Later in history the Korean Peninsula was taken over by the Japanese. This foreign
rule led to a strong independence movement and a growing and more narrowly defined
culture and identity while gaining an incredible sense of ethnic, and later, national
pride. Even today the South Koreans are extremely proud people as they have turned
that pride to competition with both themselves and others. It becomes clear rather
quickly that they seek to compete while striving for perfection.
This drive towards perfection allows the people to adapt quickly and willingly as
they seek any new path to gain a step ahead of their competition and progress beyond
others, both on an individual level as well as on a national level. This is always
apparent today as the country is extremely modern and technological advancements
are a regular and accepted part of daily life in the country.
With the competitiveness also comes hard and constant work, which can at times alter
priorities to work first. The people regularly sacrifice relaxation and leisure
time at the expense of work and a constant social pressure to succeed in business
and sports, which always seems to hang over the heads of the people.