Monday 11 Dec 2023
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This article first appeared in Options, The Edge Malaysia Weekly on May 4, 2020 - May 10, 2020

While Malaysia is still battling the Covid-19 pandemic hard, it is heartening to know that some cities around the world have already begun their recovery process; reopening things slowly and readjusting to what was once their old normal while finding balance in an infinitely more aware new normal. We speak to two corporate figures on work and life today in Guangzhou, China, and Seoul, South Korea.


Mark Raine
Vice-president of product and marketing, Mercedes-Benz Korea Ltd

I have been living and working in South Korea for 10 months, together with my family, relocating here from Kuala Lumpur in the middle of last year.

South Korea, Seoul in particular, is very fast-paced and vibrant and progressive in many ways.

In terms of technology and digitalisation, it is a forerunner and yet, it is also a country of contrasts, with many norms and traditions. On the one hand, you have the speed, progressiveness and a very driven, goal-oriented society that places advancements, achievements and material success above most things. On the other, it is a traditional society, quite hierarchical and Confucian.

All these elements, coupled with the language barrier, can be challenging to newcomers trying to adapt to both country and the environment. But the music, fashion and pop culture — particularly the music and television dramas — as well as discovering all the new trends, amazing food, dessert and coffee culture, make Seoul a very cool and interesting place to live in.

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