We learned a little about Korean customs when Cost Centre 1 married earlier this year. Korean friends attended the wedding and gave her and her husband a pair of ducks. I saw a similar pair of marriage ducks in Jeju:



The idea is that the couple uses the ducks to signal happiness or displeasure with the other partner. If the ducks are facing one another all is well. If one partner is unhappy they turn the ducks so they face away from one another. It is a very simple way of communicating.

Here the duck on the left seems to have a flat face – I’m not sure whether this is significant. Mrs. Ha didn’t buy these ducks as we are in a state of perpetual happiness. At least, that’s what she tells me. And who am I to argue.

19 thoughts on “Ducks!!

  1. Is there any truth in the myth that flying ceramic wall ducks flying left to right can be rare and valuable ?

  2. Lovely ducks. The pair of ducks reminded me of seminary. In one class a friend of mine who came from the East Coast of Canada, was speaking about his concern for this pair of ducks. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out what it had to do with the theological issue at hand. Then he said he had problems with this pair of ducks throughout the Gospel.
    It suddenly dawned on me – he wasn’t talking about a pair of ducks he was talking about paradox.

    I don’t think we need these marriage guidance tools – everything is just ducky as it is 🙂

  3. We use wine bottles, instead of ducks. If I get one over the head I know “She who must be obeyed” is not too happy. Of course I am not allowed the use of said wine bottle.

  4. Love the duck system. Low tech, organic, infallible. And a pleasant surprise, not least because when i read this was about Korean customs, i was sort of expecting a story of hassles at the Seoul airport…

    • Ah we didn’t go to Seoul, Alessandro, only Jeju. Small airport. Very fast. They use biometrics – index finger recognition and face recognition. The Koreans are amazingly advanced in technology. The longest wait was for our luggage on return to HK.

  5. This got me thinking about the Flying ceramic ducks that people used to have on their walls (I’m sure some people still have them) What would the Koreans make of those? The flying ducks come in 3’s and though flying in the same direction, are at different heights. I think they would be deemed a Korean marital no-no.

    • John, it is great duck weather. Don’t know about the Mandarin Ducks but I remember Hilda Ogden used to have flying (china) ducks on her wall. Aren’t owls a symbol of marital fidelity and bliss 😉

  6. I love the idea of these little fellows letting a marriage partner know if the other is unhappy about something. Think I’ll put a pair on my Christmas list 😉

  7. Our wedding symbols are a pair of Chinese Landscape prints of original scrolls. We bought them while still living apart and hung one in each of our apartments. Once we married they hung together. Style required them to hang one slightly higher…or lower based on your half full half empty philosophy…but neither can remember which was whose so there is no pecking order signified. Much more enjoyable and practical than engagement jewelry to our minds.

    The ducks are fun but, as a former wood butcher, I really like the grain and pattern of the table.

    Don’t argue, be happy.

  8. It’s the colouring that gives the one on the left a different appearance. The lighter banding around and down the eye makes it look sad. And even the red beak doesn’t compete with the dark beak.

    I have two (love?) ducks. Usually they are in the bedroom, because I bought them as they were the right colour and feng shui is big on animal symbolism. Sometimes they are face to face and sometimes they are parallel, going in the same direction.

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