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6:55 AM
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Q: Why do many Korean folk tales start with "back when tigers smoked"?

Rand al'ThorI've read in a few sources that the Korean equivalent of the "once upon a time ..." which often begins English folk stories is something like "back when tigers smoked ..." or "when tigers used to smoke ..." Why has this become a standard way to start Korean folk stories? What is the historical an...

 
 
5 hours later…
11:50 AM
@Knight: A note about a small misunderstanding in this edit -- you wrote "double quotes are removed because I thought using > will imply it." I left the double quotes there deliberately because there are two levels of quoting: the question quotes from Persuasion (indicated by the >), and Persuasion quotes Anne Elliot (indicated by the double quotes). Not a big deal, and not worth reverting, but thought you might want to know.
 
12:18 PM
@GarethRees Thank you for letting me know. I won’t mind if you consider reverting it.
 
1:05 PM
@NorthLæraðr I've posted another one now, which may be more interesting to investigate/answer. I got one answer a few minutes ago which seems OK, but still keen to see if your cultural knowledge will be able to improve on that info.
 
Can someone please suggest me a site or an app which will give me one word for the expression/meaning that I will type?
 
 
3 hours later…
3:51 PM
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Q: Why a sorrowing heart is called as "Sultan" and a stone heart is called as "burial site" in this verse of Saint Kabir?

KnightI came up to this verse of great Indian poet Saint Kabir बिरहा बुरहा जिनि कहौ, बिरहा है सुलतान। जिस घटि बिरह न संचरै, सो घट सदा मसान॥ This page gives the English translation of that verse but the way the translation it is written is very hard to understand it. So, I moved to someone whose nativ...

 
4:28 PM
Hi, since the following can be interpreted as a book recommendation, I'm posting it here instead of as a question.

In his *Sticks & Stones* Netflix special, Dave Chappelle makes an interest argument regarding abortion and child abandonment: https://youtu.be/MoudH-RPnEE

From the idea that abortion is unequivocally the right of the mother and no one else’s, he argues that, if the mother decides to have the baby,
then the father can take no responsibility and, then, abandon the newborn. *If you can kill this motherfucker, I can at least abandon him. It's my money, my choice*, he remarks in t
 
How could this be interpreted as a book recommendation? You're not looking for a book at all.
Ah, I see you revised the deleted version. ;-)
 
5:02 PM
@Randal'Thor Um... that’s a very interesting question. Do you have a specific folk tale link you can attach so I can look up the actual Korean wording? I have a feeling it doesn’t have to do much with tobacco smoking
@Randal'Thor I’m going to answer this question right now. It’s pretty straightforward, but I’m on my phone so I’ll revise the answer I give later with actual examples.
 
@NorthLæraðr I didn't actually see it in a specific tale, but read about it as a general thing (while reading about the portrayal of tigers in Korean folklore). Can't actually remember now where I first saw it, but of course there's a lot of stuff about that online.
 
@Randal'Thor answered your first. I’ll elaborate later, but that’s the main gist of the answer
For some reason that’s not a phrase I’m familiar with, I would have to see the actual Korean to really understand what they mean
The implication in many folk tales in Korean as opposed to what the first answer said is that this took place before any sort of opium/tobacco
 
5:33 PM
My personal opinion is that “smoke” means that the tigers have off smoke (like literal tendrils is smoke coming from their stripes), since tigers were often viewed as demons or evil spirits incarnate.
I can’t say for sure without looking at the Korean though. I can’t even think of the Korean words to smoke off the top of my head right now.
 
@NorthLæraðr Wow, that would be an unexpected interpretation indeed.
 
It’ll be a while until I’m free (like 6 hours?) I have study and then go volunteer, so I won’t be available until like 4:00 pm PDT
 
> Heinz Insu Fenkl. "Korean Folk Tales: in the old, old days, when tigers smoked tobacco pipes". Bo-Leaf Books, 2008.
 
Yeah, personally a bit dubious about my OWN interpretation, but tigers smoking weed isn’t exactly an imagery I’m familiar with either. Although I can imagine it now, and it’s messing with my head.
Hmm
 
Oh! I forgot there's a Korean Language SE.
Their chat seems awfully dead, but maybe I'll drop a link there anyway.
 
5:43 PM
Okay then I wouldn’t know the cultural context of that myself XD. Seems like I need to do my own research
 
It's gone HNQ, so you may need to be quick if you want to catch up to the other answers in votes ...
Almost 1000 views already. I guess the title catches people's interest.
 
 
5 hours later…
10:56 PM
@Randal'Thor Okay I'm online now
 
11:07 PM
Okay, I'm still not sure what the cultural context of this is. I disagree with the Quora answer though. I quick skim through Korean folktales and you'll realize that tigers aren't typically held in very high esteem. At least when I was told them
Hmm, yeah I disagree with the interpretations, but I don't know
My answer's a bit speculative too
 
11:55 PM
Okay the persimmon question has been updated with examples.
@Randal'Thor I don't really like those answers, but I don't have a better one that's not speculatory.
 

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