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[Theme of the Month] Family drama

Now that it’s November, Thanksgiving will be coming up in the States, and that means big family gatherings for a lot of us. Being from an immigrant Korean family, my family always did a big fusion type celebration. Anyone who could make it would come, and we’d have turkey along with kimchi and rice. Besides lots of food, a cornerstone of stroopwafel family gatherings has always been stories.

The elders in my family always take time in-between nagging us young ‘uns to reminisce about the old days and family members who’ve gone on before us. My halmoni passed away when I was a teenager, but she still comes up quite often during family parties. She was the first storyteller in my life, and one of the things I remember best about her is her ability to spin a yarn. Halmoni would tell me stories about Korea under the occupation, before the war; before the division. Though she’s gone, her stories have stayed with me.

It was just a few Thanksgivings ago that I first learned my grandmother had a secret. When she was 16, her parents betrothed her to a young boy in a neighboring village. Instead of getting married, she ran away to Seoul. The details are lost to time, but what I do know is that she made her way from Seoul to Manchuria and found work in a hospital. It was there that she met the man she would later marry, my grandfather. After a short courtship, they returned to Korea to marry.

It sounded like something from a drama, and knowing her story has left me with so many questions. I think about the weight of that decision and of how frightened, yet determined she must have been to make the choice to run away from her family. Just as it’s true that every person has a story, every family has a story. So:

What story from your family could be something straight out of a drama?

Thank you to @moonbean for the suggestion!

 
To submit:

  • Email your submissions to [email protected] If you have a registered Dramabeans account, include your handle so we can link to it.
  • Include at least 1 image, though more is preferred.
  • Suggested length: Between 500 and 1,000 words.
  • Deadline: We will post these on a rolling basis, so we’re taking submissions now. We will cut off accepting submissions on November 27. If you miss this month, join us for a new theme next month!

 
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When I think family dynamics and dramas, I always end up going back to Reply 1988! I'll never forget that scene where they were all in that tiny room watching TV and Jungbong wins the lottery. Just thinking about it gets me a little misty.

Families come in all different shapes and forms! Can't wait to read everyone's thoughts and stories this month ♡

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I have many stories I could tell, but since it's not my personal stories, I don't think it's right for me to turn it into an essay (even if those are not really a secret in the family). So, I think I'll sit this one out, and just wait patiently for tons of unexpected stories from other beanies. *preparing popcorn and tissues in advance*

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yeah i'm weary to write on this topic...some of the stories while super dramatic are simply not mine to tell or share

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Dear Beanies, hold my tea....

*rolls up sleeves, readying to type up entire blurb about my family roots & history because ALL of it is drama*

Haha I joke-- but I am a mix of many cultures despite my family being mostly all just Chinese :)

I, myself, am a CBC-- a Canadian-born Chinese.

My mom was born and raised in Ho Chi Minh city of Vietnam and lived in the Saigon area--my maternal grandma and aunt (my mom's sister) are a mean cook when it comes to Vietnamese cuisine... SO GOOD OMG-- but her ancestral roots come from somewhere in the Guangdong Province of China (which doesn't help narrow it down, because the area is quite vast lol) and I say "somewhere" because I remember her telling me specifically where before but I have since forgot it lol All of my mom's siblings have gone off to marry someone of pure Vietnamese race, so all of my cousins on my mom's side are half Chinese/half Vietnamese.
On my dad's side, he himself and all of his siblings were born and raised in Hong Kong but his side of the family are all pure Shanghainese.
All of my dad's siblings have gone off to marry someone of pure Chinese race from Hong Kong which actually can mean a lot of things because Hong Kong is a place made up of Han Chinese which is the bigger umbrella that comprises of people who are Taishanese, Teochew, Hakka, and Cantonese.

So I am quite a few things, but at the same time, I am still just one thing, and that is Chinese :)

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I love these stories from immigrant families. During times of war and occupation, all family stories could be part of dramas. I would love to write a novel pulling from my own family’s history one day. It’s crazy colorful, from parents disowning children, making them orphans, to a single mother of four running from each village the viet cong took over, living a nomad’s life, to a young 19 year old betrothed to a young man and his family and narrowly escaping with that family when Vietnam fell and then not seeing her mother and younger siblings for over 20 years. It’s a tale of love, loss, and ultimately forgiveness. I might find a snippet of it to write about this month.

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Yea, there's so much richness and history in itself from immigrant stories, and I am a proud daughter of parents who have such rich backgrounds and experiences :)

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I should say “when Saigon fell.” It’s heart wrenching. I don’t even know the half of it. I need to sit down with al my family members and get it all written down.

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Hahaha All good ~~
Yea, my mom keeps telling me how the times have changed for refugees from when she came to Canada as one in the late-70s, and now, the lives of the Syrian refugees coming to Canada

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It’s a tale of love, loss, and ultimately forgiveness.

This. True to life stories. I wish I had taken the time to understand my mother's language and culture, so I could communicate to my maternal family better and know more of the family history.

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@yyishere shared a great story about her grandparents during #MakjangMondays. It involved immigration as well as stowaways, the plague and bound feet. I'm waiting for her to publish it. (hint hint)

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I have a colleague who is Chinese- but his family lived in Vietnam for thee hundred years before fleeing the Communists. That sounds like your grandmother. There are many Chinese who left China during the early Ming Dynasty and yet are still Chinese- They are called Overseas Chinese and are in a way really a separate ethnic group of their own.

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That might be the case!! 😁😁
I’ve never actually heard of the story from my grandparents side on how they ended up in Vietnam (though they are thankfully still alive & kickin’ and doing very well on their own considering they are in their mid- to late- 80s and are still well & alert enough to tell us that they don’t want to moved into a seniors’ home—yet) , and my mom actually never got to meet her grandparents (my maternal great-grandparents), so I will never know what really happened to cause the move, but I wouldn’t put it past the changing of eras (from imperial to republic) and war as a major reason

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If there is any family secrets in my side of the family. They sure kept it hush hush with the older generation. They did not tell me, my sisters my cousins at all. No secret on my hubby side family. Oh, his two previous engagements does not count either. 😂🤣 Yes, he told me he used to have two fiancée. I am his third and married him.

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👌🏻👌🏻😁😁😁😁

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Oh. My. God. This theme sounds awesome!

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Makjang stories take 2 incoming, assa~ 😎

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I was about to say, we've already done this! 😂

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I hope the machete wielding dad makes an appearance.

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Egads' family is full of, like, wannabe poisoners and axe murders so it could be fun revisiting that.

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Maybe I should share my parents' makjang love story! LOL!

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I thought about tagging you about it but then it would have been me kinda forcing to write about it ^^

now that you have propose this on your own, yay :D

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LOL, it's okay, I still need to ask them for their permission to share the story, it is very makjang after all, if they agree then I would! 😂

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you can anonymise it :
Story about Park Hae Jin's in-laws x)

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This gave me a good laugh!
Mom still calls him "your guy" 😂

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she recognizes your love <3

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Ohhh the stories i can tell yay!

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Excited to read all of the entries! Who knows, maybe a kdrama writer will browse through the entries and ask the author if their story could be used in his/her writing?

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I don't have a drama-like story. I pretty much live a mundane life irl. But my parents did have a drama of their own at some point. I don't know much about the details of their story, but from what they had told me - my Japanese grandmother was against her daughter's relationship with a Canadian-Mexican. Against all odds, she eloped with him to Canada and got married. They had me a year after marriage. 10 years later, they filed for divorce and decided they were better off remain friends for the rest of their lives. It's not the typical HEA, but this is one of those times real life's HEA is far off different from romance drama's HEA. Real life has a story after HEA; it never ends.

My relationship with them is great and I like seeing them talk like good old friends with no animosity between them whenever my Dad comes to town and visits me, so I don't consider my family as dysfunctional at all. 🙂

My mom and grandmother reconciled. My grandmother sounds like one of those makjang mothers from the drama. I still, to this day, am terrified of her; good thing she doesn't speak English. 🙃 But surprisingly, she never blamed my mom at all for her decisions to elope and marry even when she was completely against their relationship.

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What’s HEA?

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HEA is happily ever after 😊

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Most of my family's stories are lost, so I have little to contribute this month.

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As we discovered from #makjangmondays, Beanies have some amazing stories lurking behind their avatars. It's possibly what even inspired this month's theme.
I look forward to some hard core makjang cray cray dropping this month. Should be a lot of fun.

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I'll be waiting to read about your dad's Korean bf.

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I just realized what that sounds like, and I shouldn't be allowed to say anything anymore.

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Please never stop saying things.

I mean, this can't compare to your "pot plant" comment that had me in literal stitches this weekend but still gave me a good old chuckle nonetheless.

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Also
🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

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Ohh wow! I might compile my #makjangmondays posts for this month's theme! It might be a hilarious read. :P

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Or compile it into a book? I'd read it.

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Where do we preorder?

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I was just about to tag you :D

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hehe oh you guys, i'm working on my entry this weekend and hopefully it'll get somewhere. if not, i'll just share it on my wall. :)

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This is quite a personal theme but I look forward to reading.

By the way, I've only watched a handful of family dramas: OJAKGYO BROTHERS, HOUSE OF BLUEBIRD, and FATHER IS STRANGE. These dramas showed at least one dysfunctional family, with people who make frustrating decisions (such is life, but some drama characters suffered needlessly and were unbelievably stupid).

Fortunately these dramas also showed a few relatively ordinary families, which gives me hope that not all family dramas all makjang fests. So, if you know any good family dramas please let me know!

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Life Is Beautiful!!! If you don't mind watching old dramas, I recommend this drama with all my heart and soul.

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I like MY HUSBAND GOT A FAMILY (YOU WHO ROLLED IN UNEXPECTEDLY) and MY DAUGHTER SEO YEONG.

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Yay! Thanks for taking up my suggestion @stroopwafel. I was reading one of the posts on "Hey, That's me" theme (specifically on dysfunctional families) when I remembered a family drama that's worthy of being a TV drama, but it didn't really fit the theme of the month and I wished for such a theme

Now I have to go and write the darn thing!!!!

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In the last two months my family has become a makjang daily with all kinds of twists, shockers, and tears. But as these aren't my stories to tell publicly, I'll stick the historical makjang family tales, and maybe get around to writing about murderers and treasonous spies.

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My favorite family drama is, and will always remain, "What's wrong with my mother-in-law" from Search WWW. I doubt anything can top that.
That's to say, I'm excited for this month's theme and looking forward to reading other Beanies' stories!

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Oof i've had a few super dramatic family stuff happen...no birth secrets but more telenovela/soap opera than kdrama LOL but as others have said these are not my stories to tell and my life is fortunately not that dramatic...I think I would've preferred if we could write on family drama in kdramas we've connected with...for example the way a mother/daughter relationship is depicted in a drama or the sweet father/daughter relationships some dramas depict etc

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All my family's drama like moments come under the weekend family drama & makjang category, & I'm not brave enough to share them with the world. I'll look forward to seeing what beanies post!

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