Nicholalala is a mostly fictional webtoon series that combines Korean folklore with just general weirdness!
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Our big announcement! It’s been a relief to finally announce as we feel like we’ve had to keep this secret for so long. We announced on social media last night and have been overwhelmed at the thousands of positive comments and messages from everyone. We didn’t expect this many!
So many people have been with us since the blog first began and have been following us for years so we are so happy to share our pregnancy news with you. Especially as we’ve been going through a tough time to even be able to get pregnant. As we mention in the video there was always the possibility that we would never be able to have kids and we had to come to terms with that. This baby does feel like a miracle. Being in Korea and at a very good hospital has made this all possible. We will talk more about that side of it much later once the baby arrives later this year.
In the meantime, thank you everyone for all your support and love. We really did not expect a response this big. I know some people are worried we will disappear from online once we have a baby but don’t worry, we will still be here and still creating content. I’m sure there will be many great comic ideas later. Some have asked how much we will show of our child and it’s something we have discussed and are hoping to find a balance that is healthy and educational. We are not daily vloggers so we wouldn’t be vlogging any day in the first place. It will likely be either small short videos of certain moments, or videos that can educate people about raising an intercultural/bilingual child.
Since we mentioned how hard it was to get pregnant I’ve had a lot of messages from women who also have Endometriosis or similar diseases, some who still managed to have kids, and others who are having trouble becoming pregnant. I think there is a lot of space for online dialogue about this so I will make some videos in the future talking about it and give a space for people to share their stories.
Thank you to Joel Bennett for taking the photos and to Yoojin for editing and taking extra footage.
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One of the first things you may learn when travelling to Korea, Japan or China is that it’s inappropriate and offensive to stick chopsticks into your rice like that. Although it varies from country to country, it is always something symbolic in regards to rituals for the dead.
In Korea you see it in the Jesa ceremonies. There are different types of Jesa ceremonies for deceased family members and they can vary from region to region. The only time I’ve ever seen someone do this gesture respectfully is for Jesa ceremonies at Hugh’s parents’ house when his father leads a ceremony.
An action you will probably only ever see at a jesa sees the leader insert of a pair of chopsticks into the center of a bowl of rice. It is considered taboo to stick one’s chopsticks vertically into food in Korea unless at a jesa, as this gesture is reserved for food offered to the spirits of the dead.
Unfortunately Hugh is sometimes not the most respectful person! He doesn’t do it on purpose but has the bad habit of being lazy with utensils (I’ve seen him eat meat with just tongs before!) and sometimes he just doesn’t think about it. Sometimes the person who is newer to a culture and has more recently learned these manners is the one paying more attention.
I’ve realised when editing videos later he has done it on camera as well much to the horror of some. Telling him that is grandfather is upset and watching him made he laugh but also to think about why there are traditions in Korea.
One a side note:
When Catholic missionaries first came to Korea they realised the importance of these ceremonies and didn’t make converts change which is why Catholicism grew more rapidly in Korea at first. Catholicism has many ceremonies and rituals and Korean culture was able to merge with these new beliefs. Unfortunately Protestants came in with cultural insensitivity and forced many to give up these important traditions. These days some Christians have adapted traditional ceremonies to meet half way between protestant beliefs and traditions but many still shun the days when these ceremonies are done, often leaving the country altogether. Catholicism in Korea is known to be more accepting of different faiths and work with other religions and religious leaders, while Korean protestants are some of the most aggressive Christians in the world and have been known to even vandalise Buddhist temples. Even the recent holiday of Buddha’s birthday there were protestant Christians picketing temples. It’s sad the damage that western beliefs can do.
Coming from a country that doesn’t have many traditions or ceremonies I appreciate seeing the traditions in Korea and being part of them. I hope the younger generation can realise the important and continue them on. Hugh will have to take over the Jesa ceremonies from his father eventually and will need to learn how to do them.
Then he will be allowed to stick the chopsticks in the rice!
We have shown Mangwon markets before in videos but we haven’t really been able to do it justice. This time we had Yoojin filming and Joel also got some good shots for us. I always find Korean open markets to be really fascinating and it’s a great way to see local culture. The street food places at the markets usually have somewhere to sit down inside which is more comfortable than standing and eating at the cart street food like in other places. I really like the tteokbokki there!
Local markets are a great place to do grocery shopping as the prices are a lot cheaper than the bigger stores. We generally buy our fruit and vegetables at the markets and only buy foreign items like cheese and butter at HomePlus or Emart. If you go to the markets in the evening the prices often drop even more.
Another reason to go to the markets is of course the food. There is great street food at the markets but also other small restaurants with great food and cheap prices. Since they are operating out of a small area and people can just take and eat as they walk, they can keep the prices down. Korean people eat out A LOT and these types of places allow people to do it regularly and cheaply.
If you are visiting Korea make sure you check out some markets as there are many around. Korean tourism often tries to push people to Gangnam or other modernized areas of Seoul but if you want a more authentic experience go to where the local people are shopping and socializing.
Mangwon markets also merges into the World Cup markets so it’s technically two markets in one. The Mangwon area is also an up and coming area with many small, quirky business and great food moving in. Once you are finished at the markets you can check out some of the great cafes in the area. Also the Han river is not too far away which is another important aspect of people’s lives in Seoul.
Hugh interviews Alice about BIGBANG and she goes past YG Entertainment again and asks about BIGBANG again…
What a crazy day it’s been! This story about Alice walking into YG Entertainment has blown up in the Korean media and there have been so many stories about it. We have been completely shocked at how many articles there have been and how many people are talking about it.
Some of them (like YTN) got the story right but others also had misinformation such as ‘MyKoreanHusband channel is run by Sophie’, or that Sophie and I are sisters. Also many Korean commenters are calling Alice a “foreign girl”, which is not true. Alice is Korean. It’s a good time to educate people about different types of Koreans. That’s always one of our goals with our YouTube channel is to educate about multiculturalism. Sophie really wanted to make another video with Alice so that we still had control of the narrative.
Since Sophie and the kids, Alice and Gyo, visited again on Sunday and the way to our apartment passes YG Entertainment, Alice again wanted to ask about BIGBANG. The security guard already knew what she wanted to ask as it was the same one from before! But he was still smiling. Alice was a bit sadder this time.
We show some clips of Alice at the BIGBANG concert in Sydney and dancing around to BIGBANG when she was younger. We got Hugh to interview her as she is more likely to answer his questions.
On another note: please don’t steal our videos. It’s been unfortunate that some people have taken some and then changed the story or deleted the real story. I do have an edited version of the original video that people can now use. It has embedded credits and our logo at the end. If you want to download this video and use it click here to download. You can use on other social media (but please don’t reupload on YouTube).
Luckily most of the attention has been very positive and it’s been great to see the response.