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Review-An Interpretation of an Egg in the Song Seodongyo(薯童謠)

  • Korean Language & Literature
  • 2007, (61), pp.187-209
  • Publisher : Korean Language & Literature
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature

Hwang,In-Deok 1

1충남대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The word ‘Myo (卯)’, the same as an ‘Egg (卵)’, is known to be difficult to interpret in the old Korean song called <Seodongyo>. This study will decipher it as an egg (卵) and then try to interpret its meaning more clearly. For this, it is necessary to pay attention to the Korean folk cultural meaning of an egg. It is also necessary to compare its meaning in Korea with its meaning in other countries. While taking a good look at the folk materials in the neighboring countries, the author found that the content of <Seodongyo> was similar to the ethnic customs of an egg among some minority races in the southwest of China. It included the exchange of eggs, sharing eggs, and breaking eggs in relation to dating and marriage rituals among these minority races. There are some similarities between <Seodongyo> and their folk culture. The expression of <Seodongyo> resembles the cultures of ‘breaking eggs’ and ‘exchange of eggs’ regarding the relationship between a man and a woman. It also means the promise of friendship and marriage between the two lovers. Against this backdrop, it is estimated that some minority races in the southwest of China and Baekje(百濟) had cultural solidarity and a mutually influential relationship. Maybe, our culture in the Baekje era or Mahan(馬韓) era was influenced by the neighboring Chinese. Or, the township system (擔魯制) of Baekje had an influence upon the southwest of China and delivered our folk culture. Considering this view, <Seodongyo> indicates that it does not intend to disclose an indecent rumor, but intends to express natural romantic love and a poetic feeling between the lovers.

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