Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Korean Holiday Chuseok = Thanksgiving

What a coincidence.

This morning I was thinking of my sister, Hyun Jeong, so I decided to give her a call. When she picked up, she said today was the beginning of Chuseok. It's a big Korean holiday, like our version of Thanksgiving.

Actually, today is the start of Chuseok. It's a three-day festival that falls on different days every year because of the lunar calendar. Chuseok is the Full Moon Harvest Festival--celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar... and is held around the Autumn Equinox.

Anyway... Korea time is 14 hours ahead of Central. So, I always add two hours to the current time and flip a.m./p.m. That means day 1 of Chuseok has already passed in Korea. Hyun Jeong said everyone is staying at our Korean parents' house. My other two sisters, Hyunmi and Yeon Jeong are staying there along with their husbands and children. My birth mother told Hyun Jeong to call me today and ask how I was doing because she can communicate well with me.

I miss them.

And, I like hearing the updates. I feel like I'm a part of their lives. My birth father apparently has developed diabetes. He's not overweight, but he's lived the life of a typical Korean man--he smoked and drank for much of his lifetime, so now his body is catching up. Hyun Jeong said he's eating well--not eating meat--and that he's stopped smoking and most of his drinking.

Glenn says he and Hyun Jeong will likely take some time off next year and visit the states. I'm hoping they can take a road trip to Missouri. My mind is an uncontrollable force... I'm trying to calm it down because it's all too exciting to think that they'll be on U.S. soil!

Anyway, I have never observed Chuseok, even when I was studying Korean language... even when I surrounded myself with Korean people. But this year feels a little different. I'm getting older and realizing how blessed I am. I wish I could've been at the dinner table in Korea last night, watching my niece and nephew run around, and not understanding two-thirds of what was being said. At the same time, it's unbelievable that things turned out so swimmingly here...

Tonight when I get off work, I have a date to Skype with my Korean family as they celebrate Day 2 of Chuseok at Hyun Jeong and Glenn's new house. I can't wait! I'm so glad I'm celebrating two Thanksgivings this year... there's a lot to be thankful for!

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