Korean fairy tale to explain raining while it is sunny
Kyujin Sohn was born in Korea but moved to the United States as a young child. The majority of his family is from Korea, and many of them still live there. Although he has spent most of his life in the US, he has visited Korea often and identifies closely with Korean culture.
“So, I think this is actually rooted from China, but in Korea it goes, that, so the tiger was supposed to marry the clouds. Uhh, this is like a cloud, think of it not as actually like a tiger and a cloud but as metaphorical representations of tigers and clouds. And, and they’re supposed to marry, but on the day of their wedding, the tiger meets this fox, and he falls in love with the fox. And so, having fallen in love with this random fox that had come, the fox and the tiger run away together, and because it’s a cloud, it can see from the sky, it can see that he’s been betrayed, or she’s been betrayed – gender’s a little mixed up here – but the cloud is heartbroken, and thus runs away, and the only thing he can run away to is the sun, and so he hides behind the sun and cries. And so it’s like, during a tiger’s wedding with the fox, the clouds cry behind the sun. And so when it sun-showers, we say the tiger is marrying the fox.”
Informant’s Background Knowledge and Relationship with this Piece:
Kyujin learned it from a friend, when he was trying to paint a picture and wanted to include a reference to a Korean folk story. He thought the story was cute, and that it explained why when it is raining and sunny at the same time, people say the tiger is marrying the fox.
Thoughts About the Piece:
In South Africa, when it is raining and sunny, we used to call it a monkey’s wedding. I’ve also heard somebody call it a tiger’s wedding, although I have never heard any explanation or story behind who the monkey or tiger is marrying, and how that relates to the weather, so I think that this is a pretty interesting story.