Friday, September 12, 2008

It's Chuseok weekend....

It's the beginning of Chuseok weekend here in Korea...
My plans to go to Pusan fell through (gotta love the unpredictability of fieldwork!), so I'm staying in Seoul after all. Because much of the population will be attempting to get out of the city to their home villages (I've experienced this before, and traffic is uuuugly...) it will be an interesting experience to see what the city is like in a rare and relatively 'quiet' time.
There are actually quite a few 'cultural events' taking place in Seoul. Check out this expat-oriented website for a list of activities for Chuseok>>

Like holidays anywhere, people get pretty stressed out about Chuseok because there's a lot of lead up in terms of preparation and organization. But I'm pretty sure from first-hand experience that the proportion of stress for this holiday is considerably more than 'enjoyment'... as the rituals associated with Chuseok are all about the ancestors and thanking them for the 'good harvest' generally coinciding with the 15th day of the 8th month in the Lunar calendar. After Chuseok, people seem to relax much more around here and meetings/interviews (just say) are much easier to schedule.

The next ancestor-oriented holiday in Korea that I'll be able to observe is Seollal (Lunar New Year). That time is very important as well, and a little more cheerful... I mean, you'd say Happy New Year... but saying Happy Chuseok is something I only hear expats say ;)

So, I'm off to brunch and then I'll probably take in some of these events to -learn myself- some culture.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you think you'll have time for a quick coffee or something when you do make it to Pusan, please let me know. It would be great to meet you in person! :)

10:10 PM  
Blogger Florence Chee said...

Cheers!... and likewise if you are in Seoul, absolutely drop me a line.

8:57 PM  

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