Family Life
Korean life is defined by family relationships. Confucian beliefs influence family roles and relationships between the government and people, men and women, parents and children, and also between seniors and young people. Some customs based on Confucian beliefs are still practised today. Parents place great importance on teaching children to respect their elders and to fulfill family duties. Koreans lower their eyes when speaking to an older person as it is considered disrespectful to make direct eye contact. Koreans never address an older person by his or her first name, but use the older person's last name with a title. 
Traditionally, extended families lived together and one household might contain a dozen people. Today though, more people are moving into their own apartments in urban centres and smaller families are becoming common. Koreans still believe in looking after their elderly parents.
Did you know? 

Koreans do not wear shoes in a home. It is polite to take off your shoes before you enter a home. 

Because of the importance placed on the family in Korean society, people keep track of their family trees and can trace their roots back several generations. Family documents such as Family Census Registers, also known as family certificates, are more important than birth or marriage certificates.

 When friends and family gather for social, religious or cultural events, it is common for women and men to socialize in different rooms. It is the custom for most women to choose to stay home after marriage. Even men with working wives are not used to helping with the housework.

A traditional Korean home is L or U shaped and has one storey separated by sliding doors into three to five rooms. Rooms may be multi-functional. A table may be brought out to create a dining room and later put away or mattresses spread out to create a bedroom. Rooms are sometimes decorated with delicately painted, folding screens. People sit on the floor on cushions and eat off low tables. Koreans use wooden chests inlaid with ivory and enamel to hold mattresses and clothes. 

Both traditional and modern houses are built with ondol, a self-contained heating system where air from the central heating system travels through the pipes in the floor to warm up the house.