This last Saturday, Eric and I received a fun gift from a friend of ours who went to South Korea to teach English. She bought us two wooden ducks from South Korea. They came with the following explanation:
The Wedding Duck is derived from an old Korean custom. When a couple gets married, the bridegroom gives his bride a pair of ducks. The Wedding Ducks symbolize eternal chastity; that’s why he gives her the ducks. If one duck dies, the other duck lives alone until it dies. The female duck ties her female beak with a string, which means the bride is prevented from nagging her husband by shutting her mouth. Nowadays there are a lot of divorces all over the world. That’s very bad for their children as well as themselves. Indeed the Wedding Duck gives us a good model and example. ‘No success can compensate for failure in the family, family is heaven on earth.’ If you consider family important ‘make this work for you.’ Wedding Ducks are derived from an old Korean custom so authentic Wedding Ducks are made only in Korea.
While some American women might not be terribly flattered with such a gift, I happen to think it is incredibly fun. They are currently on our fireplace mantle until we can find a permanent home for them. There is a red bow around the female duck’s beak and I grin inside whenever I see it. There are certainly a few men out there who would love to get by with giving their lady a duck with a clamped beak! In all seriousness, I love this custom. In America, and many other countries around the world, we give each other wedding rings to symbolize endless commitment. In Korea, the bridegroom gives his bride a pair of wooden ducks, not only to symbolize commitment, but as a reminder to show him respect. We may consider her beautifully wrapped beak to be a sign of male domination, but I take it another way. The description above talks about how divorces are happening all over the world. I think when this custom began; they realized that respect was so important in marriage. How many divorces come about because of what we allow to slip out of our beak day in and day out? Should women be silent servants in their homes? Of course not! Our men need our input, our encouragement, and our unique qualities; however, they never need our disrespect. Nagging is disrespectful, and is usually paired with damaging comments and sarcastic tones. Even if your man does what you ask after a nagging session, his heart begins to push you away. I think every couple needs a visual reminder of how to treat each other. Men need to see something that reminds them of their commitment and reminds them to show love daily to their wives. Women need to see something that reminds them of how important respect is to their husbands and how detrimental nagging and verbal bashing is to them. The Wedding Ducks are now shipped from the United States and they say the ducks are received in about 2-3 days (versus South Korea, which is after all, is on the other side of the earth!) or you can create your own visual reminder. Some people choose to make, or buy, something blue and something pink (or, something blue and pink together) to symbolize male and female differences and needs. Whatever visual reminder you choose, be sure to put it somewhere in your home that you will see often. We all need a little reminder once in a while. What artifacts do you have to visualize your relationship? Comment below and tell us (other than wedding rings) what artifacts you have to symbolize your relationship – or what you’re looking forward to getting!