2015

Business card case is my pretty and practical Korean souvenir

This business card case was bought at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul. (Photo by Liz Ferguson)

This business card case was bought at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul. (Photo by Liz Ferguson)

A few years ago, a friend told me not to bother having business cards made; it would just be a waste of money. “Nobody uses them any more,” he said.

Well, that hasn’t been my experience! Many people have given me their personal cards (in South Korea and here in Canada) in the years since he said that, and  almost every day I add to my pile of cards from restaurants, bakeries and other interesting places.

That’s my way of introducing the business card case that I bought in South Korea. Unlike some of the souvenirs that I could have brought home, it is quite practical – I can use it to carry my own cards, or the ones that are given to me.

And it is so pretty, I never get tired of looking at it, or showing it to people. The Korean characters on it (hangul) are made from abalone shell. Several Korean friends have told me that the characters do not spell out any words; they’re just there for decorative purposes.

While in Korea I also saw beautiful jewelry boxes with elaborate designs made from abalone shell. A large display of those boxes can be a dazzling sight, almost a blinding one, in fact, with the store lights reflecting off the colourful bits of shell.

While many places sell this kind of craft, I bought my business card case at the gift shop in the National Museum of Korea.

This WordPress blog has a lot of information about these items.

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