Ajumma refers to older female usually past her 30’s and is presumed to be married with kids.
The reason I describe what the word ajumma means is because another new kdrama about a courgeous ajumma is being aired every Saturday in Korean Primetime TV on MBC. It is called Last Scandal.
This is quite different from the usual, quirky, brave young heroines you see in a korean drama. This is all about an ajumma who believed that their romantic journey in life are over because they feel like they are over-the-hill already. More drama airing right now on TV are also ajummafied like First Wives Club and A Beauty Unmatched.
Choi Jin Sil, who was the seen in “A Rosy Life” will be the star of this new drama. She will play the character of Hong Seon-Hee, a typical married woman with a 13 yr old daughter who lives with her in laws. Her usual ordinary life takes a huge turn when her husband one day disappeared. She needs to take a grip of the situation and take care of the household.
She met an old high school sweetheart, Song Jae-bin, now a successful celebrity. Sparks flew and they seem to fall in love all over again. The story will also include two other characters, one who will play Hong’s brother and the president of his agency and another woman who is his former lover.
The twists and turns of a life of an ajumma is the drama’s main focus. Often than not, being called ajumma is kinda negative for a korean society who is marriage obsessed (i dont mean to offend you guys). Some says that it is quite insulting if you are called ajumma especially if you are still single. On the other hand, some refers to them as fearless and if you really get to the very core of being an ajumma, I think they are to be respected and envied. Here’s an excerpt of an article I found in the net about the negativity of being called ajumma:
The number of women in Korea’s workforce is still significantly lower than that of other comparably developed nations, and thus, the title ‘ajumma,’ in certain contexts, emphasizes a woman¡¯s lack of professional training. Physical attributes and personality traits associated with ajummas are no more flattering: With short, permed hair; tattooed eyebrows; and clown-like makeup, ajummas will squeeze themselves into any crack on a subway bench and elbow their way to the front of any queue. So be careful who you call ‘ajumma,’ you might receive more than just a strong elbow. While it can be an endearing title, bestowing a sense of closeness to strangers, the term ‘ajumma’ is more often negative.
The director of this drama is a self proclaimed ajumma and proud to be one. Here’s another view about it from the series director:
`I am an `ajumma’ myself. I think Korean `ajumma’ are fearless. They are not afraid of anything, and this is what I will be portraying. Although Hong goes through emotional downfalls, she doesn’t give up. I think it is courage that defines `ajumma’,” .
I personally do not like to put people in a box and stereotype them. I am forever a Forest Gump believer:
Life is like a box of chocolate. You never know what you are gonna get.