Five Things Koreans Give to Wish Good Luck in Exams

In every culture, people give something or say something special to wish a good luck. Especially in Korea, where the college entrance exam called ‘Su-nung’ is highly important in individuals’ lives, many unique presents are given to exam takers to wish a good luck. Below are five examples of what we give each other before an exam.

1. Korean candy


The Korean word for ‘pass’ (붙다) has two different meanings: ‘pass’ and ‘stick’ (verb).  Korean candy is very sweet but pretty sticky to chew, so if you give someone Korean candy, it means wishing her to pass(=stick) an exam, like eating sticky candy.

2. Rice Cake


It’s the same reason with Korean candy. Rice cake, especially glutinous rice cake is also very sticky.

3. fork


You dip food with a fork. Korean word for ‘dip'(찍다) also means ‘take a guess’ or ‘randomly pick an answer’. So giving a fork means wishing her to take a good guess.

4. Toilet Paper


Korean word for ‘solve'(풀다) also has the meaning of ‘unroll’. So giving someone toilet paper means to wish her to solve(=unroll) problems well like unrolling the toilet paper

5. Chocolate


Chocolate is a symbol of energy in Korea, and it requires a lot of energy to take an exam. So it makes sense, isn’t it?

What do you think?

Our Correspondent
Cult South Korea correspondent
Sujin - Seoul

I live in Seoul and I was raised in Gimhae. I did an exchange in the Utrecht, Netherlands and worked in Sintra, Portugal. I'm interested things such as films, languages, art, feminism, development, travel, human rights, animals, history, international relations, etc.

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Continent: Asia
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Languages: Korean

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