Formerly known as "Cruzers in Korea"

Friday, May 15, 2009

First Birthday Parties in Korea

Friday, May 15, 2009
The way I understand it, birthday parties are not a highly celebrated event in Korea - except for a child's very first birthday party when they turn one year old.  In the past, due to a number of reasons, the death rate for children in Korea was extremely high.  Many children died before their first birthday.  After one year however, the survival rate climbed steeply, making the one year mark a very happy and important milestone.  So there's some of the background behind why the first birthday in Korea is such a big deal.

Carol and I attended a first birthday party recently.  What a huge party that was!  It was held in an upscale hotel, with a huge buffet to include lots of seafood and sushi.  There was some serious money invested in this party.  Check out this video of some of the entertainment:

Carol and I plan to learn this dance routine for our next get together.  We're gonna be the bomb.

Charlene's Mom dancing up a storm

Here's a sample conversation with some of the moms at school.  "Jake Mom, this is Charlene Mom.  We go to Pororo show on Tuesday.  You call Hannah Mom."  We still don't know what Charlene's Mom's name is.  She is simply known as "Charlene Mom".  Sarah Jolly is one of the teachers at the  Busan Foreign School and a good friend.  To get her attention, some of the Korean moms yell out, "Hey Jolly!"   

Here we are with Jake Mom, Hannah Mom, Madison Mom, Charlene Mom, Hey Jolly and others.  And I thought we were gonna be wearing goofy paper hats and eating sheet cake.  I hope we get invited to more first birthday parties.  Charlene Mom and Dad were such great hosts.  Everyone had a great time.

Jake and his best buddy Hannah.  He's come a long way from that very first day when he pulled her hair in school.  Now they're inseparable.  Side note:  I think some of the Korean parents at school think something is wrong with Jake and Hannah because they only go to school three times a week instead of everyday like their kids.  Carol and I opted for only three days because, well, he's just a three year old (now four) and we didn't think he needed to be in school full time.  I honestly think some of the parents think Jake might be a little slow because of the three days a week thing - or maybe it's because they've met me.  I tell you what, the education piece is no joke here in Korea.  Even at a very young age.

Notice the placement of Carol's purse behind her back on her chair.  It is utter blasphemy to place your purse on the floor in Korea.  This one is her hand painted Anushka purse that she loves.  If it wasn't such a nice purse, I would've asked her to stuff some dang crab legs and sushi in that bad boy to take home.  By the way, Carol finally succumbed to the pressure of getting a designer purse here in Korea.  Well, a "class A" designer purse anyway.  More on that later.  

Well, Jake just got up this morning.  I just heard him yell, "Mom, I peed on the floor in my room!"  Time to start the day.  Until next time -- C2


Em and the Fam

Yes! I can see you two dancing just like that!!!!! What a cool and different tradition for going all out for the 1st birthday.
So glad that you all are loving this part of your journey!

The Cruzers

Hey Em! It's been a blast so far. Can't believe it's almost one year down. I'm already dreading the day when we have to leave. So there's a chance we'll be in Miami this summer. We'd love to see you guys! Chris

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