Sunday, May 04, 2008

Kim Muyeong's First Bday

I attended last Saturday the 1st Birthday Party of Kim Muyeong. His mom Sally is one of the members of PET (Philippine English Teachers Association), in Gwangju. They conduct a Saturday class to improve on their English teaching skills.

I have been to three Korean weddings, two funeral wakes and this birthday party. So I have seen several cultural practices here in Korea having lived here for almost two years. Totally different from the way celebrations are held in the Philippines.

I consider the weddings here pali-pali (rush-rush), since the wedding hall will be used by another. After the ceremony everybody goes to the banquet and it ends there. Unlike in the Philippines especially in the barrios/rural villages it is more elaborate, fun filled and celebratory. Old and young would show up with the oldies strutting their old folk dances to show the younger generations. Another of those interesting part of the wedding celebration is when couple asked to dance and they are garlanded with money/paper bills. Afterwards the bride and groom's families would compete for cash gifts which are announced publicly to determine who gives more. The total money collected to serve as their common saving will then be reported to the audience.

First birthday is definitely a big celebration as well in the Philippines. Now more and more parties are held at fastfood places the like of Jolibee or Mc Donalds since they have a mascot and fun stuff but commercialize as it is the celebration is limited for the certain hours the place was reserved.

The birthday party of Kim Muyeong was held in a buffet resto. There was another boy celebrating his first bday as well. Although the counting of bday here in Korea is quite unique. From conception age is already counted. So it is usually verified when asking for age whether it is the Korean age or the "western age", meaning western style of counting age.

One of the interesting part of the birthday party was when Muyeong was asked to pick among several items he was shown. Of those several items he picked up the ballpen, it is hoped that when he grows up he will be good with his studies. His well wishers are happy with his choice. Here in Korea education is given so much emphasis by parents.

I observed in the party came several Filipinas with their multicultural children (Kosian). Some of the kids were 8 years old. I learned that in the 80's Filipinas started to be paired off with Koreans for marriage. Gwangju is indeed catching up becoming more culturally diverse place.

Here is the video and fotos I put together of Kim Muyeong's Bday Party:

1 comment:

Morningangel said...

Wonderful observations!