Friday, November 12, 2010

Introducing 태세종

Tae SeJong (태세종)A few weeks ago, Yeong Eun, the former 6th grade co-teacher, had her baby, a little boy named Sejong, and on Wednesday, the 3rd grade teachers, Nicole and I went to visit her. (The different special area teachers are grouped with different grades for administrative purposes, so the English teachers are all considered 3rd grade teachers, even though only two of us actually teach 3rd grade.) We used our cultural activity day* to leave school early, and before going to Yeong Eun's house, we first had to stop by the Seongnam Art Center and take a group photo to document our "cultural activity."

Yeong Eun is observing samchilil (삼칠일), literally 21 Days, the traditional Korean postpartum rituals. Samchilil requires that mother and child stay warm and cloistered in the house for the first twenty-one days, and that the mother primarily eat seaweed soup (미역국) and avoid anything cold, spicy or hard. They also aren't allowed to bath for the three weeks following birth. All this is to ease the child's transition from the womb to real life, but apparently doesn't preclude visitors. Sejong (who was named after the most famous of the Korean monarchs) is an adorable baby. He slept most of the visit, but he was constantly making faces and rolling his eyes, which was hilarious. I got to hold him for a long while, which reduced to me cooing puddle of baby talk, which only my co-teachers noticed, since none of the third grade teachers could understand me to begin with.

*One day each semester, a grade's teachers can leave early for some sort of cultural activity. Last year, I went to the National Museum of Contemporary Art.

Tae SeJong (태세종)
Welcome to the world, baby boy.

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