Why Koreans Don’t Invite You To Their Homes

Jun 28, 2024
In Korean culture, privacy, respect, home sizes, and the vibrant public social culture contribute to Koreans not typically inviting others to their homes. Privacy and respect play a significant role, as homes are considered private spaces reserved for close friends and family. Home sizes and the tradition of hospitality also make it challenging to host guests. Additionally, Koreans have a vibrant social culture outside of the home, reducing the need for home invitations. However, when Koreans get married, they often host housewarming parties to celebrate their new life together. Being invited to a Korean home is a sign of trust and close friendship, offering a chance to experience a different side of Korean culture.
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Newsletter DNK


In Germany, inviting someone to your house is common, with many house parties taking place in people's homes. However, in Korea, you may have noticed that it's rare to be invited to a friend's house. Instead, you typically meet at a café near their home or at a location comfortable for both parties. If you've ever wondered why Koreans don't typically invite you to their homes unless they are married, this blog post will shed some light on this intriguing aspect of Korean society.

The Role of Privacy and Respect in Korean Culture

In Korean culture, privacy is highly valued and homes are considered very private places. This is why you'll find that Koreans usually don't invite others into their homes unless they're very close friends or family. One reason is the importance of respect and hierarchy in Korean culture. Traditionally, bringing someone into your home is like bringing them into your personal life, which requires a high level of trust and intimacy. This is why invitations to someone's home are typically reserved for close friends and family.

Home Sizes and Hospitality

Another reason is the size and layout of homes in Korea. Many Koreans live in small apartments or houses without a separate living area for entertaining guests. This makes it challenging to host guests without disrupting the household's daily routines.
Furthermore, the Korean tradition of hospitality often involves preparing a meal for guests. This can require a lot of work, as hosts typically strive to prepare a variety of dishes and present a bountiful table. The effort and time involved could be another reason why Koreans often prefer to meet outside the home.

The Vibrant Public Social Culture in Korea

Koreans have a rich and vibrant social culture that exists outside of the home. From dining out at restaurants, going out for drinks, to enjoying karaoke, most activities are enjoyed in public spaces. This encourages social interactions to occur outside of the home, reducing the need to invite people over.

The Change that Comes with Marriage

In Korea, many live with their parents until they get married. This is due to both cultural and economic reasons. As such, inviting friends over to their home would mean inviting them into a family space, rather than a personal space. This can present certain challenges, as it involves navigating the expectations and norms of the family.
Additionally, inviting a friend over often means that the host's parents would feel obliged to prepare meals and make arrangements for the guest's comfort. This could put an unexpected burden on the parents, and out of respect for them, many Koreans avoid putting their parents in such a situation.
However, when Koreans get married, things change. Marriage is a significant milestone in Korean society and it's customary for newlyweds to host a housewarming party, known as "집들이" (jipdeuri), or housewarming party. This is an opportunity for the couple to invite friends and relatives to their new home and celebrate their new life together. It's a time of joy and celebration, and the rules about inviting people into the home are relaxed.
When attending a housewarming party, in Korea, it is customary to bring a small gift as a gesture of goodwill. This could be something practical for the new home, such as household items or a plant, or consumables like wine or a box of high-quality fruits. The gift is a way to wish the hosts good luck in their new home.


I've had the honor of being invited to the homes of numerous Korean friends and meeting their parents. This occurred when I was hosting dinner for Korean exchange students in Germany, and they wanted to return the favor when I visited Korea. So, if you're invited to a Korean home, know that it's a sign of trust and close friendship. And if you're invited to a housewarming party, enjoy the celebration and the chance to see a different side of Korean culture. Cultural understanding broadens our perspectives and enriches our experiences, and this insight into Korean hospitality is a testament to that.

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Kim Ninja (Huy-Kim Nguyen)
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