Old and New Cultures in Modern Korean Society (Part 2)

It has been more than a decade since I left Korea. I try to keep up with Korean culture through my close association with the Korean media. I enjoy watching talk shows or reality TV shows because they teach me the raw reality of Korean culture. One of the reality shows that I enjoy watching is 나혼자 (I Live Alone). This show features celebrities who live alone. It depicts their daily lives over a long period of time. Celebrities as common people (il-bahn-in: normal people) It may be exaggerated, but this show certainly highlights disparate elements of Korean culture, particularly in Marriage culture (jeol hoon mom hwa: Marriage / wedding culture).

The rate of marriage is constantly declining in Korea. Younger generations have different ideas about Wedding (Jeol Hoon: Marriage/Wedding). If people someday consider marriage an inescapable milestone in life, young Koreans are reluctant to accept the idea. They measure every ounce of physical, financial, and emotional burden as a married person and compare that to their unlimited freedom as a single person.

Today, I would like to talk about the rapidly developing culture of marriage in Korea.

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Marriage culture (Geol Hun Moon Hwa: Marriage/Wedding Culture)

Marriage expenses

There is no doubt that a wedding is a world-class celebratory occasion, but it can also be a costly event. When my brother-in-law got married, I was able to see the similarities and differences between the American and Korean wedding cultures.

For both cultures, planning a wedding is always stressful. Most of all, it makes your wallet very thin in no time. The truth is that many Koreans avoid marriage because of wedding expenses (Jeol Hun Bae Young: marriage expenses). In 2019, average wedding expenses were around 2100 million 3186 10,000 won (231,860,000 won), which is equivalent to US$195,766 as of December 2021. This includes housing expenses because about 73% of wedding expenses will go directly to housing. The rest will be spent on actual weddings, which I think is a lot of money to spend for a day. Do you still want to get married?


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wedding gifts

In Western culture, recording wedding gifts is common. In the Korean wedding culture, Money congratulations (Chook-eui-geum): cash gift for happy occasions) Available. Some people, of course, give Gift (Sun Mall): gift), but presenting 축의금 at a wedding is the norm.

If you are invited to a Korean wedding, you will not miss a small office in front of the wedding site. It is customary to give each guest white envelopes with money in the office. Next, someone in the office will ask you for your name and write an amount in a log book. The couple will eventually see the records and are likely to get the same amount of money on your wedding day. There is a usual guideline for 축의금 depending on how close you are to the spouses.

There are wedding gifts between the bride and the groom’s family. coma (Hon Soo): Gifts to the bride’s family from the groom) They are supposed to be wedding gifts from the groom and Gift (Yes Mall): wedding gifts to the groom’s family from the bride) from the bride. In the past, 혼수 and were given to represent love and gratitude. However, it has sometimes been mistakenly measured as cash (hyeon-geum: cash) for some people. It is sad, but it is true that quantity sometimes causes family strife and becomes a bargain between soon-to-be married couples.

wedding culture

Most notable of the differences I noticed were the cultural elements of weddings, such as bridesmaids and groomsmen, and even flower girls and boys. There are no such extra wedding guests in traditional Korean weddings, but many young Korean couples have adopted the ideas in their weddings.

As far as I understand, there Bachelor partyBachelorette parties) are a culture in Korea, but there is no wedding. The closest concept of a bridal shower that I can associate with Korean wedding culture is First birthday party (dol-jan-chi: First birthday party), which aims to celebrate the health of the child. However, modern Koreans celebrate Bachelor partybachelorette party) and a wedding party.

Image source: GemmaRay23

wedding venue

Choosing a wedding venue can be a problem. I have seen a variety of wedding halls with different themes in Western wedding cultures. in Korea, wedding hall: The building specially designed for the wedding event and the reception can save you from headache.

웨딩홀 It is a place for everyone to have an indoor wedding. 웨딩홀 is a building specially designed for wedding, including Reception (pi-roh-yeon: wedding). Therefore, it is not uncommon for Koreans to marry in 웨딩홀. However, the downside to this place is the over-standardization. In fact, the nickname for this building is 공장형 (Gong-jang-hyung Wedding Hall), which is translated as Factory-style wedding hall. You are not the only bride in this building because dozens or more couples will get married at the same time in the same building but only in a different room. You also have a limited time to finish the wedding events because the next couple is waiting for your room!

Korean youth are getting more and more creative with their wedding styles. Some prefer an outdoor wedding, others have a small wedding, rather than inviting hundreds of guests you haven’t met before. In fact, the idea of ​​having a small wedding with family and friends was popular after some famous Korean couples chose this method.

What do you think of Korean wedding culture? I will talk about the rapidly changing Korean cultures with different topics in the following posts. Stay tuned!

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