Quantcast
Latest Stories

Bill Gates’ casual style raises eyebrows in S. Korea



This picture taken on April 22, 2013 shows South Korean President Park Geun-hye (L) shaking hands with Microsoft founder Bill Gates before their meeting at the presidential Blue House in Seoul. Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ casual style was the subject of criticism in some South Korean media Tuesday after he shook hands with President Park Geun-Hye, with one hand in his pocket. The picture of the meet-and-greet between Gates and Park on April 23 was splashed on the front page of every national daily, some of which cropped out the offending pocketed hand while most chose to highlight it. AFP

SEOUL – Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ casual style was the subject of criticism in some South Korean media Tuesday after he shook hands with President Park Geun-Hye, with one hand in his pocket.

The picture of the meet-and-greet between Gates and Park Monday was splashed on the front page of every national daily, some of which cropped out the offending pocketed hand while most chose to highlight it.

“Cultural difference, or an act of disrespect?” the JoongAng Ilbo wrote in the accompanying caption.

“Disrespectful handshake? Casual handshake?” the Dong-A Ilbo asked.

South Korea — a deeply hierarchical, Confucian society where etiquette has great significance — is particularly sensitive to any possible slight to its national pride.

While the presidential Blue House declined to comment, social networking sites were clogged with opinion.

“Even considering the cultural difference, there is an appropriate manner for certain occasions… how can he put his hand in his pocket when meeting a leader of the state?” tweeted @msryu67.

Some news portals posted montages of Gates shaking hands with other world leaders, which showed that he has some form when it comes to informal greetings.

In a 2008 meeting with Park’s predecessor Lee Myung-Bak, Gates also kept one hand pocketed, although a 2001 picture with then-president Kim Dae-Jung showed him adopting a more respectful, two-handed shake.

“Gates is a casual man who’s not bound by customs so he shakes hands in this manner even when meeting heads of international organisations or top political figures,” Dong-A Ilbo quoted an unnamed friend of his in Seoul as saying.

And some Koreans suggested the media criticism was misplaced.

“Please, people… don’t think your Confucian mindset is a universal norm elsewhere in the world,” tweeted @itanomaly.

Gates was in South Korea as chairman of the nuclear start-up TerraPower, promoting its project to develop a next-generation nuclear reactor.

Park, meanwhile, was seeking the Microsoft founder’s advice on her plans to build a “creative economy” that moves beyond South Korea’s traditional manufacturing base.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Bill Gates , Culture , Park Geun-Hye

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    Its casual handshake. He doesn’t have to show up in fancy Armani and dozens of armed bodyguards. We knew who he is. Come on its a compliment to show up casually like a you know each other for a long time. I don’t like Bill Gates by the way. I got hose for all these Windows crap. Microsof will cease supporting XP while my PC has no problem, this will force me to buy a new W8 with bad reviews.

  • josephacheng

    Kim Jong Un talks about obliterating South Korea, and South Koreans don’t seem to care… but Bill Gates has an “awkward” handshake and they’re up in arms?! Crazy.
    Lest they forget, Starcraft I and II run on Windows.

  • goodiepakyutsie

    this is South Korea. they have an image of the importance they have in economic affairs. because well, they are. so they want us to sort of tremble before their leaders. fine with me.

  • John Sulayman

    What shall anger them more? Nuclear missile threats from the North, or a seemingly improper handshake that is against tradition?

    Similar to how the Conclave and Aldaris treated Tassadar in StarCraft I.

  • http://www.facebook.com/manga.gamud.9 Manga Gamud

    Sana dalhin ni Billy dates ang pera niya dito para magamit pambili ng boto sa eleksiyon. Yayaman tayo lahat.

  • hu_yu

    makati daw kasi itlog nya kaya para hindi dyahe, sa loob na lang ng bulsa nya kakamutin

  • DarkSideOfTheMoon2

    he is not a head of state or a politician….he doesnt give a $%&t! Bill Gates is Bill Gates..nothing to prove….no need to follow any protocol…maybe his “thing” is itchy that very moment…..world need to know?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000923389289 David Bobir

    This is a lot of b@llsh!t about nothing. Look at the whole pic. He is inclining his head. A warm smile. There is nothing disrespectful about this. This is a fairly humble guy who also happens to be one of the richest…and most philanthropic. He sees people as people…not necessarily as President this or that. It may look like disrespect to some…it is in fact a very personal greeting!

  • I_kabod

    OA.



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Almost mugged on Chino Roces Avenue
  3. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  4. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  5. How healing waters accompanied my journey of faith
  6. Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  7. Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  8. Palawan favorite getaway of show biz celebrities
  9. Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  10. ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  6. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  7. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  8. This is not just a farm
  9. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  10. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  6. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  7. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  8. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  9. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?

News

  • Malaysia, Flight 370 relatives talk financial help
  • Celebrating Easter and creativity in New York
  • Man wins half marathon, dies in Argentina
  • Clouds to bring slight relief from summer heat
  • Canadians rally to legalize marijuana
  • Sports

  • Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win
  • Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener
  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal
  • Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Persistence pays off for The 1975
  • Business

  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Bourse to woo Cebu stock mart investors
  • Supper power
  • Technology

  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
    Marketplace