My baby girl Taja turned ONE today — which means that this past weekend was a significant one. We celebrated Taja’s Korean Dol with our parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces. A symbolic and perfectly quaint family party at Yong Susan in Koreatown.
WHAT IS A KOREAN DOL CELEBRATION?
In the Korean tradition, this is a big celebration — on par with weddings. It symbolizes a huge feat which is the child’s survival of his/her first year. (Originating from Korea’s historically high infant mortality rate, reaching the first birthday was a huge milestone. Today the 100th day (baekil), 1st year and 60th-year birthdays remain the greatest milestones in the Korean tradition.)
There is a lot of food and Korean duk!
KOREAN DOL ATTIRE
Taja wore a traditional Korean dress called a hanbok — and she engaged in the fortune-telling ritual where she is placed in front of a selection of symbolic objects. She was encouraged to pick one which is believed will represent or foretell her future. Taja chose among the following objects placed in front of her: stethoscope (doctor), gavel (judge), drum sticks (drummer/musician), guitar (guitarist/musician), $100 bill (wealthy businessperson), pencil (scholar), a bowl of rice (will never go hungry), and thread (health and longevity).
To the satisfaction of her Halmuhnee (my mother), she picked the stethoscope first, followed by the gavel.
Doctor-Judge ain’t a bad hyphenate. So long as she’s happy…we’re happy.