Just a very very quick update cause I'm hammered with lots of work (not that I'm complaining, cause I love working, but just need to prioritize, but TL is up there keke).
So Dol Jan Chi, is the first year birthday in Korea, and guess what, wikipedia has an entry for it lol, wow they have everything!
+ Show Spoiler +
In the past, the death rates for children were high and many children died before their first birthday, so it was an important milestone for the baby and parents. The whole village used to celebrate a baby's first birthday, sharing foods and wishing for long life and fortune for the baby.
Fortune telling ritual
The highlight of the dol is a ritual where the child is placed in front of a table of foods and objects such as string, books, brushes, ink and money. The child is then urged to pick up an object from the table. It is believed the one selected will foretell the child's future. For example, if the child picks up a brush or book, he is destined to be a scholar. If he picks up money or rice, he will be wealthy; cakes or other food, a government official; a sword or bow, a military commander. If the child picks up the thread, it is believed he will live a long life. The types of objects placed on the table for the baby to choose has evolved over time, as a reflection of society's evolving perception of successful occupations. Some parents place a computer mouse on the table, which signifies success in the high-tech field, or a toothbrush, hoping that the baby will be a dentist. However, many parents remain more traditional in their selection of objects to place on the table. This is followed by feasting, singing and playing with the toddler. Most often, guests will present gifts of money, clothes, or gold rings to the parents for the child at this time.
At home family members give thanks to Samshin (three gods who take care of the baby's life while growing up) by serving plain rice, seaweed soup, and rice cakes. For the party, parents prepare a special 'Dol' table, where food is stacked high to symbolize a life of prosperity for the baby. The table is set mainly with a rice cake of pretty rainbow layers, seaweed soup, and fruits. Miyeok guk (seaweed soup) is served on every birthday after the first birthday to remind people of what their mother went through to bring them into the world.
The celebration is usually held in buffet restaurants or wedding halls. Parents prepare some prizes for guests and upon entering the party, everyone gets a piece of paper on which a number is written. During the party guests who correctly answer a question about the baby win a prize. The host of the party, or an entertainer, also calls out a number randomly, and the person who has that number receives a prize.
Well, I got off the plane by 5am on May 1st, made to my home by 6am, passed out until 11am, took a shower, tried to wake up and we had a private picture taking session first in our hanboks. and then Tiny Atom got to pick his 'destiny'. Then we had the minister and 5 church members visit us and had a short service, and they ate, the afterwards we had drinks and a late lunch with our relatives .
I was brutally exhausted, so I'm all puffy in the pictures, we will likely get studio pictures later this week. For our first born, we had a very lavished event, but this time we had it at home with just close family. A big part of it was my travel schedule, but we did get company to set up everything for us at our home.
So whenever the child has their first birthday, it is tradition to give gold rings and bracelets, Tiny Atom ended up putting the gold ring in his mouth and crushed it flat, but we decided to leave it as is as reminder of the day.
Tiny Atom's destiny:
Well, I mentioned before that it is kind of a big deal when a child picks, but being there when it happened again, I realized it is really a big deal. So on the table was a bowl of rice, cash, stethoscope, golf ball, microphone and gavel, then I put on a mini rugby ball.
We put the table in the middle and Tiny Atom went to get something and lo and behold he picked the rugby ball! yeah! But my wife being unhappy about it and concerned that it was screwing up the ceremony sent Tiny Atom back to get something else without the rugby ball on the table and lo and behold, he picks up the golf ball. My wife sighs and sent him back, but he refused to pick up anything else so...athlete he is! (at least I'm happy).
We ended up taking him to the traditional table with the bow and arrows, gold coins, brush, etc, but he didn't want anything to do with those items, I tried to force to take the bow and arrows, but his mind was already made up ^^.
My mother-in-law made all the food and it was a really wonderful sacrifice by her, she spend nearly 2 days preparing everything and it was really nice having at home, felt very nice. While it isn't the norm nowadays, it use to always be a home.
My eldest son, Mini Atom age 4, picked the rugby ball first and then the gavel. So hopefully both of them will play for Korea's Olympic 7's rugby team in the future!
I don't really have anything insightful to share about this, just sharing the time with TL. ^^