Friday, February 27, 2009
We recently added a lot more books to our site, especially cookbooks. Our current favorite is Discovering Korean Cuisine, Recipes from the Best Korean Restaurants in Los Angeles. Being raised in Koreatown, this cookbook features a lot of the restaurants we use to frequent. It has hard to find recipes for Jjam Bong, Jajang Myeon, and Ricecakes. If you're looking for a good cookbook, we highly recommend this one! Also makes a great gift!
Thursday, February 26, 2009
We've posted a lot about the Dol Party but have yet to mention the 100th day celebration or "Paegil" party. One hundred days after a baby is born, Koreans have a small feast to celebrate the baby's survival and health. The feast is much smaller than the Dol party. Rice cakes, red bean cakes and other traditional Korean food is usually provided.
The samshin halmoni (birth grandmother) is given offerings of rice and soup to show gratitude in caring for the baby and mother. It is also tradition to place red bean cakes at four compass points within the house to prevent bad luck and bring good fortune to the child.
Among Korean Americans, the gathering is usually celebrated among close family members at their home.
The cute baby is Lucy, our friend's daughter who is 1/2 Korean and 1/2 Dutch. Isn't she so cute?
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
My mother just called to tell me to throw out the popular Korean cracker snack, Gosomi, that she brought over to our house yesterday. Apparently, there is some concern that the snack may have Melamine according to:
Until there is more information, better be safe then sorry.
*UPDATE: No Melamine found in this Gosomi snack per Korean news.
Ready for some good, clean fun? Your party will be a hit with these adorable towel cake favors. Each 'dessert' is really a fluffy hand towel folded to look like a tasty treat.
Koreans in general are very practical gift givers so towels are a popular party favor/gift idea!
Prices start at $3.99.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Who knew there were so many children's books with Korean cultural themes? We recently added some new books to our store. You should check them out at Little Seouls.
A great way to teach your children about Korean culture!
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I recently found this online teddy bear store based in Korea. Everything's in english so if you want to send a gift to someone in Korea, this site makes it easy. Cute stuffed dolls...a bit on the pricey side though. They even have flowers too!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
The craze over "Boys Before Flowers" has affected Korean fashion! Adults and children are trying to get their hands on preppy clothing to dress like the characters of the drama series!
How cute is this???
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
It's been awhile since I've been hooked on a Korean drama and this one will not disappoint! Both my sister and I are addicted. The story is about a high school sophomore whose parents own a dry cleaners. By luck she ends up getting into a very elite private school. It is there she meets F4, the 4 richest boys in the school. Check it out on mysoju.com! I warn you, you'll be up till the wee hours of the night!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
This article just came out from Joong Ang Daily.
"Even Fertile Parents are Deciding to Adopt Kids"
Kang Eun-mi, living in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi, is happily married with three children: a 12-year-old son and two daughters, one aged six years and the other 17 months.
Kang said she loves all of her children, though only one of them is biologically hers. Kang adopted the two daughters when they were newborns.
“I wanted my son to have siblings,” Kang said. She adopted her two daughters though she was still physically capable of bearing more children, she said. Kang has been open about adoption with her family, relatives and neighbors as well as her two daughters.
“I see them as my own children. Sometimes I’m confused about which one is an adoptee and which one is not,” Kang said.
Kang is one of a growing number of Koreans who choose to adopt a child, in a slow but clear departure from Confucian norms that highly value blood ties and family succession.
There is an old saying in Korea: “One shouldn’t take in a hairy animal.” It literally means that one should never adopt a child. This thinking has resulted in many Koreans orphans being sent abroad.
But as times change, not only are infertile couples adopting, but so too are fertile couples, such as Kang and her husband.
The number of adoption cases in which the adoptive parents already had children was 333 in 2000. The number jumped to 831 by 2007.
Some people have come to believe that not only their biological child but also a child who is not related by blood can be part of their family.
Kim Jeong-ah adopted a son in February 2007; he is now 25 months old. Kim also has a 13-year-old daughter by birth.
“I could never raise another person’s child,” she says, ironically. “I never felt that my son is not my child - because he is my child,” Kim said. “The perception that one’s own biological child can only be his or hers is fading.”
“People are getting out of the patriarchal idea that they need to pass on their name and wealth only through their own biological child,” Kang said.
Han Youn-hee, director of the Mission to Promote Adoption in Korea, said increases in the number of people open to adoption and in the number of children older than infants who are adopted are evidence that people have a more positive attitude toward adoption.
There is also an increasing number of young couples who adopt children.
Kim Hong-rae, 34, and Lee Seol-ah, 34, who live in Siheung,
Gyeonggi, adopted a four-month-old son in October. The two are considered relatively young among adoptive parents. Most parents who adopt are close to age 40.
Lee, who runs a private academy for children, decided to adopt a child though she could have a baby of her own.
“Children in my hagwon told me things that they could not tell their parents,” Lee said. “Looking at parents who can’t understand their own children, I realized giving a child proper care is more important than being a biological mother.”
Adoption agencies have tried to publicly promote adoption and the efforts are bearing fruit. Adoption by celebrities such as the Cha In-pyo and Shin Ae-ra also helped change attitudes about adoption.
The government has helped increase adoptions by offering to pick up part of the tab for medical and child-rearing expenses. Beginning in 2008, the government also started covering fees paid to adoption agencies. To promote adoption, the government has designated May 11 as Adoption Day.
The efforts are paying off.
In 2007, locally adopted Korean children outnumbered those adopted outside the country for the first time in the country’s history. Some 1,388 Korean children were adopted domestically while 1,264 were sent abroad. In the same year, the government gave priority to local adoption by suspending foreign adoption of infants less than five months old.
There is something else that is changing in the local adoption scene. Adoptive parents are becoming more forthcoming about their choice. Until a few years ago, most adoptive parents concealed the fact they adopted a child.
According to Holt Children’s Services, which accounts for 35 percent of local and foreign adoptions of Korean children, as late as 2001 only a quarter of adoptive parents openly discussed their choice with their child, relatives, friends and neighbors. The percentage grew to 57 percent in 2007.
Still, nearly half of all adoptive parents keep the adoption a secret to be hidden from their adopted child and those outside the family.
“They want to hide it forever. They want to protect their adopted kids from potential disadvantages, such as prejudice against adoptees,” said Yoo Hae-yeon, head of Holt One Love. Yoo, 50, has two adopted sons.
“But it’s not possible to hide it forever,” Yoo said.
Kang said she started telling her first daughter that she was an adoptee after she turned three years old. “She first tried to deny it. She was angry and upset. She cried. But eventually she took it to heart,” Kang said. “Now she is comfortable about being an adoptee. She says someday she wants to find her birth mother.”
Despite increased adoption in Korea, the nation still is a top exporter of orphans among member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. As of 2007, Korea was the fifth largest exporter of orphans, behind China, Guatemala, Russia and Ethiopia, according to World Partners Adoption Inc.
Korean parents who wish to adopt a child are selective. They prefer girls over boys, and healthy babies over unhealthy ones.
The number of female adoptees has recently exceeded the number of male adoptees in Korea by over a two-to-one margin. Thus, the number of boys adopted out of Korea has always exceeded that of girls.
“People say it is more rewarding, and easier, to raise a girl than a boy,” Yoo said. “Parents are also afraid that boys are difficult to deal with when they get older.”
Inheritance issues have held people back from adopting a son. However, Kang said inheritance was never an issue for her when she decided to adopt two daughters. “We don’t have much wealth,” she said. “And even if we did, we would not pass down it to our children. We want to enjoy life when we get older.”
By Limb Jae-un Staff Reporter [firstname.lastname@example.org] Photo taken from Holt Korea Website.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Do you have a loved one in Korea that you want to show your love to today? You can send flowers to Korea by ordering through here. We never used them before but thought we post it here since its since a great concept! Happy Valentine's day!
Friday, February 13, 2009
We are still taking entries for March's Baby of the Month Contest. Winner to be announced on March 1, 2009. If you would like to enter, just send us a good quality photo of your child, your child's name, permission to post the picture, and your address at email@example.com.
Remember you can re-enter as many times as you like until you win! If you have entered in prior months, just email us again and let us know you would like to re-enter for this month.
Some months have less entries so the odds of winning are quite good depending on the month.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
I'm always so amazed by the creative ways people decorate their dosirak in Korea. Here's a cute one I found with Hello Kitty holding a heart saying I Love You. What kid wouldn't want to open their lunch box to find this creation?
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
If you're like me and make gook bap (soup and rice) for your kids, your routine is probably like this...first you cook/heat the soup, then you wait till the soup is cool (either by putting ice cubes in it, blowing on it or putting it in the freezer) and then you give it to your kids. Does that story sound familiar? About 4 years ago I discovered this mom-invented idea called the Mac N Cool. It's a bowl shaped container and you fill it with water and freeze it. Whenever you need to cool anything, you use the frozen bowl to cool your food. How ingenious!
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
The art of Origami has a long history in Korea as in Japan. I remember my grandmother giving us paper made Cranes as her gift of love to us. In Korea, there is a Korean Paper Folding Organization (HanKuk Jong-ie Jupgii Hyophoe) that was established in 1989 to give rebirth to the lost cultural roots of paper folding. Here is the link that explains the Korean history behind this valued art. They say paper art helps children with brain development, while instilling creativity and discipline. A great craft idea to do with the kids!
Photos and information taken from Korea Jongie Jupgi Association.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
We just added these cute party favor boxes to our store. They can be used to pack dduk (ricecake) for your guests. They can also be used for anything you can think of! They are so cute! The wording on the box say's "First Birthday" in Korean. They measure 6.10" x 4.33" x 3.54" and comes in sets of 10.
Friday, February 6, 2009
About a few months ago, my husband bought some of these Japanese trays. So instead of using place mats on the tables, he uses these for the entire family. It's great if you have a small child feeding themselves since as we all know they know how to make a mess on the table. Placemats offer no protection from spills since it doesn't "catch" the spills. The trays on the other had keeps the mess and spills within the tray and unlike placemats, you just rinse off with soap and water and that's that. Placemats never seem to dry off quickly enough and just annoying to use. I just thought I'd share this great tip my husband discovered which I'm sure is not a new idea...especially not to the Japanese people.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
How cute is this for a children's party? If you could find someone who can design this duk (rice cake) for you, I bet your guests would be so impressed! I wonder if you can use existing round duk and shape it yourself like this? Hmmm...what do you think? Its worth a try!
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Monday, February 2, 2009
In light of yesterday's Superbowl Sunday, we thought we highlight Pittsburgh Steelers' wide receiver, Hines Ward. Hines Ward who is bi-racially Korean American and African American, is not only a stellar athlete but has a compassionate, giving heart. He started the Helping Hands Foundation which helps bi-racial children in Korea gain inspiration and hope through trips to the US. Most often bi-racial children are discriminated against in Korea and Hines Ward felt the need to start this type of foundation.
To read more about Hines Ward and his foundation cllick here.
Pictures taken from Official Pittsburgh Steelers Website
According to English Cho-sun Ilbo, the next Korean American golfer to be the next Michelle Wie is 9 year old Korean American, Karen Kim. Despite her youth, she has won over 70 titles, notably the US National Championship for Children last December. The CKG voted her golfer of the year in 2008. Her father is a professional golfer who began teaching her golf at the age of five.
Photo and content taken from English Cho-sun Ilbo.