Monday, August 16, 2010

Hanbok

Early-ish on Sunday morning, the phone rang. Darling Man and I looked at each other. Phones that ring that early or very late are rarely good news. In our business, we get those phone calls when things go wrong. And we have older parents - so we always answer.

This time, though, it was my brother Matt in Korea. He and his love Dawon are getting married in October and I'm going to be there!!! The reason for the call? They are going to rent an hanbok for me and need measurements.

A hanbok is a traditional dress worn for ceremonies. As Matt read off the measurements they needed, I started getting a little confused... Nape to floor? Sternum to floor? Middle of back of neck to wrist or the thumb joint (depending on how long you want your sleeves)? The only ones I "got" were the bust measurement and upper chest measurement. When Matt said that was it, I asked "Don't you need a waist or hip measurement?" He laughed and told me to google it.

So I did. Now I see why:



It's not exactly fitted at the waist. It's kind of like wearing an ornate tent as the material flows out from the bust. Now THIS is my cup of tea! And it's beautiful! I can't wait to see mine. Of course I will take pictures.
This is to be a traditional Korean wedding - below is an example of wedding clothes for the bride and groom.

Aren't they beautiful? I can't wait to see Matt and Dawon all dressed up!
I bought a Learn-to-Speak Korean cd and a book. I never imagined that my first second language would Korean. I probably won't know much before I get there. Enough to find the bathroom and tell people I don't actually speak Korean. But I'm going to give it a shot.
Actually, my first second language was Latin. Because it's the basis of most European languages, I can usually figure out what's being said given enough time. But Asian languages are so different. I think part of it is the written language, which is quite foreign to someone like me.
It's said that English is the hardest language to learn because there are so many variances to the rules, so many words that sound the same but mean completely different things or are spelled differently. Dawon is learning English. Matt is teaching English to Korean school children. I think it's easy because I grew up with it - the rules of grammar are second nature and spelling doesn't faze me at all. But it's very, very different to non-English speakers...
In a way, I can sympathize with Matt's students. Only I'm trying to learn what they know. This should be a very interesting trip!

3 comments:

pink paws said...

Once in a lifetime trip and experience. You are going to have so much fun and look beautiful!

Native Mom said...

Now that is a fashion trend I could get behind! Will be looking for photos - sounds fantastic!

karisma said...

Wow! Make sure you get loads of pictures to share! I can't wait to see you! Looks awesome!