Annyong, Lindsay here. If you’re wondering if we are going to be lonely and bored on Christmas, don’t worry any further! We’ve got two more days of school before we’re headed off for a lovely Christmas Eve in Seoul where we’ve got reservations at our favorite hotel and an evening of Western food and outdoor ice skating planned. And on Christmas day, we’re flying out to Vietnam and Cambodia for a week with our friends Sam and Rik!
But that’s not what I’m here to write about.
To change the subject with no segue whatsoever, it seems that every country has their own unique way of deciding inconsequential matters. In America, we often say Eenie Meenie Miney Moe, catch a tiger by its toe…
In Korea, it’s paper, rock, scissors that acts as a judge in matters great and small. It’s not just the children who utter “kawi, bawi, bo!”. It’s also taxi drivers, police men and businessmen drinking soju outside the 7-Elevens.
Paper, rock, scissors is used the world over. It’s Janken in Japan, Pierre-Papier-Ciseaux in France, Ca-Chi-Pun in Chile, and Ching-Chong-Cha in South Africa.
But for children who never seem to get bored of this great decider, Korean children also use their own version of Eenie Meenie Miney Moe, which I just love.
It goes something like this:
Coca Cola Masheta, Mashitsumyon Ddo Mok Ji, Ddo Mok Eu Myon Bae Talna, Ding Dong Dang Dong, Chuck Chuck Baksanim! Al Ah Matcheoboseyo.
[Updated!] translated: Coca Cola is delicious, if it is delicious we eat again, if we eat it again, we get stomachache. Ding Dong Dang Dong! Mr. Know-it-all! Guess what it is!
So upon further research, I learned that this deciding game is also used around the world. Here are a few versions for your amusement.
De tin, marín, de do, pingüé
Cucara, macara, títere fue
Yo no fui, fue Teté
Pégale, pégale, que ella fue!
Eeny, meeny, miny moe
Catch a fella by the toe
If he hollers let him go
Eeny, meeny, miny more
A Blackbird came down
from heaven and said
you are the one
who will be dead
Eeene, meene, meck, und du bist weg; weg bist du noch lange nicht, sag mir erst wie alt du bist!(German: eene, meene, meck, and you are gone; you´re by far not gone yet, first tell me how old you are!)
Eeny Meeny Seeny Ta’tl basateeny Fee lamoonie hamda T’ktof o tameenie
(This has something to do with being given a sour lemon!)
Iene, miene, mutten
Tien pond gruten
Tien pond kaas
Iene, miene, mutten is de baas!