Pencil, Car Keys, or Money?

KK: “Um… when we’re babies, they usually dress us in Korean traditional dresses and place a pencil, car keys and money. And that is supposed to determine what I’m supposed to do with my life”


KK: “So they place a pencil, a dollar and car keys in front of us and our family sees what we pick up first.. And apparently, depending on what we pick up, it determines our future and what we will be interested in doing in the future. ”

MG: Do you believe in it?

KK: “haha la neta, no. I think most korean traditions are BS (hahaha) but, they’re traditions.  Actually, my mom chose to opt me out of that tradition. The only one who actually partook in this tradition was my sister. she picked up a pencil!  but nah, i don’t think so, it isn’t a representation of what you’d want in the future you know? you’re a baby. how are you supposed to know what you want to do with your future? babies just pick up shit when they think its pretty or shiny”

Context: I asked the informant if she partook in any Korean traditions.

Background: Informant is half Korean, half Mexican. She finds it easier to represent and participate in the Mexican culture so it may affect her decision t0 not believe in this tradition.

Analysis: There are many traditions that are done for people to determine their fate or to even make a guess about what one’s future looks like. The unknown scares people and they try to do everything to find out what might happen next. Also, babies are often tested to see what objects they find most intriguing. Her sister is currently doing accounting work so maybe the pencil was accurate. However, it is true that one may interpret each item differently. If the baby chooses car keys but is a doctor they would probably assume it was accurate because now he has a nice car. Although not everyone may believe in the accuracy of traditions many still partake simply because they are traditions meant to be passed on to the next generation.