In this post, I’ll talk about marriage in Korea. And, you can’t have a marriage without a wedding! Or, you can, but it just wouldn’t be as much fun. So, let’s start by taking a closer look at weddings in Korea.
Koreans are well-known for their traditional weddings thanks to stories like Chunyang. No, not THAT Chunyang, THIS one. But, if you haven’t seen either version of Chunyang, then take a look at THIS recap of a traditional Korean wedding that took place on We Got Married between (fake) couple Julien Kang and Yoon Seah.
An obligatory shirtless picture of Julien Kang!
… He has a great personality, too.
However, Korean weddings aren’t always traditional ones where the bride and groom wear his and her hanboks. In fact, these days, it might be hard to tell the difference between Korean weddings and western ones, at least from the pictures if not the ceremony itself!
(I have always wanted a simple “backyard” wedding like Lee Hyori’s.)
But, there is one aspect of Korean weddings that I recently found out and found interesting. It was shown in The Human Condition.
There, the groom’s friends went to the street where the house of his bride was located, and they called out to people who suddenly appeared, money in hand. Then, the groom’s friends took the money and a gift they had bought to the bride’s house; but, before entering her house, they stepped on a gourd(?) and broke it in half. Then, they gave the parents of the bride a “big” bow before sitting down to eat a HUGE meal together with the bride, her family, and the groom.
(There are similar traditions found in Nigerian weddings, as well, where friends and family help pay for the wedding by spraying the bride and groom with money as they dance. Similarly, the bride and groom are not allowed to touch the money, and friends or family do so for them.)
However, if you want to know more about marriage in Korea, then check out this witty post: “Want to Marry a Korean? Here’s 6 (or 7) Things You Should Know!” It is written by Keith, a Korean-American, and his style of writing leans on the humorous side, so it makes for a fun and informative read.
This is what Keith has to say about marriage in Korea:
1. You’ll Need Mommy and Daddy’s Permission, “Son, don’t you be marrying no crazies!”
2. Parents will Pick up the Tab, “Daddy, Can you buy me a wedding?”
3. Splitting Wedding Costs is Crazy Complicated… Or just avoid by marrying a Samsung heir
4. You Might Not Get that Cool Korean Name You’ve Always Wanted… Unofficial ones are still gravy tho
5. Holidays Might mean Work (for Women)… Follow orders from bossy Korean aunts
6. New Years Mean Less Money… In exchange for hardcore bowing
7. You Might Have to Live with Parents (Again)… Korean mama food
In addition, if you make your way to the comments– and you should, then you will see that there are questions and concerns about an issue neither Keith in his post nor I in my series of posts have have addressed:
Interracial relationships in Korea.
So, to end this three-part series on sex, dating, and marriage in Korea, I’d like to share my unni’s wedding with you. She recently got married to her Nigerian fiancee, and I am SO excited to see both of them this winter when I finally go back to Korea!^^
My Unni’s Wedding
I’ve mentioned my unni before. We met, because she “scouted” me as I was walking past her shoe store. After that, she took such good care of me while I was in Korea, always telling me to visit her and buying me yummy food. She’s such a sweet person, and I’m so happy that everything worked out.
Because, a year and a half ago when we met, her and her boyfriend were having the same problems my ex-boyfriend and I had– problems because of differences in culture, and really, problems because of differences in expectations when it comes to relationships.
(And, like me, she had never really had a boyfriend before, either!)
In the end, everything worked out because of the love and commitment they felt for each other, which you will see as you look at their beautiful wedding photos.
(She designed them herself!)
The Wedding Shoot
Now that you know more about sex, dating, and marriage in Korea, I hope that you can and WILL make an informed decision about your relationships in Korea, with Korean people.
There are certain cultural differences that it is important to be aware of, because this awareness will lead to better understanding of each other, as well as a better understanding of the future of your relationship; perhaps, whether or not your relationship even HAS a future.
So, you may or may not find the happy ending you were dreaming of after watching all of those Korean dramas and drooling over all of those Korean idols, but as long as you learn something new about someone different from you and follow your heart– learning something new about yourself in the process, too, then I think that no matter what happens, it will be worth it…
So, stay tuned for Black Girls: A Guide to Korean Boys!
You should get to know someone for who they really are, not who you think they might be; and, since everyone is different, you shouldn’t judge someone based on what you think you know about them, but on their words and actions as you really get to know them.
So, my three close Korean guy friends can’t and won’t speak for all Korean guys, but they can speak for themselves, and I hope you have fun getting to know them…