[KS] Inquiry from a New York Times columnist

Young-Key Kim-Renaud kimrenau at gwu.edu
Fri Jul 22 21:16:37 EDT 2016

I am not sure if this is a Korean custom, although filial piety is a strong
cultural tradition in Korea. There is a great deal of variation in how
filial piety is expressed, but some things are systematic. This is not in
my opinion.

However, I have had two colleagues from Taiwan, who did give their first
paychecks for a full-time job to their parents. It seemed that it was a
very common practice there.

Young-Key Kim-Renaud, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Korean Language and Culture and International Affairs
Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures,
The George Washington University
1-703-527-0115, 1-202-994-7106

On Fri, Jul 22, 2016 at 12:38 PM, Clark W Sorensen <sangok at u.washington.edu>

> 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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