Disclaimer: Before we write this, i ought to observe that I seldom come up with my own life but I was thinking this was a tale worth mentioning. Some elements of it are very comical, as numerous meet-the-parents stories are, but please realize that i’m in no method offending or belittling the mentioned areas of Korean tradition. I am just showcasing the awkwardness that will often arise whenever East Meets West in terms of relationships. In addition believe that this tale may help other foreigners in comparable situations get ready for exactly exactly just what they could encounter.
With only per month left in Korea, my boyfriend, Yongguen, looked to me personally as well as in a no-nonsense tone announced he desired me personally to satisfy their moms and dads.
In Korea, the organization of dating is a lot more black-and-white than it really is when you look at the western. There is none of the « It is complicated. » « we are speaking. » « we are texting ». « we have been dating for the but we still haven’t had the DTR (defining the relationship) talk year. » No. None of the. After 2 or 3 times with somebody, it really is automatically assumed that an exclusive relationship has been created. Additionally, the quantity of time a few in Korea times could be calculated in something similar to dog years. Exactly exactly What Westerners might give consideration to a time that is short 100 days, for instance- Koreans think about monumental. Once you understand this, we ensured to spell out to my boyfriend in early stages (the very first date) that we do things only a little differently into the western. Comprehending that I would be Korea that is leaving additionally told him that i did not want any such thing severe.
We enlisted assistance from my Korean girlfriends. Each had different things to state, a few of their advice contradictory. « Wear a attractive gown and heels . » « Wear something casual so that you’re perhaps perhaps maybe not trying way too hard. » « Bring them something special. » « Don’t bring them something special. » « cannot talk unless they ask you questions. » Well, we knew i really could continue with this final little bit of advice, seeing that my Korean abilities are not the most effective.
If the time finally arrived, we invested the afternoon that is entire prepared. We settled on a good gown- absolutely nothing fancy- and heels, channeling my inner Koreaness. We headed to Mokdong to access the restaurant where my boyfriend along with his sibling had been waiting.
Used to don’t mind fulfilling the bro. He did not talk much English but he had been relaxed sufficient. I attempted to speak to him about things We knew he had been thinking about, mostly US shows. Quickly, the moms and dads arrived. Because they took their seats, I stood up to bow accordingly and want the dad a delighted birthday celebration, a Korean phrase I had practiced 100 times that day. These people were friendly sufficient and commented on what good we seemed. I possibly could inform they certainly were a bit uncomfortable and uncertain by what to do. I noticed at the table next to us a Korean family and Western girl about my age as they chatted in Korean. I possibly could note that similar thing that is exact taking place at their table, that will be strange since it’s extremely unusual in Seoul. Yongguen’s moms and dads quickly saw the same task and got a kick from the jawhorse.
We started enjoying our dinner and things were going extremely efficiently. there was clearly some talk that is small away. Approximately half one hour passed away ahead of the embarrassing meeting started.
Yongguen looked to me personally together with an expression that is worried his face. « I’m perhaps perhaps maybe not asking some of these concerns. I am only translating. And I also’m sorry, » he noted before relaying just exactly just what their moms and dads asked. « therefore, you clean our ancestral graves? in the event that you two get hitched, » his dad started, « will » WTF. Okay. I experienced maybe maybe not ready because of this. Luckily we had read some publications thus I ended up being partly alert to why Koreans worship their ancestors as they are constant in beolcho (tidying up their grave internet sites). Without having a beat, the sorority president in me personally arrived utilizing the perfect interview response, « we believe that when some one marries another from a new tradition, she should respect that culture’s traditions. » I also casually mentioned that i did not need to get married any time in the future. These people were quite pleased with this response and proceeded consuming.
I happened to be thinking We became within the clear whenever only a minutes that are few their mother chimed in, « Have you got the concept of taemong in the usa? » « Ummm. exactly what’s taemong ? » I inquired Yongguen. He explained in my opinion that in Korea, whenever women can be expecting, either they or shut relatives that are female buddies might have aspirations that predict the delivery of these kid. Certain things dreamed about suggest certain facets of the baby-to-be. As an example, then the baby will be a girl if an aunt dreams about fruit. We quickly remembered a discussion my boyfriend and I also had and therefore their mom imagined a dragon whenever she ended up being expecting with him, hince the » Yong » inside the title, meaning dragon. We began to think about a few of the old spouses stories that we now have in the usa but nobody actually thinks for the reason that material today. Koreans, nevertheless, highly rely on taemong .
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. The thing that was we gonna say to appease her? I had become simple on this 1 and merely replied, « No, we do not have any such thing like this in the usa. » She don’t look happy. Yongguen took a go of soju . I seemed over the table at their bro whom, with a grin across their face, ended up being enjoying the awkwardness for this situation.
Finally, the supper completed. We stated goodbye to their parents and Yongguen, their sibling, and I also met up with regards to cousin for a couple rounds of beverages. We felt fine but my boyfriend was more stressed than I would ever seen him, quickly became intoxicated, and ended up being placed to rest early.
We chatted to him the next night, after he’d invested the afternoon along with his family members. He said that the seal had been received by me of approval from their parents. They adored me. OK. All of that stressing for absolutely absolutely absolutely nothing.
Then he told me their dad desired to simply just simply take me off to Chuncheon for a few dalk galbi , my favorite Korean meals. We felt my belly fall. Perhaps perhaps Not once more.
Overall, every thing went well. We never ever felt judged by my boyfriend’s family members and even though the concerns had been much more severe than such a thing we might talk about in a comparable meet-the-parents situation into the western, i am Ohlala convinced that these were more inquisitive than any such thing. Lacking traveled outside Korea, their moms and dads desired to learn more about my culture, which will be understandable. While there will remain some parents and older generations that do not require to see their kiddies marry out from the Korean race (even though they are now living in Western nations) things are progressing. Folks are getting more available minded and comprehension of the changing times.