We got invited to a co-worker’s son’s first birthday party. The first birthday is highly celebrated.  Traditionally the child is given money or things to promote a successful future.  Presents include things like pens and books, often text books.  In Korea it is also tradition for the parents to give their guests a gift… we could not attend due to class schedules, but he gave us a gift anyway. This guy actually works for a different school, but his office is in the same building. He’s one of the few people that actually talks to us “foreigners” and makes an effort to be nice and engage in conversation.

Koreans count their ages differently.  They count the moment of conception as “birth” and so by the time you are born… you are 1 year old.  But then to make matters even more strange, everyone’s technical birthday is on the lunar New Year.  They don’t celebrate individual birthdays after their “first” birthday… which is why they make such a big deal out of the first one.  So basically by the time you turn 1 year old… in Korean age you are 3.  So just by moving to Korea I aged 2 years!!!  When people tell you their ages… you assume they’re talking Korean age, because that is how they give ages here… but if they were in the States, they’d be 2 years younger.  Weird.

That is his son on the front of the gift... cute kid

That is his son on the front of the gift... cute kid

It was really nice of him to invite us.  I would have liked to attend, because it would have been interesting to see inside an actual Korean home… and to meet some new people.  I’m sure some of them would have spoken English.  Hopefully another opportunity will arise.

If the box wasn’t cute enough… inside was some natural soap made in France.

It smells like rosemary

It smells like rosemary

To thank him, Seth and I went and got his son a birthday present.  It’s this cute stuffed animal tiger… very soft and cuddly.  :grin: