Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Don't Make Me Turn My Goose

My friend's getting married, so I got the couple some geese. US Immigration might take issue with them. "Hi, Jordan, congrats on your wedding! You can visit your presents in quarantine at the airport, k?"

Despite how fun sending live fowl would be, these are actually geese carved out of wood and painted prettily in a traditional Korean style. They are an ancient Korean wedding tradition; they symbolize the love and devotion of wild geese who mate for life. Back in the day, the groom would ride a pony to the home of his soon-to-be in-laws for the wedding ceremony and present his new mother-in-law with a live goose to signify his fidelity to her daughter. This act later evolved into presenting two wooden ducks instead. I would assume that's because wearing your wedding suit while riding a pony and carrying a giant bird who in all probability is not an equine enthusiast is a dangerous recipe. It is an ancient tradition for geese to shit.

Anyhow, on that note, as I've heard it you can give these geese to a couple as a symbol and a blessing. With this image of beauty and poetry in mind, I shopped Seoul's famous neighborhood of Insadong for the lucky pair who would get an all-expense paid trip to the States. It is my hope they will grace Jordan and Daniel's home in a place of honor, or at least be hastily unpacked for display when I come to visit.

I've heard tell of an interesting tradition associated with these beaked love icons. Apparently, when the relationship is going well, they are supposed to face each other, like they're kissing. But... when the relationship has taken a bad turn, you're supposed to turn them away from each other. Many versions of them come with heads on a swivel to accommodate just such a change in mood. We have done much joking about this. Daniel: "Good morning, Jordan! Can you pass the syru-- [sees turned geese] OH NO!" Gina: "Hey guys, wanna hang out? [sees turned geese] Oops, maybe you guys need some time alone..." Or Jordan: "Daniel, you left the seat up AGAIN! [storms over to the geese and deliberately turns them] As the adjusted position of our geese demonstrates, I am PISSED."

Congratulations, Jordan and Daniel! May your wild geese always be kissing.


  1. Very cute! Now whenever I see geese, I'll think of you!

  2. Also, this is Micah, not my English class. Once, when I had loftier goals, I created a blog account for my class (created two years ago - still unused), and now I can't figure out how to sign out of it when posting on blogs.