Korea is a homogeneous country with population descended from the
Mongols. The Koreans speak one language, the Korean, and everybody
shares similar physical attributes. They are also known as one of
the most diligent societies in the world.
The resilient Koreans have produced nothing short of a miracle in
the last four decades. From the ashes of war have risen a healthy,
happy, well-educated people, who have restored their national pride,
great cultural heritage, and a bright economic future.
The grammar of the language resembles that of Japanese but that
is as far as it goes. Both Koreans and Japanese use Chinese characters,
along with their own alphabets, in their written language but spoken
Korean bears no resemblance to either language.
Linguistically, the Korean language belongs to the Ural-Altaic language
group of central Asia which includes Turkish, Mongolian, Hungarian
and Finnish. The Korean alphabet, Han-gul, was invented in 1443
by scholars under the patronage of King Sejong.
Korean is spoken in both North and South Korea and is written in
Hangul, a phonetic alphabet that uses numerous Chinese words. English
is taught in the schools. Older people-those who were educated during
the period of occupation (1910-45)-are more likely to know Japanese
Shamanism, Buddhism and Confucianism are what make up Korea's socio-cultural
identity and development. About 51% of the population are Buddhists,
35% are Protestants, 11% are Catholics and the rest are followers
of Confucianism. Christianity was introduced into Korea in the late