US Ambassador Mark Lippert celebrates son's first birthday in Korean style
A child's one-year birthday celebration is a festive event in any family. For U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert, it's particularly wonderful to celebrate the event in traditional Korean style, as the Lipperts are very fond of Korean culture and have even given their son a Korean name. Take a look at the cute photos.
Mark Lippert, the youngest U.S. ambassador to Korea, often tweets in Korean. Both he and his wife, Robyn, have devoted themselves to cultural exchanges between Korea and the United States.
Their first-born child's full name is James William Sejun Lippert. The middle name, Sejun, was chosen by consulting the traditional Korean way (saju) of selecting names based on the hours and the date of birth. Sejun is composed of two Chinese characters, and it means “to become an exceptional person as a result of leading an honest and clean life."
On January 16, the Lipperts hosted a one-year birthday celebration party where their son wore a cute hanbok and hat. The table is stacked full of foods symbolizing longevity and fortune. Following Korean tradition, Sejun was placed in front of various objects indicating future careers. He grabbed a brush, which means he may become a writer.
Even their basset hound, Grigsby, joined the fun by wearing a hanbok too.
In an interview with Korea Herald a few months ago, Robyn Lippert explained about her son's name, "We chose a Korean name because we want Sejun to always have a connection to this special country and always be aware of that.”
Mrs. Lippert said, “It is always a part of our recognition of how special Korea is to us. And we really want him to embrace that and be part of his life as he grows up.” The couple also plan for Sejun to explore both Korean and American food as he grows up. A local nanny helps taking care of the child and speaks Korean with him.
Even the Ambassador's residence is a symbol of the two cultures in collaboration. The Habib House, named after former ambassador Philip Habib, is built with U.S. wood and designed in Korean architectural style.
Isn't young Sejun lucky to be growing up in an environment where he'll be immersed in both Korean and American cultures?
(Photo credit as referenced or tagged)