At elementary school there weren’t many things I liked to do. Besides being a very quite child, I was very tall for my age and therefore had too clumsy movements to join most of other kids plays. Although I was a good student, I was always being humiliated by the teacher about my bad handwriting. Anyhow, there was one thing I really loved to do: paper folding (aka origami). It was _the_ thing that pulled me from the almost zombie state and got me wired. Occasionally we had classes to do only paper folding where I learned models at first sight and repeated them till perfection. But eventually my teacher didn’t had more models to teach and I was bored again.

Fifteen years later, over a dinner at Mr. Jacks with some foreign friends, I’ve come to realize that my keenness for paper folding wasn’t just an hobbie of only a few or a kids play. Paper folding (origami) plays a really big part in the culture and tradition of Asian countries, specially in Japan and Korea. The fact that amazed me most was a Korean tradition that involved paper cranes – the model I enjoy most folding.

This tradition is still popular today and used widely in Korea. It says that if you fold 1000 paper cranes and give them to the one you love, your wishes of love will come true. Yes, 1000. Still not very impressed? Then, first do some math: I take between 5 to 10 minutes to fold the Korean paper crane version (which isn’t very different from the one I’ve learned in elementary school but slightly more complex, providing a more elegant and robust model) from a square extracted from a A4 paper sheet. Assuming one would take 5 minutes on average, he would be occupied for more than 83 hours. Seems a lot? Right, but it’s still not hard enough so why don’t we save some trees and use instead of A4 paper sheets, 5cmx5cm ones – the most common size for the 1000 paper crane folding? I never tried folding this size but I’m sure it’s a pretty hard task.

If you got interested in the paper crane model, you can try it yourself by following this animated instructions. But if what really catchs your eye is the 1000 paper tradition, you might want to know that it’s possible to buy kits online with 1000 paper sheets and even glass bowls to put them. Right, what I shouldn’t be telling you is that if you are lazy, it’s possible for about 40 euros to buy packages of already folded paper cranes. But of course you wouldn’t cheat on such a thing, am I right?

Special thanks to my friend, D. Y., for all the helpful info on the subject and also for the company at that dinner. :)

2 strings to “dinners close to a red light district”

  1. Darae says

    it is really nice to see what you made out of this information… you got a talent is telling things in an attractive way ;)

  2. serennablack says

    One more talent that I didn’t know you have! Really nice!