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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I Don't Wanna Eat The Soup!!!

This past weekend was a holiday weekend in Korea... Solar New Year! This meant I had a 3 day weekend, which was wonderful! All around Korea, families gathered at the grandparents home to bow to their ancestors and elders, and most importantly, to eat Tteokguk, a rice cake based soup. I call the soup "the magic soup" because Koreans believe that when they eat a bowl of the soup on Solar New Year, they become 1 year older. So, it's kind of like a HUGE BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR KOREANS!

In America, I am considered 28 years old. In Korea, I am considered to be 29, and if I ate this soup, I would be considered 30!!! NO THANK YOU!!! So, for instance, Stella is actually younger than me (by birthdate), but she is 2 years older than me in Korea! Crazy huh?! So, for those of you who are interested in making the soup, and becoming a year older... here you go! :)

On solar New Year there is also a special tradition of bowing to ancestors and to elders. Children love this part of the day, because when they perform their deep bow and speak the words "saehae bok manhi badeuseyo" which translates to "please receive many blessings in the new year," their parents reward their gesture by giving them money!!

I bowed to some of my older teacher friends at tea time yesterday at work, and then put my hands out as if I were asking for money and they thought it was hilarious!! :) Hey, it was worth a shot, right?!

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