If you liked “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” you’ll love My Korean Husband

April 30, 2014
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Nichola, left, and Sunhong Gwon met through a language exchange program in 2010, and got married in 2012.

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When an Australian woman and a Korean man get married, some things are bound to get lost in translation.

By Julie Carlson

Take one tablespoon Korean man and one tablespoon Australian woman, add a cup of marriage and something funny is bound to get cooked up. 

Meet Sunhong and Nichola Gwon. They are the husband-and-wife team behind the delightful blog called My Korean Husband, and if you liked the 2002 hit movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” you are going to love what you see on their website. 

Through videos and comics, the couple showcases their daily life together in Korea and Australia, and most importantly, their recipe for a bi-cultural relationship. 

“I wanted to show our differences and how they can be used in a really positive and understanding way,” Nichola says. 

In 2010, the Gwons met through a language exchange program. She wanted to expand her knowledge of Korean culture and he wanted to improve his English language skills. They dated, were engaged after a year and got married in 2012. 

Since then, the couple has moved between Australia and Korea. The Gwons currently live near Jinju, literally in the Deep South of Korea. They both blog full-time and help out on the family’s strawberry farm. 

Originally, the couple toyed with the idea for a guidebook for Koreans coming to Australia, but the concept soon grew into the comical blog it is today. 

After researching with the keywords “Korean husband” online, Nichola was disappointed to find that many blog posts cast romantic relationships between Koreans and non-Koreans in a negative light. 

It motivated her to put a positive spin on it, and My Korean Husband was born. 

“The type of things that were being said was nothing like the life I was experiencing with my husband,” Nichola says. “But I also wanted to show how different our life together was as well. The differences between us aren’t just skin deep. Culturally there are some massive differences, but that’s not a bad thing.”

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Nichola draws up the comics herself.

They were also inspired by the extremely popular website, Eat Your Kimchi, operated and hosted by two Canadian expats living in Korea. It features videos and blog posts of everything from life in Korea to interviews with K-pop idols.

The Gwons also banked on the fact that people outside South Korea were becoming more interested in Korean culture.

“We also knew because of the Hallyu that there may be many people interested in us,” Nichola explains. “If we didn’t have evidence of that, possibly the blog might have gone in a different direction with maybe not as much Korean focus.”

What really surprised the couple is how people who are not interested in Korean culture were following them on their blog, including their YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

“People love stories about how people met and fell in love,” Nichola says.

They could have simply just thrown up a bunch of text and pictures on My Korean Husband, but by adding comics and YouTube videos, their blog makes readers feel like they know them on a personal level.

Years ago, as an artist, Nichola painted landscapes but gave it up to focus on her studies. By the time she married, she got the creative urge again.

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The Gwons currently live near Jinju. They both blog full-time and help out on the family’s strawberry farm.

“I had never made comics before and it was quite difficult to go from representational art to drawing something just out of my head,” she says.

She took up the challenge and started with cheap pens and watercolors. Eventually, she purchased an inexpensive Wacom tablet and created the comics in a program called OpenCanvas, which she still uses today.

It takes her 30 minutes to several hours to create a comic. They feature a cartoon-like version of the Gwons and focus on a theme.  

Their videos are equally entertaining. Sunhong, also known as Hugh, usually appears in the videos but has started his own YouTube channels called “Mr. Gwon Time” and “Ask Korean Guys.”

“Right now, I’m talking about my experiences in Australia because that’s how I met Nichola,” he says. He hopes to offer more information on international couples and share more of his stories.

They also share comments from readers. One of the first couples they met through their blog is Han and Sophie Song. Due to their similar backgrounds and interests, they get along extremely well.

The Songs, who are also Korean and Australian, have participated in the videos, including “Ask Korean Guys.” In one of the most popular videos, Han pretends to be G-Dragon and gets in a fight with Sunhong.

One about Vegemite (Australian paste) is a classic also. “Now you know how I feel about some Korean food,” Nichola says. 

Although the blog takes a lot of dedication and hard work, it has opened a lot of doors for the Gwons, including a book deal with Gimm-Young Publishers in Korea. They have also enjoyed making new friends and meeting fans.

“We’ve had fans tell us how much it means to them that we have created this positive space online, how it makes their day seeing the comics,” Nichola says. “We’ve even had people tell us how much we’ve helped them get through a difficult time. And knowing there would be a new comic helped them get out of bed and face the world even though they were struggling with depression. That is amazing to me. We never thought we’d impact people’s lives that way.”

 

4 Comments

  1. Jessi

    April 30, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    Simon and Martina from Eat Your Kimchi are from Canada. :)

  2. jay

    April 30, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    oups.. EYK are from Toronto Canada, they are not Americans… major faux pas ;) we love Hugh and Nichola, very endearing and their experience although unique is also universal ;)

  3. Margaret S

    April 30, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    Canada is part of the Americas, so Simon and Martina are technically Americans!

  4. Laura DuLuc

    May 1, 2014 at 12:00 AM

    No se de que se queja todo el mundo AMERICA NO es un pais es un Continente, Canada es parte de America, asi que esta bien escrito.
    FELICIDADES Hugh and Nichola, muchos abrazos desde ARGENTINA :) Congratulations

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