Tag Archives: dream

Korean Childbirth Dreams


The following informant is a 21-year-old Korean American student. I was having a conversation about dreams when this topic came up. The informant stated that she heard the story from her parents who are Korean immigrants. In this I will be denoted as C and the informant will be denoted as S

S: So there this like thing I don’t know if it’s only for Korean women but apparently you get like a pregnancy dream when you’re pregnant. So like my mom’s pregnancy dream when she was with me was by a river or a swimming pool or something and then like a giant shiny black fish jumps out of the water and she catches it, and that’s kind of the dream she has. And then for my sister she had a dream of a shiny beautiful pearl. So my mom had a dream that I was a beautiful shiny black fish that she caught.

C: And what does it mean?

S: Apparently, I was talking to my photography teacher who is also Korean, what she’s heard about Korean pregnancy mother dreams is that if you dream of something really really small then it means girls, wait no, if you dream of something really small it’s a boy but if you dream of something big it’s a girl. So the big fish, me girl. So that’s it.

Analysis: This is an interesting folk belief and I have heard similar folk beliefs that are said to indicate the gender of the baby.

Familial Legends: Dreaming of the Devil

Every family member on J.R.’s father’s side has experienced the same DREAM.

J.R. – “Every single person in my family on my dad’s side, as far back as, like, 4 generations, has had this terrible sleep paralysis at least once in their lives, and during this nightmare they see a manifestation which they believe to be the devil.”

Can you describe the dream?

“So essentially, uh, they – well, really, it’s not a dream, it’s that; when they come to, they’re completely frozen, and usually there’s a window or a door for some reason, and by the foot of the bed.  So what my father saw was a foot-tall figure, usually completely shadowed, has appeared on their bed and walked towards them with blood red eyes.”

“As soon as it gets really close to them, it goes black, and they wake up.”

“My grandmother’s was slightly different than my father’s: she was passed out on her bed, a similar situation to my father, and it appeared.  And the staple of this figure is definitely it’s blood red eyes.”

When you think about the possibility of that happening to you as well, what crosses your mind?

“I’m intrigued, especially because of my father’s family’s interesting relationship with religion.  My dad was a mormon at one point, but now he’s not even religious . . . my grandmother had some issues which kinda drove her away from religion . . . in my eyes, I wouldn’t put it past anything – just for me, I’m not super religious.  I don’t necessarily believe in that stuff, but I don’t think my dad ever has ever, and so I’m intrigued to say the least.”


This is fascinating to me.  The person who told me this story is a close friend of mine, and I would have known by now if he was in any way overtly religious.  I’ve known, in fact, that he isn’t particularly religious at all, and neither is his family.  So, it shocked me to hear this from him of all people, because I would never have imagined something so spiritual, so saint-like, could have happened to that family in particular.  Subjectively, I think think that this is a prime example of spiritual fluidity, going through all members of one family.  It’s also interesting to hear what this person, who had not yet had this nightmare, has to say about the possibility of it’s occurrence.  I’d be terrified, as I often am, although he seemed so cool about it.


Dream comes True


The following story is collected from my friend. He lived in Turkey for the most part of his life. He talks about a Turkish tradition in this collection. This interview is done on phone. “A” refers to me, the collector. And “B” refers to the participant.


A:” Did you experience anything you can call supernatural?”


B: “I was planning to go to South America with my friends. I month before the trip, I saw a dream. In the dream, I was in Buenos Aires with my friends. I was walking in the city and saw a two floor building. I can remember very specifically, there were graffitis of bananas. The building was selling only bananas. I told to myself, why there is such a random building in Buenos Aires. Then a month later, I went to Buenos Aires. I was walking randomly without having a destination. Then suddenly… I saw the exact same building in my dreams. I was shocked because, everyone can experience something in their real life that is similar to what they have seen in their dreams, but this was very specific. Never experienced something like this. I even took the photo of the building. And again, I had to aim while walking. There should be thousands of streets in the city, and I was walking randomly.”


A: “How do you explain this?”


B: “I think what we dream, can happen in the future sometimes. Maybe when we sleep, we have a connection to the parallel universe.”


The Golden Dragon

Interviewer: What is being performed?

Informant: Folk belief by Crystal Soojung Choi

When a Korean mother becomes pregnant with a son, she has a dream that a golden dragon appears to her.


Interviewer: What is the background information about the performance? Why do you know or like this piece? Where or who did you learn it from?

Informant: My dad told me this story because my grandmother (his mom) had that dream when she was pregnant with my dad. I really like this story because of the mystical qualities surrounding it.


Interviewer: What country and what region of that country are you from?


Informant: I was born and raised in Los Angeles, but my dad was born and raised in the Boseon area of South Korea.


Interviewer: Do you belong to a specific religious or social sub group that tells this story?


Informant: It’s a dream that Korean mothers have when pregnant with a son so I suppose it is prevalent in Korean families.


Interviewer:  Where did you first hear the story?


Informant: From my father before I went to sleep one night.


Interviewer: What do you think the origins of this story might be?


Informant: It could be part of the values of royal families in older generations that a son was desired for offspring and thus, they were welcomed as a precious treasure before and after birth.


Interviewer: What does it mean to you?


Informant: With the appearance of the golden dragon, it could show how precious a child is in a family and that they are treasured and loved.


Context of the performance– conversation with a classmate


Thoughts about the piece– Other portents of sons include dreaming of cows, tigers, snakes and pigs but dragons are the luckiest. Daughters are symbolized in dreams by flowers, jewelry and other delicate objects. More Korean dream interpretation here: koreancultureblog.com/2015/03/17/try-the-korean-way-of-dream-interpretation/

Mother’s Psychic Dream

The informant told me of a dream her mother had before marrying her father, which has deeply influenced her way of looking at the world:

“Okay so, one of  the earliest stories I remember hearing was my mom, after a few first dates with my dad, came home super worried and didn’t think that she’d get married or have kids or do anything with her life, and then that night, she had a dream, with her college roommates, who’s name is Laura, which is dangerously close to Lauren, but she hated Laura, like hated her a lot, and Laura was driving a car and my mom was in the passenger seat and Laura turned, and Luara was talking to her and “you’re going to be fine, everything’s going to turn out okay” and she like pointed to the back seat and she says that she saw a little girl and a little boy in a carseat, and the girl was older which would be me, and the little boy which would be my brother. i also have a little sister but she wasn’t there. I heard it, I think, when I was younger, oh I’m not, in similar moments, i’m not going to be able to do this and my mom was like “i’m not so sure” but i remember going to bed and thinking I’m going to have a dream like that’d I never have but yeah.”


The informant also told me that her family, especially through her mother’s matriarchal line is supposedly psychic, so this dream continues that pattern in her mother. She hopes to someday to have a psychic moment although she is not sure that will happen.