I have been trying to think of ways to expand my readership and thank current readers for sticking with me for over a year. My roommate suggested that I give something away for free. Great idea – everybody loves free stuff! So this week, I will hold a raffle. The details are explained below. All you need to know now is that it’s free. And when I say free, I really mean FREE. You don’t have to pay anything to play or to win. I won’t ask for any information other than an email address in case you win. I won’t bombard you with emails for participating or share your email with anyone.
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I’ve been searching high and low for weeks to find the perfect raffle prize. I wanted something something beautiful, unique to Korea. Most importantly, I wanted something with an interesting story. It took a while, but I finally found it. For a chance to win an interesting and beautiful piece of Korean culture, read on.
One of my favorite pastimes in Korea is visiting historical sites – especially the traditional markets. Seomun Market in Daegu, for example, is a huge traditional market that has been operating for hundreds of years. Last year I visited and wrote a post about it. Although these markets are inundated with cheap t-shirts and socks, there are a few hidden gems – places that sell interesting items. I stumbled upon one of those places yesterday.
The old woman pictured above is a third-generation shop owner at Seomun Market. Her stand is tucked into the corner of a large building that is dominated by fabric shops. My Korean friend explained to her that I was looking for something special, not the typical touristy items like key chains and postcards. I told her that I wanted something handmade in Korea. She pointed out several items that were interesting, but nothing was quite special enough. I decided to move on. As we were leaving, the woman called us back and pointed out some wooden ducks.
The ducks, which were reminiscent of hunting decoys, were carved from wood and painted in bright colors. Most of the pairs were wrapped side-by-side in brightly colored cloth. I wasn’t sure what to make of these dolls.
My Korean friend explained that these ducks are part of an ancient Korean tradition. When a couple is married, ducks are a traditional wedding gift. Koreans believe that ducks bring peace, many children and good luck. But they have another, more interesting purpose. In Korea’s uber-conservative culture, the ducks are a way for husbands and wives to communicate to one another about sex without openly discussing it. They are displayed somewhere in the home – often on top of a TV or on a bookshelf.
I told the shop owner that I was intrigued by the ducks, but that I didn’t want something that was made in a factory. I wanted a pair of ducks that were hand-carved and hand-painted in Korea. She reached behind the counter and produced two ducks that looked different than those on display. She told me that the ducks were made by her relative who lives in a town outside of Daegu. He has been making ducks his whole life. He personally carves and paints each one. He even makes the paint with which he decorates the ducks. Bingo! They were more expensive than the other ducks, of course, but you’re worth it!
Those ducks are beautiful – I want them!
These ducks would be a great decoration for your home or office. They are also a wonderful conversation piece. Best of all, I will send them to one lucky person absolutely free. I’ll even pay the shipping. This time next week, I’ll hold a raffle and choose one person to receive these ducks. If you want to be included in the raffle, then you only have to do two things:
Step 1: “Like” this post. Simply go to the bottom of the post and click the “Like” button. If you already have a WordPress, then your contact information will automatically be forwarded to me. If not, then be sure to include your email address when prompted so that I can contact you if you win.
Step 2: Share this post on Facebook. Tell your friends about my amazing blog! As I mentioned above, I want find more readers. By sharing this post, you’ll help me do just that. I hope you’ll be so kind as to share more of your favorite posts in the future.
Remember – I will not send you emails. I will not ask you for money. This is a no-strings-attached offer!
Until next time.