Korean Wedding

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Today we went to a Korean wedding. Tod's colleague, Sukki, was getting married formally, after having been married officially for four years. It was unlike any wedding I've ever attended.

The first hour was a Korean ceremony. The mothers entered and lit candles. Then to a fanfare of immense proportions, Sukki and Chang appeared in the spotlight. They wore wore bright traditional costumes--purple and fuchsia with lots of embroidery--and elaborate headdresses. Their resumes were read aloud and they recited some stuff in Korean, then signed a certificate and exchanged gifts. Sukki has a wedding ring now; Chang got a watch. They displayed them proudly for photos and then disappeared a while to change.

In the meantime, we indulged in a feast of Chinese food. We were seated with some of Tod's coworkers who are all fun to be around and the conversation was a mix of Japanese and English. The meal was fabulous and we were drinking some sort of strange carmel colored shochu that tasted like rancid soy sauce. Sounds nasty, but was actually pleasant over ice.

After three or four courses, Sukki and Chang reappeared in less elaborate, but still Korean, outfits. Chang wore an ivory colored suit with a long coat; Sukki wore a pale purple hoop-skirted Korean dress and had flowers woven into her hair. They sat together at the head table while people made speeches to them. During the speeches, friends and family lined up at the table to pour them beer after beer. I don't think they ate anything, so I imagine they were quite tipsy.

And then the dancing began. It was graceful but energetic--arms outstretched and waving with feet stepping side to side just a little. It is the perfect dance for the vivid Korean bell-skirted gowns. The women looked like flowers in a breeze.

I was dragged into the dancing early on by one of the men I thought of as "the crazy uncles" and immediately found myself holding hands with the groom. I danced with Chang twice as I was passed around the circle of dancers. It was only later, after many people commented on my dancing (which is nothing to comment on) that I figured out that I was the only white woman at the wedding. I forget what a curiousity Tod & I are among our circle. Most of our other foreign friends have Japanese partners.

After the dancing, there were speeches by Sukki and Chang to their parents and they presented flowers to their mothers. It was very touching. Chang's father made a very funny speech in Korean and Japanese. Then it was time to go, four hours after we began.

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What a coincidience! From today my husnaband goes to Korean on business. We asked hime to buy KOREAN-NORI!!! It's delicious.

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