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Lesson Transcript

Misun: 안녕하세요. KoreanClass101.com입니다.
Keith: Welcome to KoreanClass101.com’s, Korean Culture Class Lesson Number 21 - Our Son Will Be the Best Doctor in Korea...Someday.
Misun: With us, you’ll learn to speak Korean with fun and effective lessons.
Keith: And we also provide you with cultural insights.
Misun: And tips you won’t find in a text book.
Keith: Okay. Well, welcome back to our culture class. And my name is Keith Kim, and today I’m joined in the studio by... who else?
Misun: Misun. You didn’t say Misun.
Keith: You were waiting for the... I’m sorry. You had quite a self-introduction right there?
Misun: 안녕하세요. Hello, KoreanClass101.com lovers. My name is Misun Choi. 최미선입니다. And I am so thrilled to be hosting this class with Keith. Oh my god, he’s unbelievably cute. Anyway, I hope you enjoy our lessons very much with my beautiful voice.
Keith: With you, I’m sure they will.
Misun: 감사합니다.
Keith: All right. So, 미선씨, in this lesson, what are we talking about?

Lesson focus

Misun: Today, we want to talk about two very important days in every Korean person's life. Although most people don’t remember what they did on these two days.
Keith: These are the two most important days of a person's life? How do they not remember?
Misun: Because they were too young, too little to remember these days.
Keith: Exactly. And in this lesson, what are we talking about? We’re talking about the 100th day after a child is born.
Misun: Yeah. Also, the first birthday of the child.
Keith: And they’re equally very, very important in Korean families, right?
Misun: 네. 진자 중요해요.
Keith: All right. 미선씨, before we go on, what are the names for these two big, big, big events in someone's life.
Misun: The 100th day after a child is born is called 백일.
Keith: One more time?
Misun: 백일 [slowly - broken down by syllable] 백일 [natural native speed]
Keith: And the other one, the first birthday of a child, what’s that called?
Misun: 돌 [slowly - broken down by syllable] 돌 [natural native speed]
Keith: So, which one do you want to tackle first?
Misun: Maybe 백일?
Keith: Sure.
Misun: Okay. And the word 백일 is easier to remember too.
Keith: Right. 백일 literally means “a hundred days” but when you talking about babies, it refers to the day that the baby is 100 days old.
Misun: Everybody, almost everybody has this day in their lives. But no one can really remember what they did on this day.
Keith: Yeah. But, you know, nowadays, most babies are healthy enough to live longer than a hundred days of course, and grow up to be adults, like ourselves. But that always wasn’t the case throughout Korean history, was it?
Misun: No, no, no, no. A lot of new born babies would die from diseases, infection or malnutrition in the past. How sad it is, right?
Keith: Yeah, I think that happened in a lot of societies as well.
Misun: That’s true.
Keith: But Korean, yeah, we definitely recognize that. So the fact that the baby lived for a hundred days, that’s very meaningful.
Misun: Yeah, that’s true. It was something that deserved celebration. Especially, if you had a war, like we had before, right?
Keith: Yeah, I mean, Korean history is filled with strife, war, and...
Misun: Yeah, that’s all about wars.
Keith: It’s not like Korean people love war.
Misun: No, no.
Keith: Just things happened.
Misun: You invaded all the time. What’s that, right?
Keith: Things happened, things happened.
Misun: Right.
Keith: So, until now, the immediate family, close relatives and family members usually get together to have dinner together and celebrate this day.
Misun: And a lot of companies in Korea give woman a three month paid vacation after they give a birth to their baby, so that the woman can get healthier again. And, by then, the baby doesn’t need as much instant care from the mother all the time.
Keith: 네, 그건 맞아요. So, on this day, are there some special dishes that are served for the hundredth day?
Misun: 네. The food that you can eat on this day is usually quite similar to other traditional dishes. But we have this rice cake that represents a long and healthy life.
Keith: And what’s the name of that rice cake?
Misun: It’s called 백설기. 백설기.
Keith: Do you like 백설기? I like it ,personally, but it’s not really super flavorful, not super sweet or anything like that, right?
Misun: That’s true. I kind of like it sometimes, not most of the times. But anyway 백설기 is this rice cake that is usually plain white and a bit sweet, but not sweet as other rice cakes that have some fillings in them. But I still like it sometimes.
Keith: Yeah. Well, if you have some Korean rice cake shops around your place, try going and asking for some 백설기 in Korean.
Misun: 백설기 있어요? or 백설기 주세요.
Keith: And the people at the shop might be very impressed that you even know the name.
Misun: I would be too. But yeah, give it a try, and enjoy your 백설기.
Keith: So, 미선씨…
Misun: 네.
Keith: After the hundredth day after the child is born.
Misun: 백일.
Keith: The birthday keeps going up and the first birthday will come around right?
Misun: 네. And the first birthday of the child is a really important day as well.
Keith: Yeah, do you want to talk about your first birthday now?
Misun: 그럼요.
Keith: Well, we need to start from the fact that the Korean age system is a bit different.
Misun: 네. But I think a lot of our listeners are already familiar with that, right?
Keith: Yeah, actually, I think so too. We’ve covered it a number of times. So let’s keep it pretty short. 미선씨.
Misun: 네.
Keith: Can you explain what kind of age system we are talking about here, really briefly.
Misun: 네. In Korea, everybody ages all together on the New Year’s Day. So if you were born on the 28th of December in 2009, on the New Year’s Day in 2010 you will be only four days old, but it will be the second year of your life, so it means. You’re 2 years old. Wow.
Misun: Isn’t that crazy?
Keith: It’s different, it’s different. And people definitely have to get used to it too. So, for Korean people, one year after your birth is not your first birthday, but it’s you’re actually your second birthday, right?
Misun: Yeah. Because the day you were born is your birthday, the first one.
Keith: But, in an international standard, it’s the first birthday one year after the baby is born, right?
Misun: 예, 맞아요. And these days is called 돌.
Keith: And the feast you throw on this day, is it the day same as 백일, the 100th day?
Misun: 네. Basically, very similar, but on this day people do a little ceremony.
Keith: What kind of ceremony is that?
Misun: I think you must have done this as well. Didn’t you get to pick one from many items on the table?
Keith: Well, actually I asked my mom yesterday, I was curious as well.
Misun: Oh.
Keith: But she totally forgot if we even did it or not.
Misun: Oh, we have many, many sons and daughters.
Keith: Yeah, I have a big extended family but only me and my sister. So, I don’t know how she forgot but…
Misun: You know, I have one brother and five sisters and me. I’m the youngest one.
Keith: Oh, okay.
Misun: My mom totally forgot everything.
Keith: So, you and me, we’re both in the same boat.
Misun: I know. How sad. 너무 슬퍼요.
Keith: Busy mothers, that’s what it is.
Misun: Yeah. That’s true. So, I don’t remember anything, but my parents tell me nothing.
Keith: Before we keep on going with this ceremony, maybe we should explain a little bit about what it is. What happens?
Misun: Okay, along with the dishes they prepare for the feast, people have the baby choose one out of several items they arrange on a table.
Keith: And what are these items?
Misun: Traditionally, they were a brush, an arrow, and a coin.
Keith: And each of these items mean something, right?
Misun: 네.. If the baby choose the brush, it was the said the baby will become a person skilled in literature or would serve for the government in administration.
Keith: And what if the baby chose an arrow?
Misun: Then it was said that the baby would become a soldier or military official.
Keith: And how about the coin?
Misun: Well, they expected the baby who chooses a coin to become a merchant and make lots of money. That’s what I want.
Keith: I think we all want the coin, yeah.
Misun: Yeah.
Keith: Too bad my mom doesn’t remember. Well, yeah. I think that is very, very interesting. But people don’t use the same items these days, do they?
Misun: Right, these days the items that people put on a table for the baby to choose from have changed quite a bit. It depends on the family, but the basic items are like a pencil, money, and a thread.
Keith: And I hear some families use some unique items too.
Misun: 예, 맞아요. Again it really depends on the family. Some families put a computer mouse or even a microphone on the table.
Keith: So, if a baby chooses a computer mouse, the baby will become a computer programmer?
Misun: I don’t know about that. Maybe yes. And, Keith, I think you might have chosen a microphone.
Keith: Well, that might have been true. I remember when I was a baby, we had a karaoke machine.
Misun: Oh, really?
Keith: But again, my mom doesn’t remember.
Misun: Okay.
Misun: But people do not take this too seriously.
Keith: Yeah, that’s right. It’s all in good fun. But it still is a once in a lifetime ceremony, so people make sure that they do it for the baby.
Misun: Yeah, I think I’ll want to do it too for my kids. It will be fun.
Keith: And what are you going to put on the table?
Misun: Well, I don’t know. But I have plenty of time to think about it.
Keith: That’s true. Well…
Misun: So, everyone, if you have any questions about 백일 and 돌.
Keith: Just let us know.


Misun: At KoreanClass101.com. You will see the post for this culture class lesson and just click on comments and write your questions.
Keith: And we’ll be there to answer your questions.
Misun: Then we will see you at the website.
Keith: Thanks. Bye-bye.
Misun: Bye.