Posted by: rbbadger | November 29, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Well, Thanksgiving Day came and went in Wabu-eup* without much notice.  Of course, American Thanksgiving Day is not celebrated here.  We celebrated the Korean version in September.  It seems as if Lynnette celebrated the Canadian version last month.  Chuseok, which can either fall in September or October depending on the calculations of the lunar calendar for the year, is a time for families to gather, honour their ancestors, visit the graves of ancestors, and generally spend time together.  It results in traffic jams on the expressways that you could not imagine as Seoul empties out and everyone goes to see their families.  So, I worked on Thursday and had Korean food as always.  (Yes, nothing says Thanksgiving quite like kimchi!)  But that is what you get for living in a foreign country.  Your holidays which you typically expect are not celebrated. 

Today (Saturday) we all had to come into work, as we are currently recruiting kindergarten students for the new year.  It should be interesting to see how it all pans out.   There was a good turnout, thankfully.   

I hope that everybody’s thanksgiving was good.  I certainly do hope so.  Write!

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*The Republic of Korea is divided into several provinces all of which end in the name -do.  I live in Gyeonggi-do.  The largest cities are not part of the provinces.  The largest cities are special, self-governing entities equal in rank to a province, but not answerable to the provinces in which they are located.  Your larger cities are divided up into districts which all have the designation of gu.  When I was in Gwangju, I lived and worked in Seo-gu, or the Western District of Gwangju.  In each gu is a collection of neighbourhoods, all of which have the designation of dong, i.e. Chipyeong-dong.  Smaller cities, such as Namyangju are divided up in districts either bearing the designation dong or others bearing the designation eup.  I live in the Wabu district of Namyangju, or Wabu-eup in Korean.  An eup is divided up into townships all bearing the designation ri.  Thus, my apartment and school are in Dogok 1-ri or Dogok 1 Township.  Rural towns generally have the designation of gun, which is generally translated as county.  A gun is divided up into several townships which can have the designation of either ri or myeon.  In the 1980s, a series of rural townships were merged together to create Namyangju city.

Namyangju bears a number of important relics from the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910).  A number of kings and queens are buried within the city limits.  The Crown Prince Eumin, last crown prince of the Joseon dynasty and his princess, Princess Bangja (born Nashimotomiya Masako in Japan) are buried here as well.  One of the most important figures in the Silhak, or practical knowledge school of Korean thought, namely Dasan, is buried within our city as well.  Dasan was one of the first Catholics in Korea, having received baptism in the 18th century in China.

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Responses

  1. Hi! We did have a wonderful Thanksgiving! We missed you! Thanks for the nice forward you sent. I’ll try to write tomorrow. We just got home. Long trip, but good! SJ is State Football Champions again!!! YEA!!!
    Love, Mama


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