Family bonds and 정 (情)

Yesterday I went for a picnic with two girls (of which one was Korean) before meeting my LP.

It was an afternoon dedicated to 여자들의 수다, 김밥, and white wine sitting in the shade of a big tree in the park behind uni. However, I also learned about the meaning of “정”.

My Korean friend had experienced in several cities that some local people of older generations would tentatively ask her where she is from. Once they had confirmed that she is in fact Korean, they proceed to tell her that their adopted son/daughter was also born in Korea, show pictures, and in some cases also share stories about how they were planning to go to Korea with their children to see their birth country with them.

She found these encounters very touching, which led to the introduction of the word “정”.

This is just one of several hanja that are associated with the same pronunciation.
Hanja: 情
Meaning: 뜻
Pronunciation: 정

It can be translated into a feeling of intimacy between people, and in this case it can be used to describe two kinds of parental affection:

기른 정: the emotional bond that is formed between an adult and a child being raised by the adult in question. This is a parent-child relationship that is not necessarily blood related. 기르다: to raise, to bring up.

낳은 정: the bond between a parent and a child related to the parents by birth. 낳다: to give birth to.


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