Fun Fact: Sneezing Won’t Get You Blessed

Photo from Today I Learned.
Photo from Today I Learned.

When you sneeze in Korea, no one says “bless you” or “gesundheit“. In fact, no one says anything at all or even pays any attention to it.

It’s one of the more bizarre things I’ve found about living here, perhaps if only by pointing out how ingrained my own cultural tradition is.

Still, I get very OCD about it and will often say “gesundheit” to my co-teachers if they sneeze. They just think I’m weird.


7 thoughts on “Fun Fact: Sneezing Won’t Get You Blessed

  1. I always say “Gesundheit” to coworkers…they think I’m weird, because I’m supposed to say “Santé”…ah well. Same happened the last place I worked because I was supposed to say “Sei Gesund”. We do what we do…and will likely be remembered for being slightly different. It will be one of those things in later years people will reminisce and ask, “What was that thing she used to say…?”

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  2. Maybe you will start a whole new custom which eventually makes its way across S Korea. Wouldn’t that be fun?
    Is there a word in Korean that means something like “blast off” or “hold on there” or “good grief” or “blessings”.
    Perhaps if you visit SK again in 20 years and you hear the word you invented for gezunteit you could feel triumphant.
    Love, A/C

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