The baby oracle

by Young-Sim Song

Above (Issue I/2019)

This is still the case today. On their first birthday, children wear Korean costumes. Relatives and friends attend and the table is laden with delicacies - cake, rice cake and fruit. Large gifts, especially money, are also common. The most important part of the celebration is a tradition called “Doljabi”. Various objects are spread out in front of the child. It is said that what the one-year old reaches out for signals its future. The choice often includes rice (seen as a symbol of wealth), some string (long life), bow and arrow (fighting spirit) or a calligraphy brush (erudition). There are no limits to the range of objects which can be laid out. Sometimes a stethoscope, a microphone or even a golf ball are positioned in front of the baby.

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