Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Korean New Year

It's Korean new years day now in Korea.
Korean New Years day (not January 1st!!!!) is my favorite day.
At least, it used to be.
Because of this:
I mean, money...
This is the day when children get the biggest allowance of the year.
But now that I'm in college, I can't really get any allowance from the adults.
In fact, in a few years, I'll be giving money for the elders to give to the children when they bow.

I love being legally adult, but the one resentment is that I cannot get the allowance in the
Korean New Years...
Here... This is what adults must go through...

First of all, this is probably the busiest times of the year for the adults
because it takes lots of preparation and food to celebrate the New Year.
By the way, "celebrating" means thanking our ancestors for the safe years in the past.
So it's more like Thanksgiving rather than New Years celebration...
This is what they have to make:

It's also a stress for the adults because the market raises the prices of the fruits
and vegetables needed for celebrating the New Year.
Way to make money, Markets! Bahhh!

These are pan fried tofu, fish, meat, and vegetables.
They are one of the necessary food for the New Years.

This is Tukgook.
This is a sliced tuk(mochi) cuisine that people eat in the New Year.
This is supposed to make you gain one more year of age...
That's why there's a joke that kids say when they eat two bowls of these.
They think they're two years older when they eat two bowls of tukgook. Lol...

Speaking of kids, here's what they have to do to get the allowance from the adults:

They bow to show respect to the adults, and also to charm them.
They really are cute all dressed up in Hanbok (Korean traditional clothes).

This little colorful pocket's called the "luck sack"
Okay, I'll call it a "Luck Bag".
This is where the kids put the money they get from the adults.

There's a picture of a kid receiving the allowance after bowing...

So... What do the kids pay for getting this much allowance?
But for the adults, this is rather a big stress than happiness....

Here's a graph of the adult's biggest stress:
1st: The red bar (36.3%): The cost/finance/money for this day

2nd: turquoise bar (21.6%): The work, cleaning, cooking, setting up... (probably 99% women...)

3rd: green bar (21.3%): The nosy in-laws and relatives minding everyone else's business

4th: blue bar (16.9%): All the driving and the money cost for transportation. 
(Transportation's a big part because it beats the traffic of New York during the rush hour...)

5th: Gifts for bosses and others. Some really dirty people use this time of the year to
bribe their bosses with very expensive gifts. Shame, shame, shame!!! >:(

Yeah, Korean New Year seems so tiresome and good only for kids!
Why are we not getting rid of this tradition yet??

Because it's probably worth it to see your relatives faces at least once a year...
Especially nowadays when everyone's so busy working and working and working,
I think it's important to have a family gathering to catch up on each other at least once a year.
It doesn't hurt to do it once a year, right?

Happy New Year!!!! <3

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