My husband and I are living in a small villa now after four times of moving houses. From a row house that was older than us to a camper van, from camper van to our dream house that was on the bucket list. And now. Every time we finished moving in and settled down, we invited close acquaintances and friends to held a house party. It is not important whether I have an intent to open a party or not. As soon as the news is spreaded that we are going to move our house, people say the same thing with different combination of words such as ‘Are you going to have a housewarming party after finishing moving in?’ ‘You are gonna do the housewarming right?’. Those pretty minds expressing congratulation and support fly to my heart one by one. 

Originally, housewarming was closer to a religious event. Moving to a new house or another house that someone else had lived, people called a shaman to perform a ritual ceremony. However, in modern society, it has a meaning of congratulation for those who are facing the new beginning ahead in a new house. It’s more like a ‘ceremony’ and ‘party’. Of course it’s lighter than important events in life which entail heavy responsibility and certain role such as wedding or first birthday, but it is quite similar in the process of preparation as I need to think of all the people I want to invite and make decisions which is complicated.

It is harder than I thought. Taking care of physical stuff is actually not difficult at all, that are necessary in housewarming like food and light drinks. Family, friends and acquaintances tell me first that they are going to bring drinks or dessert. My husband who likes to cook prepares his best dishes or if the time doesn’t allow, we use delivery service. The tough part is choosing whom to invite… It is not easy. Speaking of which, the most difficult thing at any time in life is ‘people’, as well as the most important thing.

I have the most memorable housewarming party in my mind. I used to live in a camper van for one year from March 2017, without a house. My husband called it moving a house. Our car was our house, and opening the door was the beginning of travel. At that time, we parked near Han River in Seoul, ordered fried chicken, bought a bunch of beer and invited couples or friends who were close with us. We held this normal style of housewarming but there is our own unique way of doing it. 

Which is that we drive the van and visit the friends or family. (We call it ‘Vanwarming’) In spring when we started to live in a van, I had one acquaintance who moved from Seoul to Pyeongtaek. We drove over to Pyeongtaek and we could have housewarming for both of us at the same time. We parked at their apartment parking lot, had dinner, and they visited our van on the next morning to have a chat with some tea and snacks. 

In winter, we went to see a couple of friends who were like our family, parked in front of their house and went out for dinner with them. After, we played board games drinking wine. Once, i visited my dad in Younggwang, Jeonnam, and gave him a tour to the van and received his message in the visitor’s book.

Housewarming, holding a house on the back and moving with it. We earn money and spend it to earn time, but it is weird that the time is never enough.  I get less and less time for myself to stay at home, invite somebody, get relaxed and have conversations. It’s diminishing. Therefore, ‘Housewarming’ will never disappear, the ceremony that people gather around and share food, plans, celebration and gratitude, while congratulating the new start at a new house. I heard that these days, some people have come up with more convenient and unique way of housewarming which is doing online. 

Of course it is less attractive for us who like to meet in person and communicate with others, but it is positive to share their new beginning in any form. Fresh start, the invisible power of the word that can’t be explained by words becomes stronger by sharing it with many people. People already knew this for a long time. We know that too now. 

We are thinking of housewarming prior to moving to a new house at the end of July when the contract of current house is expired. Wondering whom to share the fresh start, thinking of the faces that would give us congratulation and support… with the willingness to accept the invisible power.

DATE / 2020. 04. 28

VIDEO / @lesonducouple

WRITER / Moa Kim

Edited by | Moa Kim          Photo by | @lesonducouple


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