중앙데일리

A wall of jealousy?

Age-old taboo against lovers’ stroll near palace walls lingers

Aug 01,2004
Here’s this week’s tip on Korean language and customs:

Q:
Korean women who are with their boyfriends often seem to avoid walking along the walls of Deoksu Palace, which is in downtown Seoul.

Why is that? Is there any special cultural reason why Korean women shouldn’t walk there with their boyfriends?

A:
There is a lingering belief in Korea that couples who walk alongside the stone wall of Deoksu Palace will eventually break up. It’s something that younger Koreans have heard from their parents, who probably heard it from their parents, and so on.

However, this doesn’t apply to couples who meet there, only to those who are foolhardy enough to take a walk around the walls.

No one really knows where the origins of the urban legend came from. Some speculate that it arose in the old days among singles who were jealous of couples walking together in one of the most beautiful, interesting areas in Seoul.

To date, there has been no solid proof that couples will split up after a stroll near the palace, where major cultural activities take place all year round.

So take go ahead, walk around the Deoksu compound with your girlfriend or boyfriend ― if you dare.


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