Asian Laughing Culture. Why girls cover their mouth/teeth

Sutiben seeing this more and more often in girls.

Korean girls.

Can’t believe no saw it before.

The silly girl who reveals cultural behavior

It first came to mind on the Korean drama “Chuno” where a peasant girl, Sul Hwa, was trying to imitate a rich girl.

Everything from dress style, attitude and behavior. Why? Oh, that’s not important. 1

After observing enough how the other woman acts, Sul Hwa goes next to the main male character to try out her new learned behavior.

The best part was how she would laugh “gracefully” and place her hand in front of her mouth just like the other girl would. Of course, the way Sul Hwa did it made it seem unnatural.

The main character didn’t pay any attention, knowing what she was trying to do. ‘twas a funny scene.

Why it’s right for Asian girls to hide their mouth?

Anyhoo, no think much of it until a few months later, sutiben finds a Korean actress covering her mouth in a similar form during a variety show. That’s weird. Is covering your mouth a new trend in Korea or something else? This then led to a search for answers.

*crosses arms & whispers* suti no like not knowing things…

This was what suti discovered:

Korean etiquette is influenced by Confucianism, which teaches that public displays of emotion should be repressed. It’s obviously been watered down a lot over the years, but you can see many women still adhering to this instinct…


Followed by what looks like a reasonable explanation.

Korean women, for example, were taught not to laugh out loud in front of others. Not only were they forbidden to make laughing noises, it was also considered improper to reveal their lips when laughing. So for ages, Korean women have been turning their heads away from others or covering their mouths whenever they laughed or smiled. Laughter was considered an unfeminine behavior that should be hidden or covered up …

Kim Yol-kyu

Sutiben thought at first this was only for Koreans but squintox said no. So going back to research. sutiben uncovers this is part of a tradition for Japanese women too.

From way back, not baring one’s teeth in front of others when laughing and not opening one’s mouth wide and showing the inside of the mouth was one of the decorums of etiquette strictly observed by women.

It was strictly observed because from ancient times, women in Japan dyed their teeth black (ohaguro)


Not know if any of these are real reasons but looks like it applies to all Asian women. *scratches head* Wonder if guys too?

Was going to leave things at that but sutiben now seeing more girls covering their mouth everywhere on Korean TV. Maybe this custom bigger today than sutiben thought?

All suti knows is it looks cute when done… (^_^)

  1. hehe the guy she crushed on liked the rich one.. ^^ What did you expect? ↩︎


I’ve noticed that every Asian

I’ve noticed that every Asian girl I know does this, and they are mostly adopted and know nothing of Asian culture. It seems to be ethnic somehow, occurring naturally without being connected to a culture or belief. Somewhat similar to how a lot of people cover their mouth when yawning. I also noticed they have a whimpering type laugh “te he he he he”. My blind friend can identify American Asian women by the way they laugh.

I’m pretty sure it’s not

I’m pretty sure it’s not actually ingrained in their DNA. My Korean American friend (100% Korean, not adopted) does not cover her mouth when she laughs. She does have a distinct laugh, but I wouldn’t describe it as whimpering or a “te he he.”

Yeah I’m Korean American and

Yeah I’m Korean American and I don’t have a whimpering laugh. Neither do any Asian or half Asian people I know.

I am 100% Korean and do cover

I am 100% Korean and do cover my mouth with my hand. I was born and raised in Korea (Busan) and was taught to speak English. I have noticed that I laugh with my hand over my mouth, as well as my friends. And yes. I also have a slight tinkering laugh that I am (moderately) embarrassed of.

I have noticed that too, and

I have noticed that too, and my friend who is Korean-American who was raised here (In North America) laughs with her hand over her mouth. I do to but I’m pretty sure I’m French, not any percent Asian. I most likely do this because I’ve seen my friend do it so many times that well…. now I have picked up on it.

Too bad

Too bad
This is a poor tradition making women submissive
Male and female have the right to laugh equally ! Both witching respect.
This tradition is ridiculous even its look cute! Behind there is a history of mysoginy

We do have the right to laugh

We do have the right to laugh equally. Some of us just do it.
It’s not really a tradition. Just a habit. I do it because… I don’t really know. I have always done it and it is DEFINITELY not because woman (I am a woman) don’t have a right to show their laughter.

I am half Korean and I do

I am half Korean and I do this. When I was younger I would get teased for covering my mouth when I laughed or ate.

oh yes..

oh yes..

The girls hold hands because

The girls hold hands because they feel a lot of embarrassment as you can see here , it is nothing different if you go on a trip where you live you will find many beautiful girls who do that very often.

You imitate behaviors where

You imitate behaviors where you grow up. If you grow up around peers and celebrities who hide their mouth, then you do the same. Traditions are much more complex social constructs that are not so easily ingrained (i.e. adults who stop celebrating birthdays and putting up christmas trees).

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