My friends from high school tease me periodically by calling me ajumma. It's funny only because I was 24 when my first son was born. But really, it's what I am. I'm married; I stay at home with my two kids.
But I suppose I never thought of the word and how it's used in Korea now. I still think of Korea in a sort of starkly different comparison of my mother and my halmoni and my mother-in-law's mid-century, post-war nation and the world my Korean American friends visit - full of nightclubs, loose sexuality and a kind of desperate upward mobility.
But what about the lives caught in between those two worlds? The LA Times writes about one woman who is trying to empower ajummas to cast off the scorn piled on them from this new generation and live lives of empowerment. I say, bravo!