One of the reasons why we went back to Australia was for my brother’s wedding. Yul was a page boy! It was also his first Australian wedding and he enjoyed himself immensely. Australian weddings are much longer, and bigger events, than Korean weddings so it went for many hours. Modern Korean weddings don’t usually have a wedding reception with speeches and dancing like weddings in western countries. We did wonder how Yul would cope with all the people and long hours and noise. But he did really well! Having a flexible lifestyle with him does really help in these situations as he adapts well.
He also did such a good job of walking down the aisle with his second cousins. I wasn’t sure if he’d be able to, but since he’d had some practice he knew exactly what to do on the day. Even though there was a heat wave, the wedding was beautiful and we are so happy to welcome my brother’s wife into our family. She is Chinese Malaysian, so they also had a ceremony in Malaysia and celebrated lunar new year there. My parents and my other brother also went to Malaysia for those celebrations too. We had to head back to Korea for lunar new year here though.
If you watch the video to the very end you can see Yul in his hanbok in the car (that Hugh is controlling). We didn’t buy him that car! Friends bought it for him, but he really does love it.
Yul’s first time in the countryside for Lunar New Year!
We headed back to the countryside for Lunar New Year recently. It was the time Yul had been down south to the area where Hugh’s parents live, and where we had previously lived for 2 years. Usually we would catch the bus but decided to take the fast KTX train instead as it’s more comfortable for traveling with a baby.
I also hadn’t been back in the countryside for a while as I hadn’t been able to travel when pregnant. It was great to get out of Seoul and breathe the countryside air again. It was also a lot warmer than in Seoul. Hugh’s parents had seen Yul once before but this time they got to spend a whole week with him. They were over the moon and so incredibly proud to be grandparents. Hugh’s sister and her husband live in the area as well so we got to spend some time with them too.
As you can see in the video, Yul was given lots of money! It is a tradition for children to do a big bow for relatives and are then given some money. We will probably use it to buy some things for him. We also did the Jesa ceremony in the morning which is a way to pay respects to deceased family members. And of course we ate lots of food. In future we will have a car and be able to drive down south more regularly hopefully.
We were sent some suitcases from SHAPL, which could not have come at a better time! I was dreading pulling out our old battered suitcases and had been meaning to buy some more anyway. These new ones were so smooth and nice to use and made traveling so much easier. You can check out more designs on the SHAPL website and also get these suitcases through the Kickstarter.
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(All Nicholalala episodes have some basis in fact, but I blur reality and imagination. Wild boars did really destroy part of one of the burial mounds and previously squirrels were hiding their nuts in one).
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.
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.