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Period Party!

Period Party!

Korean Grandmother Park MakRye's tribute

Period Party!


Many women think immediately of pain when they think of menstruation. Something sickening, a nuisance, a pain, something that makes you anxious. But girls who have not yet had their first menstruation may feel a little different. They might think of becoming a woman, an adult, of expectations and celebration. Over the last decade attitudes towards menstruation have begun changing, with some people even celebrating the beginning with Period Parties. We agree that it’s time to shake off the fearful and mysterious image of menstruation, and get back to that excitement and sense of support. It’s good to have something like a ritual to positively accept what is a natural function of many peoples bodies. It doesn’t just have to be for menarche. Why not hold a fun and entertaining Period Party for someone that you love?!

You might Hate your Period, but Everyone Loves a Party

Embarrassing? Shy?

‘This is something almost all women experience, so why do I feel so awkward and ashamed?’ A lot of people blame themselves like this. Some of us live as strong and proud 21st Century women, then feel bitter as we think about how we can’t even say the word menstruation in front of other people. However, these worries and irritations are perfectly natural. It hasn't been long since our society began to accept menstruation as “normal”.

The first time for Grandma Makrye Park, born ‘47 On the day of Buddha's birthday, the first day of April in the year when I turned 18. Menarche came along with Buddha. At that time, everyone said menstruation was a menace. There was blood on my panties, and Olke told me it was a menarche and it happens when you get older. You’ll get it every month from now on, so tell mom to get cloth from the market. But I couldn't tell my mom. I ripped off a bit of my shirt and did it myself. I never told my mom even until now. She wouldn’t know now even in heaven? That's what people used to do. I didn't know. I thought I'd be in trouble if I said it. But now, if you don't throw a party, you're a tacky parent. There's always a menstruation party on tv shows these days.

Youtube creator Park Makrye, born in ‘47, shares her first and last. She says she never talked about menstruation with her mother. And this 'tradition of silence' was passed on to her daughter. In the video released on December 3, 2020, the grandmother surprised viewers by saying that she still doesn't know if her daughter, who is over 40, has started menstruation.

Grandmother Makrye's handmade menstrual pad resembles ‘Gaejim’, a menstrual product from the Joseon Dynasty of Korea. It was made by folding or sewing cotton or hemp cloth, which was commonly called "Sedap". Sedap means "washing" and is also a symbolic folk product that demonstrates the atmosphere of times when mentioning menstruation was taboo.

Women in the Joseon Dynasty, who had to hide their bodies natural functions, were responsible for dealing with this privately by "washing". Do the laundry by the stream early in the morning, and even when drying it, secretly finding a place to hide. Grandmother Makrye said she also spread paper on the floor and dried her menstrual pads in her room. Not a woman in the museum from the Joseon Dynasty, but a YouTuber grandmother lived in such a time, and we live in the same world. Even if the dynasty collapsed and the rivers and mountains changed, the shadows of secrets and shame over menstruation have been slow to fade.

Congratulations on your menstruation!

These days if you don’t throw a party, your a tacky parent. Like what grandma Makrye said, the perceptions around menstruation have changed rapidly recently. More and more kids are hearing “congratulations!” instead of “Oh no”. TV sitcoms show a father preparing a cake and bouquet of flowers for his daughters first period. Even within the stuffy traditional world featuring large families gathering around a huge table for a formal dinner, it became ‘cool’ to celebrate the start of menstruation. It’s not for the individual, it’s not for women, it’s for the whole family. It has become a topic for loved ones to talk about together.

What if we just did it now? Grandmother Makrye, who realized that she had never talked about menstruation with her 40 years plus daughter, belatedly prepares for the party. Because that scene of a mother who grew up in a hard time, and a daughter who couldn’t talk about menstruation is still “such a pity”. The grown-up daughter who receives the cake is embarrassed and her voice gets louder for no reason. It's been over 20 years…! But I'm already teary. The grandmother, who was never congratulated on her menstruation and passed it by herself, gives her daughter a gift she has never received. And promises to do a really good job at the menopause party.

Period parties are also valid for celebrating past events. Because the important thing in period parties is not the menstruation, but the party. It’s not that menstruation itself is a great thing, or something with significant worth to deserve a celebration. Those who hold a Period Party do it to show care for the person experiencing menstruation. To pay attention and love to the mind and bodily changes of someone they love and care about. That’s why we also have parties to celebrate menopause.

Experts also say that these simple parties can help us accept these parts of our lives positively. Therapist Brittany Freeman Jean-Louis says “It is important for young ladies to know that they are supported, validated, and affirmed. This will increase self-esteem and self-worth which is hugely important around this time of change and transition.”

Things to check when preparing a Period Party An unwanted party can leave nothing but bad memories. If you want to avoid a nightmare, answer these questions first. 1. Is this party for them? Or is it because you want to seem ‘cool’? If it’s because you want to look cool, then who are you really doing it for? 2. How does that person like to celebrate? Are you preparing a party that reflects their personality? 3. What kind of celebration is preferred among their peers? Are you understanding this and including it in your planning?

Adult Period Party

Even if it’s not the start of your menstruation, or the end, or any other special time. If you want to celebrate you can have a party. You can even plan a party for yourself. Because we’re adults. You can eat that cake on your own, and enjoy a drink or two. You deserve to celebrate yourself, and your body. Because menstruating is hard, and sometimes not menstruating is hard, and sometimes you just need some comfort and attention and that’s totally human.


  • The important thing in a period party is not the period, but the party
  • Let’s care for what a woman’s body does and can do, even if it’s not the first or last time
  • Period parties are a great way to express love for family and friends
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