Korean Family’s Happiest and Saddest Days

Today was quite a bipolar day. A few weeks ago, I was invited by my gf to go to her favorite cousin’s wedding to see what Korean weddings are like. However, on the way to the wedding hall, my gf received a call from her close friend. Her friend’s dad has just passed away today morning. Because she was very close to the family, we promised to come right after the wedding.

Let’s talk about the Korean Wedding now.

So the couple that was getting married today were actually Christians, so they had the typical, movie like wedding. I do, I do.

So obviously, that’s not why I’m writing this blog. What was amazing was the things that happened AFTER the western wedding ceremony. Besides the delicious food at the reception… something else was quite awesome.

There was a second part of the wedding, The Korean traditional wedding! Like, in this wedding hall, there is like a separate room on each floor of the building that is set up like the traditional Korean house/room.

After taking pictures of my gf’s family and look around a bit, the groom and bridge came into the room in a different outfit. You might know what they are! Hanbok (한복)

That’s so cool right? The outfits look so pretty and traditional. Actually the family members were all teasing him about his glasses because back during the Chosun Dynasty (I’m assuming that’s when the outfit styles are from) there were no such thing as glasses. Haha. The groom looked so handsome, and the bride looked so pretty.

Next, they have to bow to the parents of the groom. And, I thought it was quite interesting how they had a lady there to help the bride with the bows…I guess it’s because these bows are quite hard to do without losing your balance. After that, the groom and bridge held this fabric towel(?) in front of them as they sit facing each other in front of the table. They were supposed to catch these…fruits(?) that the parents of the groom throw at them with the fabric. The more fruits(?) they catch, the more kids they will…have? And they..caught a lot ^_^ so I hope they like children.

Once that was over, it was tea serving time! And this is when I was told that only the groom’s relatives get to receive the teas. But anyways, what happened was the bride held the cup, one at a time, then the groom would poor the tea into the cups. Finally, the lady there would bring the tea to the relatives. The relative took turns sitting there.

The last part of the wedding mainly consisted of us digging in, shoving our faces with food. It was too delicious that we did not even remember to take pictures! Haha. It was a super fancy buffet with everything from Korean BBQ, to Sushi, to Korean food, to seafood salads, to deserts and etc.

Before we left, my gf’s aunt told me “Here’s a picture of my son. If you think he’s okay, call me.” Me and gf, and her sister all laughed since we know that…heheheheehe. Yeah.

But then we had to also attend my gf’s close friend’s dad’s funeral. It was my first time to a funeral, really, so I didn’t really know what exactly to do. Since one, I didn’t really belong there…I didn’t really know the person who passed away. And two, I’m not Korean. I had no idea what the customs were for such events.

It was like apart of the hospital. When we went in, gf greeted the family members first. She went into the room where visitors pay respect to the person that passed away and their family members. She did the traditional big Korean style bows, that I did not know how to do, three times to the tribute/shrine off her friend’s father. Then one more to the families, who also bowed back.

I guess the friend did not expect me to do anything, so they all sort of came out of the room. I just followed my gf to sit down at a table where her other friends sat. These tables were the ones that forces you to sit on the floor. Since I was wearing a dress, I had a major problem with this. My legs kept falling as sleep, cramping, and I might have pulled a muscle too. But no one else seem to have a problem… Ah, the foreigner me was not used to it.

People came in and out of there to pay their respect and to give a little something to the family (money). Yes, they served food there. We were there from around 3PM to 8PM. I was told that the visitors are supposed to eat, drink, and play games happily there so the person that passed away could leave with a light heart.

And I was also told that we were supposed to shower after going to a funeral. So I showered and as my hair dried, I wrote this entry. :] I hope you enjoyed learning about the Korean wedding and funeral.

  1. ienspiration posted this