Red Pen Death

“Ohhh, I remember another one. When I was a kid, my friends told me that if I wrote my name with a red colored pen, it’s bad luck for me because I would die, or something like that.”

This is a superstition that Timothy heard about, not from his parents, but from his friends at school. He told me that he was in elementary, in the United States, and when his friend saw him write his name with a red coloring pencil, his friend right away told him that this was bad luck and that Tim needed to change the color of his name. This was the first time Tim had heard this, but ever since then, he believed in it. This is another superstition that I have heard of before also. When Tim told me this, I thought it was interesting that even as a student in the United States, these Korean superstitions are still present.

Timothy Chong is a 22 year old, senior in college, studying psychology. He is a friend I met through a club on campus. When I asked him to share some type of folklore or story he had heard growing up in a Korean household, he told me several beliefs. These can also be called superstitions. The sayings that he shared with me were told to him mostly by his parents because they are first generation parents that immigrated to the United States from Korea.

Tim told me this piece during break at work. We work together and it was a casual setting when he told me all his stories from his Korean culture.