[KS] Inquiry from a New York Times columnist

Clark W Sorensen sangok at u.washington.edu
Fri Jul 22 12:38:36 EDT 2016

I don't have any stories for you on this issue, but my general observation over the years is that the degree of responsibility children feel for helping out their parents financially often corresponds with the amount of education their parents financed. Thus the custom you refer to is most likely prevelent among college graduates, but it may not be found among working class Koreans or Korean Americans.

Clark W. Sorensen
Korea Studies Program
University of Washington

On Thu, 21 Jul 2016, Lieber, Ron wrote:

> Hello -
> My name is Ron Lieber, and I write the Your Money column for the New York Times -- all about anything and everything that hits you in the wallet. I write often about families and
> money -- how not just dollars but also wisdom and values are taught and passed between generations.
> On that note, over the years Korean-American friends of mine have told me about a tradition where new college graduates (or teenagers or college students or even some older adults
> getting their first paychecks at a new, prestigious workplace) buy a gift for their parents after they start their first full-time jobs. I've heard about everything from handing the
> entire paycheck over in cash to buying red thermal underwear for both parents or lingerie for their mothers.
> I'm trying to trace the origins of this tradition and write about how different Korean and Korean-American families interpret it today. I think it's something that all young adults
> might want to mimic in some way, whatever their family background.
> If you can help, I'd be grateful for an email reply -- even if it's to share a story about a gift you've given or received.
> Thanks so much...
> Ron Lieber
> The New York Times
> Your Money columnist
> lieber at nytimes.com
> 212-556-1514
> http://nytimes.com/lieber
> "The Opposite of Spoiled" is my book about how -- and why -- to talk to kids about money. For more information, visit http://oppositeofspoiled.com
> Twitter: @ronlieber

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