Emphatically, “No!” People don’t get stabbed in Korea, ever! Korea is one of the most peaceful countries on the earth. It is one of the most moral countries on the earth too. Women and children can walk around in the streets at night unmolested. The only weapons I have seen are carried by soldiers or perhaps policemen, but no one even draws those. They stay in the holsters. Korea is “the Land of the Morning Calm.”
I have only seen a fist fight twice in my fourteen years of being here, and once was on TV among the politicians. Once, was giving my Korean son in law a hard time about being married to a foreigner, and he got so mad he hit the wall, but he would never have hit the man. The fist fight I saw was in a parking lot, so I just went to a different parking lot and stayed away from them. Koreans have parking problems, so there is no telling what happened. The one on TV was actually quite comical. It was on the news. It was in the government cabinet, and the cabinet members had a big brawl. Korean guys, at times, might get so angry with one another they have a fist fight. Koreans are known as the most passionate orientals like the Italians and Romanians in the west, but oriental style
I have seen them screaming at one another a couple of times too. One evening, someone was standing on a balcony and the other person was below, and they were noticeably angry and screaming back and forth at one another, and someone called the police on them. You aren’t supposed to do that kind of thing in Korea. The other time, I saw a girl screaming at a guy and even hitting him, and he was just taking it. I asked her to stop, and she said, “It’s okay. He his my younger brother.” Korea is a Confucian society, and the older ones keep the younger ones in line. However, I told her that acting like that in public wasn’t acceptable, and we were at a Christian university, and I also told her it was terrible to be doing something like that at a Christian university because Christians didn’t act like that, and it slowed her down.
The truth is that the place with the highest crime rate in Korea is in Itaewon, the place where all the foreigners hang out. If you are going to find Koreans who let their emotions loose, it will be there. Between Koreans who let their emotions loose and the foreigners, the other Koreans refuse to want to hang out there, especially at night. Most Koreans live a very pure, quiet life. Itaewon caters to foreigners. It is where the import shops, the big clothing stores, the souvenir shops, the English bookstores, and the foreign restaurants are. Just don’t go there after dark.
Three things keep them intact: Confucianism, Buddhism, and Christianity. As I said, the older ones keep the younger ones in line. It isn’t particularly the parents, but the older siblings, the grandparents, the teachers, and the older kids at school keep the younger ones in line. If a kid doesn’t know how to behave, he could get himself in real trouble by the older students at school. At times in the past, there have been problems with bullying in the schools, but from what I understand, the problem is getting better.
The quiet, moral society is a product of Confucianism, Buddhism and Christianity. Everyone is held to a higher standard than they are in most countries. If a politician is even suspected of wrong doing, it doesn’t have to be particularly proven, that politician is out of office. One S. Korean president killed himself since I have been here because he had taken bribes. Another is in jail because her friends had done bad things. Movie stars and K-Pop stars are also held to a higher standard. If they are caught drunk or in a compromising position of any kind, they are no longer offered contracts. The population won’t buy the K-Pop star’s recordings. Drugs don’t exist here, but if a star got a hold of them, they would be out. They would no longer a star. The South Koreans hold one another up to a higher standard than people in other countries.
I know divorce must happen here, but in he fourteen years I have been here, I haven’t met one divorced Korean. The older people got married through arranged marriages, and they realize early on, it is just going to be this way, and they accepted it. Most of them become good friends, but even if they don’t, they don’t leave. They stick it out. The younger ones are learning to date western style, so there could be more divorces in the future, but I hope not. I hope the younger ones understand the sanctity of marriage as well as the older ones. However, they also have a strange view of who they can hang out with if they are married. They may be married, but not particularly care about their mate because it was an arranged marriage, so spend all their time with someone else. They just don’t sleep with the someone else. Marriage is for sleeping with someone to have kids. If you don’t want kids, in Korea, you don’t get married.
Many modern Korean women don’t want kids. They want careers. They don’t want to stay home and take care of those babies, so many are opting out not to get married. The guys still want babies, so they look for girls who are willing to have babies. To the Korean population, having babies is the purpose of marriage. However, they like the new concept that has come in from the west that you can be best friends with your husband or wife for life. Korean guys are some of the best dads in the world. I have never seen such doting dads as I have seen in Korea. I usually see the women doing those things in other countries. The dads work hard, and then come home and change diapers and feed the babies. They take their babies where ever they can. They shower their babies with gifts. Korean young children become very spoiled.
Korea is a very cohesive, happy society. The crime rate is low. The people are hard workers. No one has to worry about whether or not someone is going to hurt them physically in Korea because it just isn’t going to happen. The taxi cab driver might cheat you. You could be in a car wreck because the guy driving the Korean car just wants to get there first. Their drivers get very aggressive about getting there first, so you have to learn to drive with patience in Korea and let the others go first or you could get in a car wreck. If you go to Itaewon at night, you will be around foreigners and Koreans who are less guarded about their morals and emotions, and you could get in trouble over there. If you get in a bar fight in Korea as a foreigner, you will be deported. The visa requirements are getting stricter because they have realized the foreigners bring crime. In a normal Korean neighborhood, you are very safe. It is just where all the foreigners go that could have trouble. You won’t be stabbed if you want to travel in Korea.