Tuesday, 8 February 2011

A Guy's Perspective ... Getting Married the Korean Way!

Jon & Soh-ee
I've been so excited ever since Jon agreed to keep a "diary" about his upcoming wedding ... In Korea! Oh and one in SA too. I finally have part one ready and am thrilled to be sharing it with you all!
Jon is a very good friend of mine from South Africa and proposed to his beautiful bride-to-be 소이 (Soh-ee) last year ... and this is his story ...

So I've finally decided to do it. Millions have done it before me and millions will do it after (unless the Mayans are to be trusted) but for now it’s my turn. It’s a strange contradiction; I've always considered myself a family man, but could never quite see myself getting married. I guess I never wanted to just get married because it was part of the master plan everyone is supposed to follow. Finish school, get a job, marry, have a family…it seems to be the combination of life events people strive for. I wanted to feel like I was making the important decisions in my life, not just instinctively doing what we've been programmed to do. 

I’ve been in Korea for 3 1/2 years now. What started out as a year of adventure has changed into something far more permanent. The Korean culture, although full of contradictions, grows on you. The food, which seemed too spicy in the beginning, is now the perfect combinations of flavors; the ease and efficiency with which things seem to get done is now the norm; the Asian perspective on life keeps things interesting and the children running up to you in the streets to greet you are a constant reminder that you’re foreign. 

It was almost 2 years ago that I met my fiancé, at a mutual friend’s wedding. My mother and grandfather, who were visiting at the time, and I were the only foreigners at the wedding. Soh-ee was surprised to see someone who wasn’t Korean at the wedding. She’d never met a foreigner before. Another mutual friend agreed to introduce us, and so it began.

Spending time with Soh-ee has always been easy. She’s a beautiful, interesting, open minded woman. We share many of the same interests and are both adventurous and open minded enough to try new things. We spend our time traveling, visiting coffee shops, watching movies, taking photographs and language exchange.

When a relationship reaches a certain critical stage the topic of marriage inevitably comes up, and when it did we had to discuss the usual matters like children, pets, who would cook the food and make the bed, but also some fairly unique concerns like which continent we’d get married on, which country we’d live in and what language our children would speak. In the end we decided on two weddings, one in Korea and one in South Africa, live in Korea with the intention of relocating in the future and both languages.

Part two will be published next month ... all about Korean traditions and with some gorgeous pictures too!
Until next time ...

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