Baek-il is a Korean celebration of a baby’s first 100 days of life. It is a big milestone for a baby to reach 100 days. Back in the day, babies would pass away because of illnesses and poor living conditions. Parents would try and avoid bringing their babies outside until they were 100 days old, since 100 days was a sign that babies would see their first birthday.
On baek-il, parents pray and worship the spirit Samshn. They offered rice and soup to the spirit to thank her for helping the baby and the parents through this difficult time period. Afterwards, family, friends, and relatives celebrate with rice cakes, fruits, and other treats. Usually during this celebration, the parents dress their baby in a traditional Korean hanbok.
Japanese bento boxes are packed lunch boxes or takeaway containers that are made out of wood, plastic, or metal. Bento boxes are often filled with cooked rice, meats, fish, pickled and/or cooked vegetables, and egg. They are usually made by parents to give to their children for lunch in school or sold as takeaway foods from restaurants or train stations. These bento boxes are often nicely decorated and look very cute. I’m not exactly sure if I would be able to eat from the bento boxes if they looked this cute!
From November 1 to November 2, the people of Mexico celebrate Dia de los Muertos, otherwise known as day of the dead. During Dia de los Muertos, people celebrate the lives of the deceased. It is said that on November 1 the spirits of deceased children come down to reunite with their families, while on November 2 the spirits of deceased adults come down.
Dia de los Muertos is celebrated first in each family’s home. An altar, called an ofrenda, made for the deceased and then decorated. The altar is decorated with candles, flowers, foods such as tortilla and Day of the Dead-bread, drinks, toys and candies for the children, cigarettes and alcohol for the adults, skeletons and sugar skulls, and favorite memories or things of the deceased. They leave these things for the deceased, because it is said that the deceased’s spirit will come down and enjoy these things when they come down to reunite with their families.
On the afternoon of November 2, families go to the cemetary to their loved ones’ graves. They clean the graves, play games, listen to music, and celebrate the lives and memories of their deceased loved ones.
Korean kimbap and Japanese sushi look the same, but are they really the same thing? The answer is yes and no.
Japanese sushi consists of vinegared rice, which is combined with other ingredients like raw seafood and vegetables. Japanese sushi has various types. Some of these include:
makizushi, also known as norimaki (rolled sushi)
nigirizushi (hand-pressed sushi)
chirashizushi (scattered sushi)
inarisushi (pouch sushi) -fried tofu pouch filled with cooked vinegared rice
oshizushi (box sushi)
Korean kimbap is like a variant of Japanese norimaki. In kimbap, however, the rice is usually mixed with sesame oil. Kimbap usually contains rice, vegetables (carrots, kimchi, pickled radish, etc.), meat (beef, ham, crab, etc), and fried egg.
If you’re an anime fan, but don’t know any Japanese-here is a list of anime words you should know:
- anime – Japanese animation/cartoon
- baka – stupid, fool
- chibi– small, short (characters)
- gijinka – personification of animals or characters
- kawaii – cute
- manga – Japanese comic book
- neko – cat
- oishii – delicious
- onee-san/chan – older sister (-san is more formal as -chan is more affectionate)
- onii-san/chan – older brother (-san is more formal as -chang is more affectionate)
- otaku – someone who has an obsessive interest (anime, video games, manga), usually a derogatory term
- sugoi – amazing, awesome
- sensei – teacher
- senpai – a person’s senior in occupation/school/etc.
The English language is definitely a complex language to learn. For us native speakers, it may not seem so since we’ve been learning it since we were born. However if you look more closely at English words and even pronunciations, you’ll understand why English is so difficult to learn for non native speakers.
If I gave you the word ‘ghoti’, how would you pronounce it? Perhaps like [go-tee] or [guo-tee].
What if I told you ghoti was pronounced like fish? You might be thinking, how do you get fish? It doesn’t look it would be pronounced as fish. But there’s where you’re wrong. If you look closer into the English language and into pronunciations, you’ll see exactly how this word could be pronounced as fish.
Take the gh in ghoti. What words do you know with gh sound like f?
Enough – f
Now take the o.
Women – I
Lastly take the ti.
Nation – sh
And there you have it. This is one of the things I learned in my Linguistics class, which I find absolutely fascinating. It’s so interesting to learn about the background of language and everything that goes into language like phonetics, phonology and so on. Even though I just started learning about linguistics, it’s already helped me understand more about not only foreign language but even my own language. If you, too, are serious about learning languages, I would highly recommend studying at least some about linguistics. It will definitely make learning languages a little easier and everything will start to make more sense to you.
In less than one week, I will be going on my next adventure to-if you didn’t get it from the title-Japan!
Japan is also known as the Land of the Rising Sun since the Kanji (Chinese characters) for Japan-日本 (Nihon/Nippon)– literally means “the sun’s origin. Then from “the sun’s origin” translates to “The Land of the Rising Sun. Also in the national flag of Japan, officially known as 日章旗 (Nisshoki), has a red circle representing the sun in the center of a white background.
Anyways, I’ll be going to Japan for about a week and a half to visit a friend of mine I met in college. I’m really excited now, since the closest I’ve came to actually being in Japan was being in the Narita airport 3 years ago. This time I’ll actually be exploring in the cities of Nagoya and Kyoto-the food, the culture, and the language. The language part will be interesting since I decided to start learning Japanese this semester, so let’s see how that works out…