Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Korean culture 101-Chuseok

Today was Chusok, the biggest Korean holiday. It is like Thanksgiving and Christmas all rolled up in one. It is celebrated at the time of harvest. It is when families return to where they grew up to meet with family and give thanks to their ancestors for all they have done for them and for watching over them.

My good friend Jihyun (more on this incredibly wonderful lady later) is Korean and I made her tell me all about it. She excitedly told me that it is her favorite time of the year (obviously she speaks english. ha ha. I am not fluent yet, but I have Rosetta Stone checked out from the library, and you know, miracles do happen. smile). She couldn't wait to go home and be with her family and do their traditional things, and eat her favorite dishes they would make. I made her keep talking about it so I could bask in her warm fuzzy feelings. Then I went home and cried because it made me homesick. From then on though I was excited about the holiday and felt that same excitement in the air.

So I invited some people over to share Chusok with our family. We walked to the woods across the street. There are trails all over and on the trails there are grave sites.

It was so cool that I actually captured a family gathering at the graves of their beloved ancestors (up above).
It was the first brisk fall day here and it was so heavenly. I can't get over it. It was the first time I opened up the doors and let the cool air in.
There would be clearings like these a long the way. So beautiful. It is the Korean tradition to place a mound above the grave to symbolize a mother's belly. They believe that they will live again, and so when they rise it will be as the come out of the mother's womb again. Cool huh?
Lizzie with one of her new friends Kayla. Friendship is a beautiful thing.
Ava found a stone that she was very, I mean very excited about, as only one can be at this age.
The trek back.
Lizzie and Abby.
sorry michelle, I couldn't resist.
at the end there, the wind really picked up. (ha ha)

Since I am a day ahead of you, why don't you have your own little Chusok celebration today. Eat yummy food, love being with your family, and give thanks for all that your ancestors have done for you. Or better yet, do some genealogy, or go to the temple and do temple work for your ancestors. If you don't know what that is go here.

I loved this quote by Sister Hinkley.

"It was while I was still very young that I made up my mind I would stay true and faithful to the gospel so that the suffering of my pioneer ancestors would not have been in vain. I know that the day will come when I will see them. How can I face them if I have not built on the foundation they have laid?"

I have made up my mind too.

Every post I am going to do a quote or excerpt from Sister Hinkley's book "Small and Simple Things". It is one of my favorite books and if I could be reading it non stop, or have it playing in my mind non stop, I think I would be nearly perfect. It is that uplifting and inspiring to me. I only brought a few of my most inspiring and uplifting books (besides the scriptures) with me. This is one of them. After reading it tonight, I bow my head in shame for the mistakes I have made today, and vow to live better tomorrow. Man I love this lady.

P.S. Don't forget to enjoy that harvest moon tonight either. It is gorgeous!


Anonymous said...


Leslie said...

amazing! all of it!

GRodenberg said...

I actually went today, and with Julie and Nona we did Gpa Crepp's 3 aunts! So I wasn't with family, but I served 3 sisters who are great aunts! Happy Chu...what?

maegen said...

Reading this makes me miss you! Your excitement for everything. Thanks for sharing. Love ya!