Forget desktop photographs of your children. Doting South Korean parents can preserve their child’s umbilical cord in acrylic resin to make a personal seal or even have it gold plated.
In this Confucian society where family values are highly prized, suppliers also offer services for parents to have traditional Korean calligraphy brushes made from their child’s hair.
Shim Jae-cheol of U&I Impression said the firm had gold-plated about 80 to 100 umbilical cords a month since starting business in August, with prices ranging from 80,000 won to 100,000 won ($76 to $96). It also offers mail order.
South Korean law allows parents to keep the umbilical cord of their children, although sales to a third party would be illegal.
Another supplier, Agamo, which makes calligraphy brushes made from human hair and preserves umbilical cords in personal seals, hopes to branch out to Japan.
“The company got the idea from mothers just storing umbilical cords and navels in an album or what-not,” said Suk Tae-jin of Agamo.
Keeping children’s umbilical cords and making calligraphy brushes from their hair have long been a tradition in Korea.