Friday, July 4, 2008


Alot of you have thrown out some great ideas for posts on this site!
I want to keep track of them...and I know you want to see them on this site! :)
What are some other 'Stuff Korean Moms Like'?

Make sure to post your name along with your idea so I can credit you when it posts!

Love to your Korean Mom,



dreams2ashes said...

anything that's steaming hot(soup, tea, bathroom water etc)... to the point where it's unbearable.

-christine oh

dreams2ashes said...

also, today my korean mom got annoyed b/c I hadn't heard of any of the classical music composers on her CD (in the car)

then she proceeded to raise the volume REALLY loud and open all of the windows in a crowded parking lot of the mall.

Anonymous said...

it might be too similar to Corningware, but what 'bout Tupperware?

exercise in the middle of the day-- you know all Ys are filled with Korean ahjumma at, like, 2PM.

golf: they started playing it to be with their husbands, but you know they just want to be out of the house too. and wear matching outfits.



Anonymous said...

trying to scare you with tales of death as a consequence. i.e. sleeping with the fan on, eating too much ramen, and various other activities they do not like that ends up in death.

another on would be drinking hot liquids or eating boiling hot soup when its like 100 degrees outside. They claim the sweat cools you off.

meems said...

rock on. love your postings.

how about korean mom's becoming gangsta when they play yoot-no-ri? You know, the game with the 5 wooden sticks?

Another one: The GIANT visors korean mom's wear while driving - the black ones that cover the entire face. Oh, and the white driving gloves.
My mom is very skilled at blocking all sunrays from her face while driving, using a 5x7 post card. Talent? I think so.
On the same note, Korean mom's at the golf course. 100 degrees, no wind; wearing long pants, long sleeve shirt with collar popped up, gloves on both hands (not for extra grip, just so the right hand isn't a different color from the left hand), giant visor, and about 5 lbs of sunscreen/makeup on the face.

Ko-rhee-an said...

My Korean father married a Caucasian so I don't have a Korean mom with all the accompanying emotional baggage. My sister and I were also denied the usual Korean mother-in-law/inadequate daughter-in-law fireworks because our family lived in NY while my grandparents remained in Korea. But having said that, my sister commented that our mother does have some of the "Korean mom" idiosyncrasies, which have perhaps been absorbed by osmosis.

So I have only "Korean aunt" stories gleaned from summer visits to LA and Seoul.

One of my aunts had a very deep hatred of worn paper money. As soon as we returned from buying junk in Itaewon, she would take the tattered dollar bills or Korean won that we had gotten back as change to another part of her apartment and return with new crisp bills. I don't know how she did it! It was like she had one of those machines that used to be advertised in the back of comic books (right next to the x-ray glasses), the tiny roller thing that would turn a blank piece of paper into a dollar bill. Oh and by the way, the x-ray glasses did not allow you to see thru women's clothes! Never got the money-producing machine for some reason. Must not have had enough bubblegum wrappers or something. But I digress.

And that Korean aunt was a champion bargainer. I learned the only Korean phrase that I know from her, "Ajishi, al-mai-yo?", which, after hearing her say it to every shopkeeper at the Namdaemun Market, I deduced meant something along the lines of "Mister, how much?" And sorry for probably massacring the Korean language but that's what it sounded like to me.

Bora said...

Anything to help avoid the sun. This goes way beyond sunblock, whitening cream, wide brimmed hats.

This mask, the first time I saw my mom wear it, I almost passed out from fear because it was so creepy!

Oh, and how can you forget your neck! In the 90s my mom used to safety pin her blouse up to her neck but now she has this!

Then, she has these gloves:
(Well actually, these are pretty, my mom has more hideous ones and then they have holes on the inside so help you arm "breathe")

And of course, the "sunbrella"!

God bless her heart. She works so hard but she's still tanned, haha!

Ed said...

reminding me to saving money, incessant need to apply sunblock.. everywhere, finding random things around the house to hit you with e.g. ruler, backscratcher, montgomery ward (used to be, now target), always calculating the monetary equiv (in a restaurant) of the dinner she made, worrying

just to name a few... =)

Anonymous said...

How about ice drinks?

CK said...

Saving kimchee byungs (jars) to store sewing yarn, halloween candy, coins, you name it...oh, and a few to return to the store to get a discount on future kimchee purchases (with lots of negotiating/bargaining, of course).

Not sitting anywhere cold or exposing any part of your "nether" region to the cold because you will never have kids. Even if you're wearing a skirt in the dead heat of summer, you must wear stockings...bc you don't want to "get cold" and jeopardize childbearing opportunities.

The only success that any Korean mom's daughter can have is that of being married AND a mother, in that order. Forget that you're a brain surgeon, rocket scientist or that you've climbed Mount Everest -- if you haven't given her a grandchild, none of that even warrants a mention.

- CK (great blog! literally made me tear up from laughing!)

T-Smalls said...

things my korean mom likes: one loves jesus more than korean moms except maybe Black moms. and kee-doh-ha is the answer to everything--no doctors necessary.

2. plastic plants! they should at least cover 50% of the house.

3. anti-aging face cream. my mom started me on a skin care regiment when when i was 2.

4. to think that the koreans invented everything. miso soup--invented by the koreans but stolen by those evil japanese.

5. creating additional homework for your kids because 2 hours worth of homework is not nearly enough.

6. doesn't believe in throwing anything away. clothes that don't fit you now or are out of style might still be good 10 years from now.

7. all furniture must be placed against the wall.

8. matching is overrated. i.e. clothes, furniture, dishes etc.

8. Anything Toyota but most especially the Camry.

J-dogg said...

1) Reusing containers as "tupperware." e.g. margarine containers to hold ban chan, pickle jars to hold jang jo reem, etc.
2) Forbidding their children to sleep with the fan on for fear of "fan death."
3) Vitamins.
4) Italian products. Things made in "Italy" = things that are of high quality.

Chrissy said...

this might be cliche but my mom eats EVERYTHING with chopsticks. i mean, everything... like pizza, bread, birthday cake.

and she can always eat kimchee with anything, including the above.

also, it might just be my weird parents... but water purifiers? we must have about 3 of them now. each claiming to be better tasting water with more minerals... which they found off of korean satellite infomercials.

Anonymous said...

calling non-Koreans (primarily Caucasians) waegookin, migookin, or migooksaram: it doesn't make sense to call white people "foreigners" or "Americans" when many of them are, in fact, Americans as well, but I hear it all the time.


Anonymous said...

Korean moms love to pay for dinner when they're out with guests. I've seen my mom and my aunts have a full on brawl in the middle of the restaurant trying to wrestle the check from each other which included an intense body tackle. They ripped it in half! Korean kids and Korean dads just sit as still as possible and hope there's no bloodshed.

ki fun said...

korean moms love to tell their daughters how much weight they have gained or how fat they are... before even saying hi.

Anonymous said...

Korean mom's love:
- all forms of canned meat - Spam is just the start. How about vienna sausages.
- forging for food along the side of the road - wild mushrooms, ginko nuts, leafy greens, wondering whether the road kill is fresh
- not believing in allergies - my mother swears it won't kill me if I only eat a little
- hanging pictures of jesus and church calendars all over the house
- ugly leather couches
- cubic zarconium and other forms of ugly fake jewelry

Irene said...

i love my korean mom, she's the best, its going to be my korean mom's birthday this thursday!! woo hoo!!

-washes plastic utensils, and freezer bags for reuse. loves to use them during those times where if she lost them, she won't get upset, but she'll refuse to throw them away and save them for a picnic or something.

-eat fruit for dessert

-when she drinks soup thats super hot on a hot day, she says "shee won ha dah".

-toyota/lexus family of cars. mainly camry = 'kem-ni'

-never use ovens for cooking = extra storage space, just like the dish washer

-sesame seed. dude my mom puts sesame seeds like crazy, in everything.

-beans/peas in rice, purple rice, b/c its good for you!

-costco, korean moms love costco

-marshalls, ross, tj-maxx, nordstrom rack, outlets. korean moms are all over discount shopping. anything "maker"

-korean mom's love chinese boys: if a korean mom has a daughter, and she marries a chinese man (GOOD, chinese men are known for being good to their wives) if she has a korean son and he marries a chinese girl (BAD, VERY BAD, chinese girls are lazy, b/c the chinese men do everything for them)




-they love to eat corn or peanuts when watching korean dramas



-cash (to receive as a present)


-celine dion

Anonymous said...

as a korean man, i must say that my wife has already become a korean mom at the ripe old age of 33. She criticizes/makes fun of her mom and my mom for being korean moms, but she is already making our 4 year old play the piano, is a total korean drama addict (like crack) and is a wiz at collecting wrapping paper. laugh now, but many of you will be like your moms, trust me.

btw, i admit that i'm a korean dad. For some reason, wearing black socks with white shorts and white tennis shoes is very comfortable (with a sleeveless t-shirt).

thanks for your website. quite funny.

bokumbop said...

O.M.G. I am so 'chae-mi-suh-so'ing your blog. Somebody tipped me off at Kimchi Mamas.

Still laughing/wheezing at #11, "Telling people they are fat". Picturing the ajummah moonwalking back to your office just to tell you you're doonk-doonk.

You can bet your home-made ggak-du-gi I'll be back.

the Korean said...

- Benz. (Lately replaced by Lexus).
- Packing food everywhere.
- (Related) Cooking in the hotel with a hot plate
- Talking about her friends' son or daughter, especially successful ones, as if she knows them.

Anonymous said...

Not specific to Korean moms, but how about love of kimchi and how it can cure/prevent disease.

bokumbop said...

Just thought of something ... eating out of the bulk bins and produce section (like grapes, etc.) without paying. And asking for samples of everything. I was at the grocery with my mom once, and before I knew it she had a slice of pizza in her hand. I was like, "where did you get that??" And she's like "it'sh sam-ple". Uh huh. Sample my ass.

Anonymous said...

what about korean napkin nazi moms - rationing of napkins (esp. korean moms that work at korean restaurants), cutting paper towels in half, etc.

Anonymous said...

what about korean napkin nazi moms - rationing of napkins (esp. korean moms that work at korean restaurants), cutting paper towels in half, etc.

dreams2ashes said...

yeah covering the sun definitly

jiji11 said...

Don't forget to mention 'MYONG PUM bag' such as LV, Channel, Prada, etc. If you don't own one, you are not even a human. If you have a fake one and get busted for it, you are less than a human.

Also, if you do not go to church, you are automatically a bad person and her kids are forbidden to hang out with you.

How about the virginity... Just because they could not get to 'test drive', it does not mean her daugter can't! If they have found out that her daughter has slept with a man, that's the end of the world and her daughter is a whore.

The worst part? They tell you not to have sex but they have no idea about birth control.

I will come back if I come up with more.

e the cat said...

1) Sucking their teeth after eating (gross)

2) Keeping tissues in every room, on every table, and in every corner of the house (I swear I'm always looking around for tissue boxes in other people's houses!)

3) Tea (ginseng in particular)

4) SCREAMING your name across the house (to answer the phone, to eat dinner, to take the garbage out, etc)

5) Giving you more food than you can possibly eat to take home with you when you visit, which usually ends up going bad.

6) cutting up fruit for dessert. none of this cake or cookie nonsense.

Love your site!


Anonymous said...

Things my mom and aunts do (which I love them for):

- holistic/natural/medieval remedies: My mom thinks that everything can be cured by salt and pee. Gargling salt, washing my face with pee, brushing my teeth with salt, putting pee on my pimples. My aunt is an accupuncturist, so they are into drinking really weird black drinks made of deer horns and roots (Han-Yak), and another that smells like rotten fish water. Blood-letting in any way is natch part of the equation.

- Line dances/ballroom dance lessons: My family forced me to teach them the electric slide, which now they are the masters of at all weddings. They also proceeded to teach all the German tourists on our cruise down the Nile.

And speaking of weddings:

- Going to weddings for their friends when they don't know their children, and expecting their children to invite all sorts of strangers to their own wedding.

- I definitely have to agree with the foraging for food on the side of highways.

- Telling all their daughters that they are "too old to not be married" at the age of 24.

There are so many more, but most of the other ones i can think of are covered by the other posters.

Anonymous said...

I hope my Korean mom isn't the only one who does this, but cleaning the floor with old men's underwear!

Stacy said...

Ignoring the expiration date on food and other perishables and then insisting the date is just a suggestion when you protest against congealed milk.

Stephanie said...

Hm... this will be paper focused!

She will religiously cleaned the floor on her hands and knees with some hapless little paper towel. She will saved reused paper towels for 'later' and throw it in sink in a tiny ball. EWWWW. She would give me "stank eye" if I used a paper towel once. Never did that again in her presence. She would sigh stating "because you American you don't understand! Waste!"

Brawny/Bounty should have an ad showing a Korean mom and her resourcefulness and absolute refusal to use the damn paper towel just once!

But than please explain why should would need 2 18 rolls of Bounty from Costco/Sam's Club like every other month!?

Tissue boxes in every bathroom and bedroom.

Tissue in their purses or pockets.
Because you never know when the public bathroom will run out of TP or you need to use it to open the bathroom door or use it as a napkin (emergency use only)!

Glody said...

Boiling underwear on the stove in a giant pot of soapy water, to get it really clean.

Slurping loudly while they have noodles, soup, tea, and even non-liquid foods like chicken, fish, etc.

Maybe this was already covered somewhere, but adding -yah to the end of your name when they scream your name at the top of their lungs, even at a public place.

glody said...

The Korean Mom's solution if you're ever constipated: stick a chopstick up your butt.

I second the use of old men's underwear to clean the floor. My Korean Mom and Aunt did that when I was little. And it wasn't limited to briefs, they also used Y-shasuh and the like.

Along the lines of how Korean Moms think they are psychic through their dreams, they also think they can tell someone's fortune and know all about what kind of person they are by looking at their physical features, usually the face. For example, a woman with bulgy eyes will always remain single according to the Korean Mom.

Another one is talking about a non-Korean right in front of them, in Korean, and while looking at them disapprovingly. It usually begins with "aigoh" or "uhmanah" and then goes into how that person is too fat, too thin, too short, wears too much makeup, will be unlucky, etc. etc. When my Korean Mom met my brother-in-law's girlfriend, she looked right at her and out came "uhmanah", followed by a monologue about how she looked like an embalmed corpse because of all the makeup she had on, and why did he pick her, etc. I tried to shush her but of course she didn't listen.

If our Korean Moms ever read this blog, they would say we were all mot dat suh and would probably throw themselves on the ground and carry on flailing their arms and legs because they can be oh so dramatic sometimes. But we love them and wouldn't trade them for any other!

Marz said...

I am a daughter in law of a Korean mom, but just the same, I know a lot of these! Oh the plastic bag one what good!

1- hitting you hard on the back when greeting you or saying "good job"- ouch!! :)

2- yes yes! telling you you're fat!

3- indoor slippers

4- nude nylon socks, esp. with sandals

5- making their sons & grandsons cut their hair

6- coming to your house and telling you everything u r doing wrong, need to fix

7- repeating their advice over & over even if you already said why you're not going to do it, no acknowledgement of what you said

8- interrupting you when you're trying to say something, often changing subject as if you weren't already talking

9- loving people who love kim chi- makes white people legit in their eyes

10- neck scarves as presents

thanks 4 this site! this one & kimchi mamas helps me see past my KMIL's quirks so i can appreciate her. she really means well!

p.s. that "they come from royalty" one is classic! I had no idea so many people say that! "We are the GOOD Kims, not the bad Kim line...." ha ha!

TMJ said...

Mil continuing to bathe as if she is back in the old days in korea with only a bucket of water.

Obsession with vinegar pills. Fil told us that vinegar pills magically make his farts smell like nothing. My DH was so intrigued with this idea that he decided to try it out himself and well, my DH's farts still stink! MIL and FIL though are convinced that vinegar pills are the best thing ever.

Mil's obsession with everyone else's bowel movements. I swear she puts her ear up against the door when you are in the bathroom trying to take a shit. When you open the door, there she is, and she will say, "What wrong, you sick, why it take so long to go?" Her motto is, "diarrhea good!"

Mil and fil not understanding the concept of calling more than one hr in advance (sometimes they call us en route) before showing up for a visit.

Mil's obsession with socks. If you don't wear socks, you will end up with sore joints for the rest of your life!

MIL refusing to tip at restaurants. Her opinion on this is that nobody tips her for her job, so why should she tip anyone else. It's really embarrassing, we end up trying to leave a tip behind her back. When we take her out to eat, she will start going off on us when she sees us leaving a tip!

Mil thinking that she is the one entitled to pick out our house, because we are too stupid to pick a, "good" house on our own. Both bil/sil and DH and I have been berated by mil every time we buy a house, because it is not what she would have picked.

Mina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mina said...

Sorry if this was already posted, since I was too lazy to read through all the comments.

I think this suggestion goes hand in hand with the No Pets one, since it's about cleanliness.

Korean mom are obsessed with keeping the house clean. Order must be maintained!

My mom laments her fate for having a daughter like me, since I shed hair a lot. Of course now it's a funny joke, but she'll still whip out the Heavy-Duty-Highest-Suction-Force-on-the-Market vacuum if she finds a stray hair on the floor.

Her best friends are the Lysol sanitizing wipes, since they kill germs. Everything goes in the laundry, even if the garment hasn't been worn and is only on the floor because I was too lazy to fold it and put it back. My mom does the laundry like two times a week and she'll do the extra rinse cycle a couple of times to REALLY make sure the clothes are clean. I guess she doesn't care about water conservation, as long as her whites are white!

Grace said...

Ah, my KMIL...what to say about her...
~She never believes ANYONE when they say they're sick. For instance, I had a c-section (but had a grandson, so all was good there), but my incision site became infected and I had to go to the doctor. She said "[my sister-in-law] also having c-sheckshun and she not having infection*stank eye*" HOWEVER my KMIL DOES come stocked with conventional medicine. She's the queen of doctor's prescription samples!
My son has bad allergies, but she's convinced that since her children never had a problem, my son also doesn't have a problem. She says "you don't listening to doctor, you have maternal instincts!"

~Ah, and adding -ing to all verbs.

~And I'm so glad to know it's all Korean Moms and KMILS that tells you you're fat, but still want you to eat your weight in food and prepare so much that there's no possible way an army of soldiers could make a dent in it.

~We don't do anything right in our household. I am a very outspoken person, but I have learned to hold my tongue and just blow things off, because if there's one thing you can say about Korean Mom's children-- they're extremely protective of their Korean Moms, even when they're being mean. You'll never win an argument with a Korean Mom, so there is no point in arguing. And you'll never get an apology from them when they have something mean and horrible to say about you, so there's no point in waiting around for one.

~I agree with whoever said matching was overrated! I find it cute, though.

~my KMIL is nearly 60 now, but she still gets in the floor, squatted, to do things like scrub the kitchen, play with the grandkids, fold laundry, etc.

I know my Korean Mother-in-Law means well. I believe she's a very caring, loving person. It's just sometimes hard to see that through her first layer. lol

Anonymous said...

If a Korean Mom gets it in her mind that she's going to buy you something, even if it's something you don't need or want at all, you might as well clear a place for it in your house because you're getting it!

oldSkool said...

1. disposal plastic gloves.
2. the extra-small ziploc bags.
3. metal Thermos with the built-in sippy straw.
4. LV diaper bag...kinda pricey.
5. Nintendo DSL (just kidding but kind of serious).


Hannah said...

God, I almost peed in my pants when you said Korean mothers love to talk about when they're going to die. Here's my list of stuff Korean mothers love,
1. filial piety which is also manifested or combined with mother guilt and religious guilt
2. Jesus Christ (Yehsoo Christo)
3. stealing plant clippings....My mother: Oh, I rike that plant, I will take a piece and grow it in my kitchen. Me: MOM, get out of that bush (we were at a parking lot at McDonalds)
4. If they're over 65, they love the senior citizen discount, especially at McDonalds
5. Making fun of their children's piss-poor Korean.
6. repeating, "O-righ, o-righ-o-righ" when you put the car in reverse
7. Lancome face cream, or whatever high price cream they use
8. Passive-Agressiveness (Accentuate the aggressiveness)
9. Tiger Balm
10. Really hard mattresses. In fact, literally wooden boards for mattresses.

God I love my mother. She's a riot!

Hannah said...

God, I almost peed in my pants when you said Korean mothers love to talk about when they're going to die. Here's my list of stuff Korean mothers love,
1. filial piety which is also manifested or combined with mother guilt and religious guilt
2. Jesus Christ (Yehsoo Christo)
3. stealing plant clippings....My mother: Oh, I rike that plant, I will take a piece and grow it in my kitchen. Me: MOM, get out of that bush (we were at a parking lot at McDonalds)
4. If they're over 65, they love the senior citizen discount, especially at McDonalds
5. Making fun of their children's piss-poor Korean.
6. repeating, "O-righ, o-righ-o-righ" when you put the car in reverse
7. Lancome face cream, or whatever high price cream they use
8. Passive-Agressiveness (Accentuate the aggressiveness)
9. Tiger Balm
10. Really hard mattresses. In fact, literally wooden boards for mattresses.

God I love my mother. She's a riot!

Alicia said...

Purses. Korean moms, particularly mine, love proper, lady-like purses. Not messenger-type bags or totes or anything that may actually fit into my not-fancy lifestyle. My mom firmly believes that all women over the age of 17 must carry a nice leather purse with handles (this has to go with a proper wardrobe, of course, but that's a longer post). She's always horrified by my "ratty sacks" and has bought me countless impractical purses that I wish I could sell on eBay but would never dare.
Oh, and handkerchiefs.

Great blog!

Sandra said...

when you were an adolescent, if you told your Korean mom that you were going out to hang out with friends, you could only do so after she knew each and every one of your friends' name, age, ethnicity, address, telephone number, GPA, their siblings' GPA, height, weight, occupations of their parents, what sort of cars they drove, social security number, blood type, favorite foods, etc.

i think somebody already mentioned this but my mother never let me sleep with the fan on at night because the fan would suck away my breath and i would die in my sleep. she also had a big thing about warning me if i were to fall asleep in my car ever to roll down the window because i would suffocate. i could be awake and sit in my car with the windows rolled up, no sweat. but don't EVER fall asleep!! Loll down windoh!!

nikisma said...

2 things:

1. Meticulously peeled and cut fruit

2. Tiny fancy forks to eat it with

aisukohi said...

- showing with portions of their hands the measurements of things. e.g. i only ate *this much rice* (holds left hand out and uses right hand to hold/cover 80% of left hand, showing that she ate two fingers worth of rice.... if only i had a picture, you would knoooow.)

- never apologizing ever. never. maybe the occasional *uupps* (oops) when it's their fault.

- washing floors by hand. (swiffer is huge a waste of money.)

- re-using ziploc bags and hanging paper towels out to dry for re-use. these are not disposable.

Anonymous said...

1. Polyester clothing and sheets. The gaudier, the better.
2. Hard, cheap mattresses.
3. Nice dining room tables that are never used, but preserved for display purposes only.
4. Dislike for dogs, unless they are for bbq'ing.
5. Dislike for children unless they eat all their food.
6. Big on telling anyone, when in their home to do as they say. Pushing their beliefs on everyone.
7. Dominating the dinner conversation.
8. Jealous of anyone that their son's like or spend time with.
9. Saving kimchi jars.
10. Generally rude, domineering house guests.
11. Asking lots of personal questions like how much money you/your spouse makes or grilling others as to how much money you make.
12. Snooping through your personal files when you aren't home.
13. Using anything in your house without asking first.

I, myself, would not wish the fate of getting Korean mother-in-law on anyone. It only gets worse with time.

annalog said...

Stuff my Korean mom (and eemos) like:
- Go Stop. They only play for cold hard cash.
- Lifetime Television for Women and Court TV. My mom is always afraid I'm going to get murdered in the Mainland.
- Coffee. I don't think that my mother will EVER switch to decaf.
- Speed walking. She thinks she's getting her exercise on, but she's really just take an extended walk to get a cup of coffee.
- Getting driven. I think the main reason why she looks forward to my annual visits is because she has a personal chauffeur for a week. Plus, I can fill out any delinquent forms from the U.S. gov't.
- Bill Clinton (or any other figure representing the rags to riches story).
- St. John. You know that on your wedding day, they are going to bust out that powder blue St. John suit. Even if you're getting married in the desert.
-Slowly dialing the cell phone with their pointer finger.
- Getting an expensive cell phone that they don't know how to use.

I can't wait to be a Korean mom!

MYC said...

I just found this site and love it. What about putting plastic wrap between the lid of the jar/container to "seal it better" and then it ends up leaking anyways? (In the plastic bag?)

katelyn said...

instant coffee. i was in college before i actually had a cup of brewed coffee. we were a taster's choice family and coffeemate family and were required to bring pounds of the stuff to korea when we went to visit. for a while i used my coffee press, but i've succumbed to my roots and now drink taster's choice and coffeemate at home.

maybe it was just me, but i was shocked at how coarse my korean mom's language was. in college i busted out words like "inimun-seki" and was surprised to find that it was more like a swear word than a colorful descriptive. but on the flip side, it was nice that i could swear in english until the cows came home and she would have no idea what i was saying.

the extra fridge/freezer in the garage. 'nuff said.

american names. i gave myself one when i was 12 and had it legally changed. my mom still refuses to refer to me by it. "name i give you no good?!" c'mon, mom! it's been 14 years! some of my korean friends have american names that their korean moms can't pronounce. my brother charles is "chals". my girlfriend leslie is "resrie". my friend elizabeth is "erijabet".

i'm a total korean mom and proud of it. i married the whitest korean boy on the planet (first korean guy i'd ever dated!) and have two korean sons. when we showed the boys to their great-hal-mon-ie, the first thing she did was strip off the diaper and check out their cho-ggi's. but my kmil still doesn't like me!

Anonymous said...

my MIL loves two things== Her korean dramas and the GAME SHOW NETWORK!I've never seen her watch anything else!!
I love it when someone gives a stupid answer on Match Game and she curses them out in Korean (at least I think that's what she's doing, because she rolls her eyes while she's saying

Misty said...

Oh god. I work at a Korean-student heavy tutor/SAT prep place part-time, and the Korean moms there love to enroll their kids into study sessions during the summer--most of the korean kids there have clocked in 300-something hours already and are so bored to death of pseudo-studying they barely stay awake. God forbid though if one Korean mom finds out that their Korean neighbors/friends are sending their kids to study at XYZ center, they run to do the same during lunch break. I once had a Korean mom wait for me in the office while I was getting off work, track me to my car, and enthusiastically talk to me about how her son needs harder vocabulary homework.

Sue said...

Driving gigantic American cars like the Lincoln Mark V, Cadillac El Dorado, or anything that will require a stack of phone books on the driver's seat.

Sue said...

Bragging to the world that you're a lawyer. When you are not.

Sue said...

Buying you sweaters with ducks and bunnies embroidered on the collars. For your 40th Birthday.

Sue said...

Old toothbrushes. For "cleaning."

Grace said...

Korean moms love the name Grace. Your blog was forwarded to me by another Grace and everyone cc'd on it, along with myself, carry this name. Need more proof? Check out The Grace Lee Project documentary

Seoul Brother said...

OldMom is semper psycho for lots of aspects of Asian culture, but only if it is her Asian culture. She loves the movie "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring," but there's no way in Hell she'd sit through "The Host," "D-War," "Natural City," or "OldBoy."

I tried to recommend that she read a book about the Kuan Yin Buddha, and of course it wasn't good enough that I liked it. She had to ask a high-fallutin' friend of hers about it, and I'm sure that since her friend said that the author was a pompous ass, she's not going to think as much of the book as I did. Her loss.

Seoul Brother said...

And isn't it funny that there's a lot of "anonymous" posts? It's almost as if there's a lot of fear that there's gonna be a torrent of Stank Eye once a bunch of moms read this. At least my mom is enough of a luddite and curmudgeon that she doesn't even have broadband or cable yet. And my mom lives in Mon-gommmery County too.

Sue said...

"Seoul Brother said...
OldMom is semper psycho for lots of aspects of Asian culture, but only if it is her Asian culture."

I gave my Mom a copy of Margaret Cho's book, "I'm the One That I Want" where all Cho does is talk about her crazy Korean mom. My mom read it and said, "that girl has uh bad self-uh-steem-uh."

Anonymous said...

seoul brother, of course most people on here are commenting anonymously! As glody said, we anonymous commenters have moms who would threaten suicide if they knew that we were even READING this blog, let alone TALKING about them on it! We don't want that on our consciences.

joannagirl said...

"katelyn said...

i'm a total korean mom and proud of it. i married the whitest korean boy on the planet (first korean guy i'd ever dated!) and have two korean sons. when we showed the boys to their great-hal-mon-ie, the first thing she did was strip off the diaper and check out their cho-ggi's. but my kmil still doesn't like me!"

I almost peed my pants when I read this!!!

Anonymous said...

A few topic ideas:
My mom insists on cleaning the floor on her hands and knees. Mops are dirty!

All Korean food is "good for you. No fat, all 'bej-table'." Apparently a crap load of salt in your food is not bad for you at all!

Maybe this is just my mom, but she can tear up the all you eat asian buffet, ESPECIALLY if there are crab legs.

Thanks for this blog, it's awesome!

Buhbuhree said...

Dude, KMs love Burberry! When I was younger, I wondered why my KM and all her friends had clothes and accessories w/ the same plaid print on them. Coincidence? It was only when I was older (and became aware of name brands) that I realized the KM obsession with that damn novacheck pattern. And it has to be the standard beige novacheck, not those pink or blue lines.

Anonymous said...

Meeting new people when I'm with my mom:

"She my do-ter. She loh-yah."

I have no name. I'm just a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

-Acupressure devices
-Juicers (then they proceed to juice the nastiest green concoctions ever)
-Old school country western music
-Elvis Presley (my mom thought that was just his first name Elvispresley)
-Clothing with mesh inserts (particularly for golfing)
-SPF 5000 sunscreen
-Making you scrub their back on mo-gyuk Thursdays

Ahhh I could go on forever....

Su Won said...

1. Lamenting about how you've brought shame to the family name for bring home a B+ in any subject and describing just how ashamed your ancestors are because of you.

2. Getting the best price on anything, especially designer, whether it's haggling, a sale, discount shop, or an outright lie.

3. The promises of health, wealth and beauty if you eat your kong namul, soo len tang, or miyuk gook.

4. Disparaging any other culture, if it's not Korean, it's crap. Unless it's Hyundai - that's only bought out of ultra-nationalism

5. Weekend Korean School. Because it's just not enough that you go to school Monday through Friday and those Saturday morning cartoons only hamper your chances at getting into something Ivy League. And what better avenue outside of family to compare and contrast you against other Korean kids?

6. Suzuki method for piano/violin lessons.

When will Stuff Korean Dads Like make a special guest appearance? Oh man, the list I can make:

Golf shirts
Golf dates with other Korean Dads
Skipping out on Sunday Church service to go out golfing
black socks
fancy pens
Peace and Quiet(AKA, pretend the kids aren't there)
Every significant advancement of mankind originating in Korea, but Korea never got the credit
Cryptic remarks about why math(or whatever subject you hate) is important and deserves your attention
News/Sports radio
Making crazy food combinations when Mom isn't around to cook(peanut butter and bologna sandwiches convinced me my Dad was trying to kill me with ineptness. The man cannot operate a microwave.)
Answering you with "Oh really?" with each syllable ascending in pitch and volume.
Bad handwriting(although, this could also be due to my dad being a former doctor)
Critiquing you on the technical aspects of piano/violin playing, even if it's "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"
Chain smoking

John Kneeland said...

Harvard, and making you go there. If you don't get into Harvard, going to another Ivy League school is acceptable as long as you go to Harvard for grad school....

Janet said...

Olympics! "KOREEYANS, VERY TOP FOR O LEEP PEECS. ARR CHU REE, TABLE TENNIS, BAD MEEN TON..." hahahaha... And yes, golf. But not running! No! too much sun!!

Janet said...

OMG so true about the Dads! My father made my son take TKD since he was three. MADE HIM. Ditto on the smoking, crazy food combinations, .. my dad is from busan so he's everything you just wrote times 10! He has to mention that all korean presidents are from kyoung sang do, that the way our family speaks is the right way, seoul people are a bunch of snobs with no taste for good spicy food, cannot understand why a house full of children cannot be totally silent, being drunk with his college buddies singing loudly on a school night in our living room. I love my parents!

Anonymous said...

Here's something my Korean mom really likes--looking through high school or college graduation programs to see how many Koreans are listed, and grilling you about who they are so she can compare you to them (even if you have no friggin' clue who she is talking about). She invariably seeks out their moms for more comparing fun.

She also likes looking for Koreans in the phone book in every new city I live in. One time, she wanted to know where to buy Asian groceries in Charlottesville, VA, so she looked up random Kims in the phone book and called to ask! I was so mortified when I found out, but my mom acted like this was a perfectly normal thing to do. Next time, Mom, use Google!!!

Crystal said...

Here are some post ideas:

-Not talking about sex. The topic of sex is forbidden. Besides, you've probably signed a True Love Waits covenant at your church at the tender age of 11, promising to remain a virgin until your wedding day. My "sex talk" with my mom went something like this:

"You know that bad thing?"
"Don't do it."

hooners said...

์นจ (Cheem).
Both the saliva type and the acupuncture needles type.

and her hand. it can be used both to hurt and to heal. my mom would always say "umma sohn, yahk sohn" and but her hand on my stomach whenever i had a stomachache when i was little. sadly, she still tries to do this now, even tho i'm fully grown and know that antacids are all that's needed.

haha. you can credit JP if you choose to post!

Anonymous said...

Mayonaise! My mom LOVES mayo! I still wonder how potato salad became a mainstay at Korean restaurants!


lilpandapaw said...

I must not have the only parents that do this: Wrapping things or leaving the plastic covering on various items, such as sofas, remote controls, lamps, decorative items, etc, so that they don't collect dust. Ironically, it just serves to collect more dust instead...

My mom also feels the never ending need to comment about every single piece of food and it's beneficial health properties: "almond-suh are good for you because they are full of cal-shium." "Mi-yuk is also high in cal-shium." This is the formula: "(insert food) is good for your health because it is full/high of/in (insert vitamin/nutritional supplement)" It takes a lot of fun out of eating.

Tracy said...

Hmm how do you spell this out out? Phoenetically it's "ddeh-mi-roh". Since we were kids, my Korean mum used to give us a session of intense scrubbing in the bathtub once a week, using that rough cloth all Koreans seem to have (green or red with a couple of black stripes across the ends). You scrub until dirt rolls off much like when you use an eraser on paper. It hurt like hell! But I attribute my current supple smooth skin to this weekly ritual :)

Susan said...

I got a grandma or Hamina who does most things on the list

How about
- every time you fidget your foot or leg it means your going lose your fortune or luck
- Conserving every means of energy possible like lights, tv, music
- Too much tuppleware to have for two whole families but thats not good enough so she keeps the Chinese food take out plastic containers.
-cant whistle in the room or snakes will come out and get you?!
-weird methods of massage that smells awful like pausses( you know those sticker like bengay crap) My grandma keeps this comb like devise used to basically repeaptly bang her back and also using her fist to bang her aches
-drinking tea like ginger tea and green tea and some other teas believing it will cure ....something
- Gardening with HARD dignity over korean cumcumbers, korean peppers and that Leaf (koreans eat) (Taking care meticulously everyday to water them and prune them)

Grace said...

My wonderful Korean mom...

Well, let me put it this way. I woke up from having general anesthesia in the hospital to someone patting something on my face.

In all of my grogginess, I woke up, realized I was in the hospital as my mother's face came into focus.

What was she patting on my face?
Because there were people in the hospital, she thought it best I look good (and trust me, that didn't really help) even amidst have had my insides torn out.

Go, MOM!

kaleidoscope of colors said...

wearing your old clothes. seriously i threw out half my closet before moving into a college dorm and 3/4 boxes ended up in her closet. yes she wears the old worn out clothes. she says that if they don't have holes in them they are worth wearing.

Anonymous said...

instant coffee for sure!
also, what about going to any church or korean get together (picnic, bazaar, whatever) and anytime you win a "prize" you open up the wrapping paper to find that you've won toothpaste or boxes of tissues or soap.
also the towels with the church name printed on them.
and last of all corn. in potato salad (you know...the sweet kind). in pasta sauce. creamed corn. canned corn. korean style weird chewy corn that you can easily remove individual kernels of. corn on the cob. my mother LOVES corn

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