[KS] Inquiry from a New York Times columnist

McCann, David dmccann at fas.harvard.edu
Sat Jul 23 09:04:39 EDT 2016

Try Googling "Which are the best gifts to give my parents from my first salary?"  Or look for 'my first job,' and other related topics.  Interesting cross-cultural vistas do unfold.

Also interesting perhaps to note, the shift from a farming, exchange economy to a work-for-cash economy is registered in Kim Dong-In's 1925 short story Kamja, "Potatoes."  A very troubling story, to be sure, but one that does grapple with the shift back in the 1920's to the cash economy and some of the implications and results.

David McCann

On Jul 22, 2016, at 9:16 PM, Young-Key Kim-Renaud <kimrenau at gwu.edu<mailto:kimrenau at gwu.edu>> wrote:

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<mailto:sangok at u.washington.edu>> wrote:
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<mailto:lieber at nytimes.com>

"The Opposite of Spoiled" is my book about how -- and why -- to talk to kids about money. For more information, visit http://oppositeofspoiled.com<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__oppositeofspoiled.com&d=CwMFaQ&c=WO-RGvefibhHBZq3fL85hQ&r=ajrk6Uw03wH4RlMujp9kUDDjym5seax6Q9Vt0TDncgc&m=OahsfID5WMWeyPzq8I7T5SuP_Gl88lAtHMx1QzaSVaE&s=6JvFxMqIKfex51c2Q82lrDbFl3K4yP7GBcncU-U_oK8&e=>

Twitter: @ronlieber

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://koreanstudies.com/pipermail/koreanstudies_koreanstudies.com/attachments/20160723/217f612e/attachment.html>

More information about the Koreanstudies mailing list