamanism, 14% practice Chondoism, 4% are Buddhist, and 2% are Christian. Freedom of religion and the right to religious ceremonies are constitutionally guaranteed. Buddhism and Confucianism still influence cultural life. Chondoism is an indigenous syncretic belief showing and combining elements of Korean shamanism, Buddhism, Taoism and Catholicism.

Food and cuisine

Naengmyeon- this is a Korean noodle dish made of long and thin handmade noodles made from the flour and starch. Other ingredients include buckwheat, potatoes, sweet potatoes, arrowroot starch, and kudzu.

Pansangi in Kaesong- this is a series of bronze bowls filled with various marinated meats, tofu, a variety of vegetables, kimchi and a curious acorn jelly.

Sweet meat soup- also known as dog soup

Bibimbap- this is a Korean rice dish. The name "bibim" refers to the mixing of various ingredients, and "bap" refers to rice. Bibimbap is served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with namul or kimchi and gochujang, soy sauce, or doenjang

Kimchi- this is a traditional side dish of salted and fermented vegetables, such as napa cabbage and Korean radish, made with a variety of ingredients including gochugaru, spring onions, garlic, ginger, and jeotgal. It is a staple in Korean cuisine, It is also used in a variety of soups


North Korean music includes Korean renditions of both folk and classical, courtly music, including genres like sanjo, pansori, and nongak. Pansori is long vocal and percussive music performed by one singer and one drummer.

North Korean music and instruments have been adapted in order to allow them to compete with Western instruments. There are various kinds of music played in Korea including pop, RnB and hip hop which have been incorporated.

Instruments used in Korean music include the Ongnyugeum zithers and the Sohaegeum four stringed fiddle are North Korean instruments both used in traditional and modern musical forms.


Sport in North Korea include football, Athletics, basketball, swimming, skating, Ice hockey, Golf, Gymnastics, Arirang, Taekwondo, Professional wrestling, boxing, freestyle wrestling, Basketball, and weightlifting to mention but a few.

North Korea’s Jong Song-okwon a gold medal at the women's marathon at the Seville World Championships in 1999. The country has been to a couple of FIFA World Cup finals including the 1996 and 2010 editions.

North Korea is also active in basketball and the national team represents the country at international competitions. The country has also won a gold medal at the

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