"Fun," "patience" and "affection (or sharing)" are among the top 10 "cultural genes" characterizing South Korea this year, the culture ministry said Tuesday.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korean Studies Advancement Center, a think tank affiliated with North Gyeongsang provincial government, announced its selection of 10 most notable Korean cultural genes for 2012.
The selection was made based on in-depth interviews with 100 experts and a survey of 1,000 rank-and-file citizens, according to the ministry.
Cultural genes, also called memes, are ideas, behavior or styles that spread from person to person within a culture.
The other seven items chosen were "humor," "fermentation," "politeness," "dynamism," "community culture," "harmony" and "naturalness."
"Resentment," or "Han" in Korean, which has long been cited as a traditional Korean emotion, was not on the list as many see it as being overcome by such emotions as "fun" and "cheerfulness" as South Korea experienced brilliant economic growth and co-hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup with Japan, according to the ministry.
The ministry said it plans to conduct an in-depth study on the Korean cultural genes for three years from 2013.
"We'll analyze how Korean cultural genes have changed and how they have been expressed so far," the ministry said in a release. "We will make efforts to find individuality and universal values of Korean culture and use them for making creative content in the culture-arts and tourism industries." (Yonhap)