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HOME > Hamel Pavilion > Hamel's view of Joseon > National traits of Joseon people

How did foreigners in the West see Joseon people?

Probably, Hamel is the only person who has mentioned about it. Hamel expressed about the national traits of Joseon people frankly and plainly.

They frequently steal things, tell a lie, and defraud other people, so do not believe them to excess.

Even if they do wrong to others, they talk big and proudly. It seems they are not shamed at all.

They are kind and gullible, we can cheat them as we want.

They like foreigners, especially Buddhist monks.

According to another Hollander, Jan Jans Weltevree(Park Yeon), when the Ching China crossed an ice road and conquered this country, more people killed themselves by hanging themselves than those who were arrested and killed by an enemy. They do not think suicide is a sin and even treat them with undue favor.

It is taboo for them to see blood. If one fell on the ground, everyone runs away. They avoid meeting patients, especially those suffering from infectious cases. They take them to small houses outside the village which are built to have them.

Other patients' houses or infectious villages are blocked by wooden columns. Their roofs are covered with thorn bushes to signal strangers.

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