Korea is a small country and South Korea is even smaller.
However, regional stereotypes do exist especially by the older generation as traveling to different province in the past was not common due to the mountainous terrain of the peninsula. Interactions within each region were uncommon, which leads to certain stereotypes.
Furthermore, Korea was divided into different kingdoms in the past which leads to certain rivalry; particularly Gyeongsang region (former Silla Kingdom) and Jeolla region (former Baekje Kingdom). Let us take a look at the different positive and negative stereotypes of each region and also Korean celebrities who represent the region.
Gyeonggi Region (Seoul Special City, Incheon Metropolitan City, Gyeonggi-do)
This region comprises of Seoul, the capital city, Gyeonggi-do and Incheon. As Seoul was the capital of Korea for 2,000 years, they are known to be cultured and the Seoul accent is sometimes seen as effeminate. Seoulites are also seen by people of other region as individualistic and fragile.
Celebrities from Gyeonggi Region:
Seoul Special City (Yeongdeungpo District): 서울특별시 영등포구 – SNSD Im Yoona (임유아)
Incheon (Yeonsu District):인천광역시 연수구 – SHINee Minho
Gyeonggi-do (Gwangju City): 경기도 광주시(廣州市) – IU
Other celebrities: 4minute HyunA (Seoul), SISTAR Hyorin (Incheon), EXO-K D.O (Goyang, Gyeonggi-do)
The Gangwon Region, also known as the Gwandong Region (관동지방/關東地方) is the most mountainous region in South Korea. People from Gangwon are being stereotype as poor and stolid.
Celebrities from Gangwon Region
Gangwon-do (Jeongseon County): 강원도정선군 – Won Bin
Other Celebrities: NU’EST JR (Gangneung City, Gangwon-do)
Gyeongsang Region (Busan Metropolitan City, Ulsan Metropolitan City, Daegu Metropolitan City, Gyeongsangbuk-do, Gyeongsangnam-do)
Gyeongsang Region, also known as Yeongnam Region (영남지방/嶺南地方), comprises of three metropolitan cities namely; Busan, Ulsan and Daegu and also two provinces, North Gyeongsang and South Gyeongsang. People from this region are known to be loud and aggressive. Positive stereotypes of Gyeongsang people are – honest, frank and straightforward. Most people from Gyeongsang region are also known to be humorous.
Seoulites may think people from Busan eats seafood every meal.
Gyeongsang people are known to be rivals of Jeolla people; due to political reasons.
Most Gyeongsang People are loyal to their dialect, which sounds faster and has more intonations than the standard Korean.
Celebrities from Gyeongsang Region:
Daegu Metropolitan City: 대구광역시 – Song Hye Kyo
Busan Metropolitan City: 부산광역시 – Im Siwan
Ulsan Metropolitan City: 울산광역시- Kim Tae Hee
Gyeongsangbuk-do (Pohang City): 경상북도 포항시 – Song Ji Hyo
Gyeongsangnam-do (Changwon City): 경상남도 창원시- INFINITE Hoya
Other celebrities: 2PM Jun.K (Daegu), A-Pink Eunji (Busan), f(x) Sulli (Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do)
Jeolla Region (Gwangju Metropolitan City, Jeollabuk-do, Jeollanam-do, Jeju Island)
Jeolla Region (a.k.a Honam Region: 호남지방/湖南地方) comprises of Jeollabuk-do, Jeollanam-do and Gwangju Metropolitan City. Unfortunately, the people from this region are being stereotype as sly by people from other regions, especially from Gyeongsang Region. They are also seen as being loyal to the region and having a strong bond with people of the same region. Jeolla people are also known to focus much on education and put great emphasis on their regional food.
Jeju island is sometimes being incorporated in the Honam region. They are stereotype as strong minded and women from Jeju are known to be independent.
Gwangju Metropolitan City: 광주광역시 – miss A Suzy
Jeollabuk-do (Jeonju City): 전라북도 전주시 – SNSD Taeyeon
Jeollanam-do (Naju City): 전라남도 나주시: B1A4 Gongchan
Jeju Special Self-governing Province (제주특별자치도): SISTAR Soyou
Other celebrities: KARA Hara (Gwangju), INFINITE Sunggyu (Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do), SISTAR Bora (Naju, Jeollanam-do), NU’EST Baekho (Jeju)
Chungcheong Region (Daejeon Metropolitan City, Sejong Special Self-Governing City, Chungcheongbuk-do, Chungcheongnam-do)
Chungcheong Region is known as Hoseo Region (호서지방/湖西地方), comprises of Daejeon Metropolitan City, Sejong Special Self-Governing City, North Chungcheong Province and South Chungcheong Province. People from Chungcheong Province are known to be mild-mannered, slow and steady, and having true yangban(aristocracy) virtues. However, they are known to be slow speakers.
Daejeon Metropolitan City: 대전광역시 – Song Joong-ki
Chungcheongbuk-do (Cheongju City) 충청북도 청주시 – Han Hyo Joo
Chungcheongnam-do (Boryeong-gun) 충청남도 보령군 대천읍 – Ha Ji Won
Other celebrities: B1A4 Jinyoung (Cheongju, Chungcheongbuk-do), JYJ Jaejoong (Gongju City, Chungcheongnam-do)