Travel Souvenirs from Around the World: Seoul, Korea

Some souvenirs that grace our display cabinet are gifts that were given to us by locals during our travels. These wooden Korean wedding ducks were a gift to Mr G during one of his numerous business travels to Seoul. The ducks which symbolise the couple are traditionally given at weddings. The female’s beak is tied with string to symbolise that marital harmony depends on her keeping her mouth shut.

The ducks are placed in the marital home and their pose is meant to relate the state of the couple’s relationship. Beak to beak means that all is well and harmonious while tail to tail indicates there is trouble in paradise.
Korean wedding ducks

I have yet to learn what beak to tail means.

Other Travel Souvenirs from Around the World: Tokyo, Jbeil (Byblos), Big Island Hawaii, Dubai, Provence, Tahiti, Montmartre/Paris.

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Travel Souvenirs from Around the World: Seoul, Korea was last modified: May 4th, 2014 by Corinne

Corinne

Corinne is the founder and editor of Gourmantic. An avid scribe, she has taken pen to paper since the age of five. Her repertoire includes long works of fiction, short stories and travelogues. She is a winner of the GT travel writing competition, has judged the Australasian Whisky Awards for 2013 and several cocktail competitions. She is also named in the Australian Bartender Most Influential List for 2013.
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14 Comments:

  1. haha, well the tied mouth part is a bit sexiest but hilarious :)

    • Anil: I admit I kind of frowned at the concept originally, but let’s just say the ribbon around her mouth easily comes undone :)

  2. That’s awesome – I agree with Anil, a bit sexist, but really interesting that it’s such a part of Korean culture that they would symbolize it in the ducks! Wondering if beak to tail is when one member of the couple is sent to sleep on the couch for a night?!  :-)  Neat souvenirs!

    • Shannon: My guess is that culture and traditions play a role here when it comes to the female keeping quiet. Something (wishfully) passed on to future generations perhaps.
      I like your interpretation. Much more polite than what first came to my mind! :)

  3. Wow!  Very interesting idea.  I wonder how often Koreans keep the ducks in their household and how they are usually placed.

    • Akila: It would interesting if they did a census on the duck and how often their placement changes during the year!

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