Thursday, June 25, 2009

It's My Birthday

Going to stop trying to give excuses for not blogging... just going to have to accept it will be sparadic (and full of spelling errors) at best.

So in every culture birthdays hold some type of importance and with that importance comes a celebration. In Korea is the birthday this is a little difference since the actual day of your birthday does not hold a whole lot of weight in regards to how old you are. But Koreans do celebrate their birthdays just like we do in the USA, they actually might do it (at least in my school) about a billion times better! Let me explain....

So every month all the kids who have a birthday that month will hold a joint birthday party in the classroom. The parents will get together and discuss what they will bring and all that jazz. This is about on par, and at first I thought it kind of sucked for the kids they had to share their birthdays with someone else. I mean your birthday is your day! 

Anyways, I was wrong, very very wrong.

So the moms dont just bring in a cupcake for each kid or a little cake. Oh no... first they bring a feast for each child.... fried chicked, traditional korean dishes, hotdogs, juices, yogurt drinks, fruit and pasteries. Then there is the cake. Each child gets their own cake. So the day we had 3 kids, we had 3 HUGE cakes. I actually took one home completely untouched. Then there is the teachers meals. Many parents then bring a seperate meals for the teachers. This month we got three huge tupperware full of cut fruit, a box of these amazing tarts and then each our own box of rice cakes (which I was told were $75 a box). 

So that is just the food. Then there are the gifts. Each kid brings a gift for the birthday boy or girl. The gifts are supposed to be from $10 to $15. But when you have three people with birthdays there are just gifts everywhere. Then the kids who are having the birthday bring "Thank You" gifts for each child. These gifts now can be a bit crazy. This month the mom bought all the girls princess shirts and the boys power rangers. Last month the boys all got starwars books and the girls got shoes that are similar to crocs. The gift you give is a pretty big deal. 

Now the parties might seems a little out of control, but the thing is this is the tamed down version. The parents when they come to the school have to promise not to hire party planners!! One mom in another class wanted to bring someone in the night before to redo the whole classroom so it was themed!!!! These parties do not last more than 20 minutes!! The class next to me last week had a performer. She came dressed as Cinderella. She made the kids all balloons and then did this amazing face painting on each child. I am not sure how that mom slipped that woman in but I am sure now every part after that in that class will have a performing.... its all a bit crazy. 

Needless to say birthday party days are a big deal and we all look forward to them on the floor. The kids usually cant eat 1/3 of what is given to them so it usually ends up in the teachers room.  I am known to be slipping into the room to grab a slice of cake :) though most of the korean teachers know now so just bring things like cupcakes straight to my room!!

so much for hoping korea was make me herion addict thin... oh well!!!

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