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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Korean Culture: One Superstition

I've had kids open their umbrellas in school many times.  It's no big deal here, but did you know that it is a big deal to write someone's name in red ink?  I'll go to write names on the board, and I have is a red marker.  The kids will gasp and shrink and moan and yell, "Teacher, no!  Red Marker!"  Some of the brave ones will stiffen their spines and tell me it's okay, but those boys are taking a risk.
 
You see, in Korea, red ink is used to record names of the deceased.  If your name is written in red, you're going to die, or so they say.

My poor students.  Having to hang with a foreign teacher who found this to be one cultural norm that's hard not to challenge...

That's not ominous at all...
Image via Upstream

 P.s.  I don't like writing names in red ink anymore.

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