When you are old in Korea you have the authority to scold the younger generation and other people should not get upset with the elders. Young people always show them respect and any transportation mode always has a special seat reserved for them. I respect elders too and here are some ways that demonstrate respect.
SMILE: Give elders a smile and greet them with a hearty “anyong” which means “hello” or “anyong hasayo” which means good day to you. They will smile back.
LEAVE THEM ALONE:
When I stopped at a cross-walk stop light there were two old men waiting there for the light to turn green. But then they started arguing about something in Korean. One elder started punching the other elder who then punched him back. There were younger Koreans with me that time but they seemed to just leave the two men punching each other so that was what I did too. They stopped punching each other when the lights turn green and started walking peacefully.
NOD YOUR HEAD:
If you see elders and you do not say anything to them, just nod your head down and that means you acknowledge their presence.
When an older person farts when walking in front of you do not say anything. If you do not want to smell his gas just go in another direction. When I went down from my condo it happened that an elderly guy walked in front of me. Then he started farting loudly with every step he took from the elevator until we reached the end of the stairs. I finally changed my direction.
ON THE BUS/SUBWAY:
Do not sit in the place designated for elder people. When you are sitting and an older person has no seat, offer your seat to them.
TALK IN A LOW VOICE:
When old people are riding a bus or subway they do not want people talking loudly. Lower down your volume so they can sleep while waiting for their destination. Turn off your cell phone if possible.
WHEN ACCEPTING SOMETHING: When you are accepting something from an elderly person use two hands.
LOOKING INDIRECTLY: Do not look at them directly when talking to them it is considered rude and disrespectful.
BOW: Bow your head lower that the elderly person in the first meeting. Handshaking is not common in Korean culture as bowing is. Of course you may shake hands when they extend their hand as a respect to you.
If you know anything about respecting elders in Korea Please share.