My mother recently asked me if I had any strange or memorable dreams when I became pregnant.
I then recalled that Koreans believe a woman begins her pregnancy with a 태몽 (tae-mong), or a dream about the conception of the child.
(I thought this was unique to the Korean culture but apparently not – J just confirmed that the Chinese believe the same thing!)
When my mother first became pregnant with me, she dreamt that she was caught in a terrible thunderstorm. To escape the rain, she sought shelter in a dilapidated building. She looked up at the ceiling and was horrified to see a great number of snakes writhing and squirming on the roof beams. While most of them were a dull brown/tan color, there was one snake that was larger than others, and it was bright green. Then, without warning, the other snakes bowed to this great green serpent.
My father also had a tae-mong (dreams by fathers are rare, but not unheard of). He dreamt that he was hiking up the largest mountain in Korea. After much turmoil, he reached the top, where the current president of the nation was waiting for him. The president presented him with a box and told him, “You will never go hungry again.”
…no wonder my parents have such expectations of me!
As for my little sister, there were also two dreams – but this time they were both by my mother. Right before finding out about the pregnancy, my mother dreamt that she was walking down a familiar street when a dog bit her leg and wouldn’t let go. The funny thing is, my sister was born in the year of the dog!
In the other dream, my mother was looking into a tub full of beautiful koi. Fluid, lively, and bright with extraordinarily vibrant colors, she could not keep her eyes off of them. Dreaming of fish is usually associated with pregnancy in Korean culture, but what made this tae-mong unique is that when my sister was born, her eyes were so clear, bright, and vibrant that my mother couldn’t help but be reminded of this dream.
As for me, I am sad to say that I cannot recall any dreams that could be counted as a tae-mong. My pregnancy came as a surprise and I can barely remember last night’s dream, let alone one from 7 weeks ago!
Do you know if your parents experienced any conception dreams? If you’re pregnant or have children, have you been blessed with any tae-mong‘s?