Not exactly a language question, but a cultural confusion: I have recently made friends with two Korean women in my area (Catholic nuns--I'm Catholic too; I met them at church). They are immigrants who speak only basic English. They're very kind and friendly, and they keep giving me presents, bags of things like sweets and soaps. They do this at every major holiday and every time I visit. At first I thought they were just being generous, but now I'm starting to be concerned. Is it because of something in Korean culture that I don't know? Do they expect me to give them gifts in return? I know very little about any Asian cultures, and would be grateful for any input.

  • If I was in your situation I would give some small gifts, not every time you visit but occasionally. Probably they are not expecting you to give equally many presents (especially if they are much older than you), but also not expecting to get absolutely nothing. You don't need expensive gifts. Foods or sweets would be enough.
    – Absol
    Apr 14, 2022 at 0:16

1 Answer 1


I am a Korean and I think they are just being generous and kind. If they are mid-aged or old women, they probably will do that to show affection. It makes sense especially because as you said they speak only basic English, so they want to do some actions instead of communicating with words.

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