A Giving Culture (by Baden)

20 Jun

 Giving (by Baden)

Christmas and birthdays, those are the big ones! Lots of time to save and lots of time to buy something meaningful for that someone special. Well that’s how I understand it. Koreans seem to do it the other way around, small gifts given more often.

I get a lift to work in the mornings with a lovely little Korean woman. More often than not, she has a little something waiting for me by the handbrake. I’ve received a handful of sweeties, Soy milk, a sweet bun, cherry tomatoes in a zip-lock bag and a seed snack thing. Every morning as her car arrives I can’t help but wonder what little present might be waiting for me. Mrs Hur is a generous lady who sits high in the driver’s seat and hits corners like a race car driver! It’s usually that moment that she reaches for the handbrake and say “this, for you!” She reads the Korean name of the treat and smiles. Other gifts I’ve received have been completely unexpected. Mr Kwon, one of my Korean-English co-teachers gave me his coffee in a tin drink as I was leaving his class. My principle gave me a stunning little smiling ceramic mask curio item. A young Korean teacher charging down the corridor seeming to pass me, stops dead in her tracks, turns to face me and gives me a doughnut wrapped in tissue paper. She said nothing, I just said “Thank you!” I hadn’t even met her before! My favourite and possibly the strangest little gift I got, was during a staff dinner, when a colleague I had only met once, presented me with a tasty steamed prawn between his chop sticks which he had just peel with his own fingers, saying with a smile, “for you, Present.” So simple yet so nice.

I’m trying to give regularly too now, a sweet here, a juice there. It’s quite nice. At a recent staff dinner, I peeled a couple prawns and presented them between chopsticks for two different colleagues, saying “for you, Present.”


4 Responses to “A Giving Culture (by Baden)”

  1. Diane June 20, 2012 at 6:25 am #

    So precious, I love it 🙂

  2. Trish Middlebrook June 20, 2012 at 6:26 am #

    Ha, I bet it was easy for you to give the prawns as presents? How did you manage with your prawn gift? Did you eat it or drop it on the floor?

  3. Trish Middlebrook June 20, 2012 at 6:30 am #

    Oh I’ve just seen that this was Baden! so the prawns would not be a problem. Well written baden – also a budding author.

  4. monica June 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    stunning! That’s inspired me!

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