31 January 2008

The Unofficial Korean National Bird

"What's the name of that bird in Korean?" I asked a young friend recently.

"I'm not sure," she annunciated carefully. "But, I think it maybe 까치. How do you call in English?"

"Couldn't tell you, sweetie. Unless it's 'magpie' or something."

A quick cross reference with the Korean/English dictionary proved us both right.

This link provided further information:

Traditionally loved by the Korean people, the magpie is believed to be an auspicious bird and a messenger of good news. According to a folktale, magpies formed a bridge to help two star-crossed lovers to reunite. It was also chosen as the national bird of Korea in 1964, getting overwhelming votes in a national contest. As the bird of Korea, and that of Seoul as well, the magpie has been excluded from the list of game fowls since 1996.

(Yeah, yeah, whatever. Ugly old thing. Didn't need common language to determine that. Mean too. He, or one of his rellies, visited the sun-roof of my balcony a bit later and left a little "calling card" telling me what he thinks of it all. Guess he could feel the disdain.)


Renna said...

I guess bird pooh is the same in any language. ;-Þ

sunny said...

Ha! You got that right.