My Korean Husband

Intercultural Life

Tag: korean age

Same Age

Same Age

If you are completely unfamiliar with Korean culture and respectful terms, this comic might be a little bit difficult to understand.

The longer we’ve been back in Korean culture, the more Hugh likes being called “Oppa”. Since it was my birthday recently, my age “caught up” to his. This doesn’t happen in Korean age because everyone’s age goes up at the same time at the start of the year. But in international age there are a few months where our ages are the same. Hugh pointed this out. In Korea if someone is the same age as you it means you are friends in the sense that neither person needs to use a respectful name for the other, because neither is older than the other. It allows for much more relaxed speech and manners usually.

So I took the opportunity to act like a “chingu” instead of a “dongseng” (the younger one in the relationship). Used to be an “oppa”, Hugh suddenly realised he had made a terrible mistake…

In English I am very free and comfortable and can tease him with no problems. But in Korean, in a Korean setting he suddenly realised how different it was if he wasn’t my Oppa anymore. Especially because I used the opportunity to be rude.

Hugh says: I was saying, “You are the same as my age now! Hahaha!” And making fun, but actually it’s not good for me. I still like to be called Oppa.

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It’s my birthday

Hey everyone! No comic today because it’s my 30th birthday and I having the day off. A big thank you to everyone who has left birthday wishes on Twitter, Facebook and his Facebook page.

Mr Gwon told me last night that he hasn’t got my present yet so I was a bit disappointed, but he was just lying! So when I woke up there was a present there for me and a very lovely card.

It’s tradition in Korea to have seaweed soup on your birthday and we follow that tradition even when we are in Australia. So I expected seaweed soup but my husband actually cooked japchae for me as well and set out the table like this.


He doesn’t like cooking so I was really really impressed that he made all this for me. (And why no chopsticks? We don’t have any in our new apartment yet haha).

Anyway I can’t believe I’m not in my 20’s any more, but as he has pointed out before… I’m already 31 in Korean age anyway!

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Turning 30

Turning 30

Also my birthday is in winter! Right in the middle of winter! So hard to organise anything fun. Winter here is just cold, rainy and miserable. I always wished I had a summer birthday then I could have picnic or a pool party.

For those that don’t know about Korean age: In Korea you are 1 when you are born and then when the new year rolls around your age goes up. So Korean age can be 1 or 2 years older than your international age. It’s always good to remember that when meeting Koreans, they are more likely to say their Korean age.

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