It’s Fun to Be One

Aalto and his proud parents Jackie and Alex

Aalto and his proud parents Jackie and Alex

 Once upon a time a lovely couple moved into a house in Berkeley which I had the pleasure of selling to them. Moving into their new home was even more exciting because they were expecting their first child!  It was an honor that my husband and I were invited to their son’s first birthday party. In Korean tradition, a child’s first birthday, called the Doljanchi, is an important milestone meant to bless the child with a prosperous future.

The Birthday Boy

Aalto looked cute in his dapper King’s outfit, a traditional Korean Jacket and hat from his grandparents.   

The Korean Spread

The cake said "first birthday" in Korean

Young Aalto celebrated with adoring parents and friends. The traditional Korean food and birthday cake were from Koreana Plaza in Oakland, a local Korean supermarket.

The highlight of the party was a Korean ritual in which the child is placed in front of a table with foods and six objects, each with a special significance.  He is then urged to pick up an object from the table.  It’s believed that what a child in Korea chooses may reveal his destiny. 


Alex and Jackie prepare the table for Aalto

 Here is the order in which Aalto made his selections:

Rice = Wealth

Yarn = Long Life

Squash Racquet = Athleticism

Red Dates = Fertility

Calligraphy Pen/Books = Scholar

 Paints = Artistic

 Aalto’s mother Jackie disclosed: “I did this when I turned one, and reportedly went straight for the books!”  She is now a successful physician.

It makes you wonder…

What would you choose if you could do it all over again?

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