Culture

Traditional and modern Korean culture.

Why do Koreans use toilet paper like this? 7

This is definitely something that doesn’t bother me while I’m in Korea, but if we were living in Australia in our own place I’d have all the paper in the “right places”. Since my parents usually have Koreans boarding with them my mother has made a rule of no toilet paper in the kitchen. While it’s natural for Koreans to have it with them while cooking, it’s too odd for Australians to be using it as much a multipurpose thing.

We do have kitchen towel in the kitchen at my inlaws house here, but I think I use it more than anyone. I use it when cooking and as a serviette/napkin while everyone else is using the toilet paper. Having meals in Korea is vastly different to what I grew up with as well because the style of eating is so different. I would definitely fold the napkins into nice shapes and place them on the plates for nice dinners or when we had guests in Australia.

What Hugh said about sometimes using newspaper for toilet paper as a child was surprising for me. It is interesting to see how different our childhoods were.

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Jeongwol Daeboreum (First Full Moon) 4

Jeongwol Daeboreum is the first full moon of the lunar new year and there are lots of traditions, customs and celebrations across Korea. In years gone by there would have more celebrations in the countryside like fires (burning the rice fields) but these days those big fire celebrations are only in bigger towns and cities and are big organised events. Nowadays local people in the area come together like this for Jeongwol Daeboreum.

I expected to just be an observer, but of course I stand out in rural Korea so they were excited to drag me into the singing and dancing. It was actually a lot of fun, but although my brother is an amazing drummer, I have no rhythm at all! This group of locals preformed like this again and again around all the small villages in this area.

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Putting my Hanbok on 10

Putting on Hanbok

Wearing a hanbok can be a lot like wearing a wedding dress. Anyone who has been a bride or bridesmaid might remember the awkward help the bride pee moments! There are just so many layers, especially in winter when I’m wearing long underwear under it too. It doesn’t help that Korean bathrooms usually have wet floors as well. It can be a bit difficult to manage.

As I was quite sick on Lunar New Year, I needed extra help getting my hanbok on. Usually I can do most of it myself and just need help with the outer skirt and top, but this time I needed my husband to help with everything.

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Will a Korean’s parents accept me? 2

We get asked a lot about how Hugh’s parents reacted to him bringing home an Australian girlfriend. We also get asked whether Korean parents are likely to accept a foreigner son or daughter in law and what can be done to make things go smoothly. We talk about the stereotype of Korean parents refusing to accept foreigners, hypothetical situations versus reality and some warning signs.

As with any video, there are many things we can’t cover. For example, we didn’t talk about incidences of Korean parents completely refusing to accept a foreigner (of course that can happen but we just don’t know anyone who has had that experience personally). We also didn’t comment on Korean American situations or Koreans who grew up in countries other than Korea. The stigma of single mothers is another serious topic and how that will affect acceptance from Korean parents is another topic that we weren’t able to cover this time.

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Hanbok Problems 6

Hanbok Problems

I do like wearing my hanbok, but it’s not the easiest thing to get around in. I spent a lot of Lunar New Year sitting and waiting for relatives to visit, and some objects disappeared under my skirts. When you try a hanbok on at tourist places they are usually not this big and are just the outer skirt and top/jacket, but if you own a hanbok it usually involves special socks and pantaloons, a big puffy petticoat, and an under blouse before you even put on the pretty colourful skirt and top.

I wasn’t allowed to take it off either, those that follow me on Instagram would have seen my photo of my view laying on the floor while waiting in my hanbok. Although, for all the ways a hanbok can limit you, they are very special.

We haven’t put anymore videos up with week because I’ve been sick and we have been busy with Lunar New Year, but we’ll have some up soon.

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Punishment in Korea games 2

In this Ask Us video we talk about games and living with my family in Australia.

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6 Challenges of International Relationships 4

While movies often glamorize international relationships, in reality there are a lot of things to think about!

Also just wanted to clarify that when we say “the government doesn’t care if you are married” we meant that the government doesn’t give a crap about your love life and a marriage certificate is not a visa, nor does it guarantee a visa. However, actually being married can make obtaining a visa easier. We will expand on these topics in later videos.

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Let’s Talk about Aegyo! 10

In this video we talk about different types of aegyo, why it’s so much more than gwiyomi and how our relationship has changed in regards to aegyo since we moved to Korea.

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Why Koreans don’t smell 9

If you read all the comics and blog posts, you already probably know about this. We made a video about it though!

We tried to keep it light-hearted so we are really sorry if we offend anyone. There are also many other things we could have talked about but just didn’t have time for. For example, what gene are children likely to get when one parent is Korean? Do pheromones in sweat cause some Koreans to be more attracted to someone who is very genetically different to them? Just because you have the more sweat glands and bacteria/sticky ear wax gene doesn’t automatically mean you smell bad- body odour varies a lot from person to person. Don’t be too paranoid, just be conscious of it.

Just last night we asked a Korean friend why they thought foreigners tended to smell more than Koreans and they said because Koreans go to the public baths and scrub their bodies there but foreigners don’t. Hehe.. a lot of misinformation around.

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Harsh Reality 20

Harsh Reality

Although I’m completely aware that I’m technically an ahjumma because I am a married woman, there is a difference between knowing that and then actually being called an ahjumma. So it was a shock! Sophie and Chloe think the article title was meant as a fun way because I don’t look like an ahjumma but my first thoughts were, “OMG I am so old”.

The image that comes to mind when thinking of the word “ahjumma” is not a look that I am ready for yet…

Also check out yesterday’s vlog where I get very honest. Make sure you subscribe to the vlogging channel because I won’t always post the video here.

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The Simpsons Quote 10

The Simpsons quote

This is a topic we’ve talked about before – not having similar childhoods. Our childhoods were influenced by different TV shows, movies, trends and books. While Mr Gwon has seen many episodes of the The Simpsons and has heard many of the famous quotes from it, he saw and heard it as an adult, he didn’t absorb it when he was young. He didn’t quote it with his siblings and in the school playground with his friends. The perfect quote doesn’t come to mind in certain situations and he doesn’t pick up on the times when I do it, even if it has been explained to him, because it just wasn’t part of his childhood or teen years. Although not every western person my age watched The Simpsons, they would have been very aware of it and how it affected our generation. For example Sophie wasn’t allowed to watch it as a child but she was aware of the characters and some of the jokes and the influence it had. It is such an iconic TV show, especially the earlier episodes.

The top video that comes up from the scene I was quoting is just someone filming a TV, but look at how many views it has and how many people are reminiscing in the comments.

It’s also a kind of sad reminder that it doesn’t matter how well I can speak Korean later, there will be some things that he says that I just won’t understand because our childhoods were so different.

(Oh and why was I on that gym equipment? I was just laying on it but he pushed the button and made me go upside down… I think you are supposed to do sit-ups or something. I didn’t do that).

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Siblings 9

Siblings

We were talking about respectful terms for in-laws and what my siblings should call him if they were Korean. I told him he could ask them to call him that, but he thinks they are “too naughty” and wouldn’t.

Understanding cultural differences is so important! What he deems “naughty” is pretty normal behaviour in Australia because ours values differ. Something seen as good, such as an easy and casual way of speaking regardless of someone’s age, can be offensive in Korea. He knows it’s just cultural difference, but he still likes to say they are naughty… especially when he sees my youngest brother pat my father on the head. Shock, horror!

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Commenting on Comments – Chuseok 4

Yesterday was a really big day but we still tried to film our Commenting on Comments and edit it. We managed to do that but then exporting took too long and it was already 2am, so we had to sleep and wait until today. So sorry this video is a bit late!

We show you a little bit of Chuseok, talk about Korean towels and ahjummas in the mountains, open a package and Hugh’s cousins bust in with some fireworks.

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Chuseok Food 8

Chuseok food

It is Chuseok today. You can read about Chuseok here.

It’s a big holiday in Korea and there is a lot of preparation. A lot of food needs to be prepared and there is a lot of fried food. Before we eat it, some is used for ancestor rituals where we pay respects to deceased family members. While I was helping set this up, Mr Gwon was stuffing his face… and then hiding and stuffing his face!

Our tiny village is quite busy today as everyone comes back to their parents or grandparents’ houses. If you are a foreigner in Korea, never try to travel at this time of year! The roads and clogged and the public transport is booked out.

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Korean Towels 18

Korean Towels

Something I’ve talked about before. It’s normal in Korea to just use tiny towels. Besides from the towels I brought from Australia, there are no large towels in the house. Doesn’t make it easy to walk around the house in a towel…

 

I’m getting a bit of elbow pain so I will probably take tomorrow off. So just letting you know there won’t be a comic tomorrow. Sorry guys!

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