The Battle Over the Hanbok or Sharing Our Korean Culture

I had a great time talking about Korea and the New Year to the kids in Lu's Preschool Class, last week. I brought a Hanbok and a boys Jeogori (jacket) for the kids to try on. I read to the class,  New Clothes for New Year's Day by Hyun-joo Bae and  The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi. I also taught the kids how to say hello and friend in Korean.

Last year Lu wore her Hanbok to school and was very proud of "looking different." This year she did not want to wear her Hanbok. I respected her wishes, only after trying to talk her into it unsuccessfully. I did recognized her desire to blend in having been there myself. I just wasn't expecting it to come so quickly.

I brought the Hanbok with me to the talk. When I pulled it out of the bag, all the kids oohed and ahhed over it. I asked who wanted to try it on. By the time every hand shot up Lu had officially changed her mind. 
It is ironic that it took the classes unanimous acceptance for Lu to be free to be different.
She left school feeling very proud of her Korean roots. 
Somehow, I felt that I had accomplished much more than I intended.


Katie said...

What a fun day for you and a great experience to share with your daughter. I am glad Lu had a change of heart while in school, just goes to show when you don't push things still manage to work themselves out.

Sippy Cup Central said...

I added you to my great minds, great ideas section of my blog.

Sippy Cup Central Mom

***Sharon*** said...


Your post got me teary-eyed. I love it when children get excited about learning about other cultures. I'm so glad you had the opportunity to go into Lu's classroom and share a little bit about Korea! Super cool!

Abbie said...

ironically, as I sit here eating kalbi, kimchee, pajeon, and bap, I had a difficult time identifying with this experience. Don't get me wrong, I think it is a wonderful lesson for Lu Lu (and you) to have learned together. :) As an adoptee I didn't grow up learning about my Korean-ness. I tried and tried and tried to "fit-in." I still feel learning new Korean phrases and traditions is like learning about a foreign land. I don't feel any personal connection to Korea.
Nevertheless, I don't feel odd teaching my children what little I know about Korea because I know this is the culture their halmony and halaboji hold close to their hearts...and even my husband. How did you bridge this gap?

Anonymous said...

Sooo cool!!! OHHH and ahhhhh

My 3 older children are part Korean and i really need to study more about Korean and the culture!!

jacque4u2c said...

Just perfect in every way!

a Tonggu Momma said...

I am so glad that Lu changed her mind, but - more importantly -that she felt comfortable changing her mind!

Kristin said...

She looks beautiful. I think it is so important for kids to connect with their heritage, it really is part of who we are. I think doing things like this inspires confidence in your girls and helps them realize they are special. Way to go!

M for Short said...

Sounds like a win-win. She wasn't pressured by mom to wear it, and mom got to watch her wear it with a grin in public. soak it in.

Ticia said...

What an awesome story to be able to remind her of someday. I love it.

MaryAnne said...

I love that you made the time to teach Lu's preschool class a little bit about Korean culture and the New Year there, what lucky kids!

Valerie @ Inner Child Fun said...

How wonderful! I remember a similar experience when my mother came to my school to give a talk on Argentina (where my family is from). Made me feel so special! I'm sure Lu will remember this for a very long time!


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