18 February 2007


Originally uploaded by Eleruen.

This weekend is Solnal, the Chinese new year's day, celebrated also in Korea. This year it the year of the pig, and since the start of the Gregorian new year, golden pigs have cropped up everywhere. According to Chinese astrology, babies born this year will be be rich later in life. That's alot of very rich people, then! Just like Christmas in the UK everywhere is closed except a few 24 hour convenience shops, and so forth, and Monday has also been declared a national holiday.

I spent the best part of yesterday afternoon helping Songsu's mother prepare the food. This was a good opportunity for me to learn, if I am to continue the traditions back in England. In the photograph above we are making hobak-jon; 'hobak' looks like a fat cucumber, but is translated as 'pumpkin', and 'jon' is translated as 'korean pancake'. In the photo I am covering the chopped hobak in a layer of jon mix, dipping it egg, and then frying it. We did the same with sliced pollack, which I thought was more delicious than the hobak.

The next morning I did the traditional bowing to his parents, which I messed-up, because I have never done it before, and the man and woman's style is different (so Songsu could not teach me). A very embarrassing moment, though luckily his parents just thought it was 'cute'. However when I bowed the second time for Songsu's brother and his wife I got it right.

After eating the ddok-gook ( a soup containing flatten rice discs, that represents being a year older), Songsu's parents, his brother and his wife went to church, which Songsu got me out of by listing 5 reasons why I should not go (Yey Songsu!).

On a side note, mother made a very funny comment Friday night, after learning the translation for 'heavy' while I was shifting luggage around. " If (blah blah-Korean) is 'heavy', then what the bloody hell is 'heavy metal'?" This comes from a music teacher who despises rock music, so I was doubled-over for about 5 minutes. Ten minutes later, after showing her my valentines present from Songsu, she demanded a present from his father. His father simply reminded her that in Korea on Valentine' day, the woman gives the man a present , so therefore where is HIS present?. I regularly but inadvertently cause small spats between his parents everytime I visit.


At 2/26/2007 3:23 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...


u look great.... kung hei fat choi

take care


At 3/24/2007 11:13 pm, Blogger Louise said...

hey al- thanks for the compliment...you take care too!


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