Slurping everything you consume: Is it cultural?
I work in a company that mostly employs Koreans. I have spent most of my life around Koreans. However, I have never experienced this before: among the Koreans in my office, all of them slurp everything they consume. Drinks (cold and hot), noodles, PIZZA, sandwiches, cookies, brownies, salad, everything gets slurped, LOUDLY. I didn't even know you could slurp dry foods.
Slurping is my major eating pet peeve, and I have dined with Koreans literally hundreds of times, but not until this crew came to the office a few months ago, have I experienced this slurping. It is driving me bonkers.
I am concerned I am being insensitive, but at the same time, it is grossing me out daily.
There isn't the kind of rapport I'd like to feel comfortable asking about it, and this group of people in my office get very, very touchy when questioned about anything.
This isn't just a few times a day, this all day long, and I am regularly leaving the office to just get away from it.
So, that is a long explanation, but I really want to know: is this a cultural thing or is this just plain rudeness?