Bal du moulin de la Galette
Today, I attended a baby shower party for my friend's third baby. Outdoors, safely and stylishly, beautiful women shared congratulatory messages with each other. Although we are going through a difficult time due to the pandemic, everyone is happy when we think of a baby who is about to be born in the world with new hope. I also joined with a joyful heart waiting for the birth of a new baby.
A baby shower (English: baby shower) is an event to celebrate an imminent pregnant woman or a newborn baby. It is becoming increasingly common in Canada, the United States, and other countries. It is mainly hosted by pregnant women's best friends between 8 and 9 months of pregnancy. The meaning of shower here also means that friendship is pouring down like a shower. Historically, there is a theory that it was started by Franz Schauer, a German silversmith. He came to America in the 18th century.
After all, the best friend is hosting a party for her pregnant friend. 8-9 months pregnant women can know the gender of the baby to some extent, and they are in a relatively stable stage and have to endure a boring time before giving birth. Mainly women gather to chat, play games, and have photo time. I attended a first-time baby shower party after 8 years of immigrating to the United States. In Korea, there is no particular party for pregnant women that are traditionally passed down. When the Korean baby turns 1 year old, I remember having a memorable and grand party called a first birthday party. In that sense, a party designed for pregnant women is a fresh and good idea for women personally. The baby shower party I attended today was perfect and professional, from the table setting to the decor. Watching this party reminds me of Renoir's paintings I saw a lot as a child.
When I was a child, I could see Renoir paintings in calendars and textbooks frequently. In particular, Renoir's painting, Moulin de la Galette Ball, was so often seen that it was imagined with my eyes closed. Impressionist painters are loved by people worldwide, but Renoir is perhaps the most popular among them. Renoir's paintings make you feel bright, cheerful, and happy. The people who appear in his paintings are all stylish, beautiful, and relaxed. And always smiling. The sunlight shining on beautiful people who are nicely dressed and smiling is so warm. Looking at his paintings, the sadness, pain, and difficulties in the world feel foreign, as if they were only for a limited class. The background of the work is the ballroom of the Moulin de la Galette in Montmartre, Paris. Parisians would dress up in fancy clothes on Sunday afternoons to spend time dancing and chatting. When I was a child, I spent a lot of time looking at this painting and imagining and looking into each character in the picture.
Especially when I'm lonely and my heart hurts, looking at this picture makes me happy. The mother and daughter in the image seem to talk to me with their friendly eyes. Just by looking at these bright and straightforward people, I think we can have the same energy. In life, you will meet someone who gives you such radiant energy. Just standing next to them makes you happy. Whenever I see such people, I think of them as Renoir's picturesque people. After attending Renoir's one-of-a-kind dramatic baby shower party, I feel the happy energy they conveyed. We hope that they and their newborn baby will grow up healthy and comfortable in this happy energy.
Myungja Anna Koh