Saturday, October 03, 2009


Today was Chuseok and Koreans flock to their home towns and pay respect to their ancestors. Many of the women colleagues were looking forward to cooking all weekend while the men sat and relaxed (that may be a lie).

I have been reading a book with traditional Korean stories which, apparently, all children have read. The stories focus on respecting parents, wives, and country. Living in Asia for a while, I realize how much we can learn in this area.

The Vice-Principal at my school invited Sandy and I to join his family for the ceremony. From what I am told, it is really unusual to invite non-family members to the ceremony and I really appreciate him inviting us. Really nice man and a really nice family. The ceremony was quite short, about 15 minutes where the men take turns doing deep bows in front of a table of food, and incense to pay respect to their ancestors. We sat around and ate a nice meal prepared by the women.

The markets were full of speciality gifts which includes buying all sorts of packaged stuff. Some looked good...nice wine sets for example. Some seemed strange...Spam as a gift? But the most ridiculous to me were the packaged food...14 avocados for 150,000 won ($128) or, my favorite, 16 pounds of beef for 1,300,000 won ($1104). At least it was not any of that crappy, toxic American beef.

Silliness aside, I think it is great the way people respect their elders and ancestors...we ought to do something similar in the US.

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