Different, But Same

I never knew that I would receive the “Baby Shower” that I cannot translate in Korean because Korean has no such word. Though influenced by Western culture Koreans on these days have “Baby Shower,” Koreans traditionally have a “100th Day Celebration” and “First Year Anniversary” for newborn babies. Living in a different culture and tradition is exciting, yet sometimes unfamiliar and anxiety-producing. Baby Shower was the one. I was asked to let people know what I needed—people do not express their needs explicitly in Korean culture; the one who receives the shower comes, eats the food prepared, and enjoys unpacking the gifts—parents of the baby prepare and throw a party in Korea. The Shower was fun but somewhat uncomfortable.

Another reason why I felt uncomfortable was that ladies of Grace UMC, though many were elderly and had difficulty in moving, threw a party for me and my baby. They prepared food, went gift-shopping, and set up a Shower. It was I who had to serve them, but it was those ladies who served me. 

I know I felt uncomfortable because of cultural difference. Since I grew up in a culture where younger people had to serve older people, it was natural for me to feel uncomfortable when I received the Shower older ladies prepared. 

Yet, I found something in common among two different cultures. That is love and care. Women of Grace UMC threw a party because they loved and cared for the baby soon to be born. I realized that love and care defy cultural differences between us. 

After I understood this, discomfort turned to gladness and thankfulness. I deeply appreciate every single lady who came to, prepared and joined the Baby Shower. I want to say special thanks to Betty and Creations who initiated the Shower. Two Baby Showers for me who never had one before. I will never forget the love and care that go beyond cultural differences. 

- Da Hye Jung