Thursday, October 3, 2013

The National Foundation of Korea

It's another holiday today. Every October 3rd day of the year, Koreans celebrate the National Foundation Day or called "Gaecheonjol" in Korean language. It celebrates the creation of the Gojoseon (ancient Korea) which is founded by Dangun Wanggeom in the year 2333 BC. Gaecheon (or "Opening of Heaven") refers to 3 October B.C. 2457, the date when Hwanung (환웅) descended from heaven to live with mankind.

It is really surprising to have a day like this. Yesterday, when I told my students that we'll meet on Friday because today is a holiday, they were very happy. So, I asked them what day it is and why is it a holiday. Everyone was staring to each other because they know it's a holiday but they can't explain what kind of day it is. Then one of them answered, he said it's the foundation of Korea. Some students were shaking their heads. They seemed confused and couldn't believe him. Then I told them that he was right. I said it's the National Foundation of Korea.

Now I realized that it's true that children now will soon forget about their history. What I know is, Koreans value their history. Old generations like my father in law knows a lot about their past. So when I meet him, he always tells me about the people long time ago and he sometimes feels annoyed when he asked about my country's history and can't answer him. Who cares about the people and life long time ago? Well, I don't! I wasn't even interested in those famous history dramas like Daejanggeum, Jumong, etc. When I see someone wearing hanbok or warrior's clothes on TV, I change the channel immediately. They don't interest me. I think it's normal in my country to have people like me who are not interested in our past. But here in Korea, I guess oldies are worried about it that's why it became a topic on the TV program before.

Well, what is important now is, it's a holiday so it's time to take a rest again. How I love holidays. If you go outside, korean flags are hanging on every trees. I think it's just a normal holiday and no special celebration held.

Happy National Foundation of Korea!

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