Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chuseok (추석) celebration

Today is the second day for Chuseok (추석) celebration here in Korea. It is considered as a Thanksgiving event wherein people celebrate good harvest with their families and relatives. It's a three-day holiday and for this year, it falls from Sunday to Tuesday. Wow, THREE-DAY HOLIDAY! This, I must say, is my first ever long vacation since I arrived here (which reminds me that I've been staying here for 6 months already). And this is also my first time to experience buying groceries like there's no tomorrow (now that's an exaggeration but I did buy a lot) because they said that shops will be closed.

While I was in Homeplus, I also saw some Hanbok (Korean traditional clothes). These days, they say that only children (and probably some elders) wear hanbok during Chuseok. 

So, me as a foreigner, how did I celebrate/spent the first two days of Chuseok? Well let me include Saturday, the day before Chuseok because I also felt like it's a holiday since I didn't go to the laboratory. I was a total bummer during that day. I just lie in bed and watched movies and series and read other blogs. The next day, I was supposed to attend the 11am mass but I woke up late and when I arrived in downtown, I was already 30 min late for the mass so I just decided to go to the 2pm mass. But to my shock, I learned from a friend that there was no 2pm mass. And I felt really awful about myself for not being able to attend the mass. Hayyy... The rest of the afternoon was spent looking for the things that I will need- shoes, bag, shirt & jogging pants- for our lab's mountain hiking activity on Friday. I was able to buy a pair of Adidas running shoes, a Jansport backpack, and jogging pants. Oh my, better reach the top of the mountain since I just spent a month's moolah just for those things. In the evening, even though I was having a migraine, I still managed to watch some series. 

Next day came, which is today. Me and my friends went to a Korean friend's house to celebrate Chuseok with his family. And wow, we're such a lucky bunch because the family was wonderful and very accommodating-apa, oma, and grandma, and of course kuya Taek.

They prepared a lot of food and all I can say is 맛있어요 (delicious)!

After all the eating and drinking, we had some fun conversations with the family. Grandma, even though she's already old aged, was still very active. She worked in Japan as a nurse for 20 years so she knows the Japanese language. And we proudly said, "Arigato!" which is probably one of the few Japanese phrases we know. Hehe. And she's so sweet she even gave us ice cream! She also let us in in her beautiful room. Oma was the one who always serve the food after food after food. I think she did all the food preparation. She's kind and smiles sweetly and looks young for her age. Opa seems like a good and understanding father. Kuya Taek, even though it's his first time to meet some of us, is very friendly.

We, definitely, had a great time spending Chuseok with kuya Taek's family. Thank you so much apa, oma, grandma, and kuya Taek! 감사함니다!

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