Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Parents' Day

Here is a corny Konglish joke I just made up: What would a particularly excitable mother or father say on May 8th of every year?

Answer: "어버이!" (Oh boy!)

Hee. Okay, so today is 어버이날 (eo-beo-i nal), or Parents' Day, in South Korea. Originally transplanted from the US as Mothers' Day, fathers were allowed in on the celebrations starting from about forty years ago, and the tradition has stuck since then. Children give their parents gifts, the most common being a red carnation (빨간 카네이션) as a brooch, basket, or bouquet. But like many other holidays in Korea, this one has also been mega-commercialized.

My own host family has been particularly low-key on the celebrations lately. May 5th, just a few days ago, was Children's Day (어린이날), when families go out on picnics (소풍) and other nice excursions, but my host siblings stayed at home and studied. They said they were too old (middle- and high school-aged) for Children's Day. And today, well, not much of interest occurred. My host sister found me at school during passing period and asked me to deliver a card she had made to her parents. I did, and in addition, got a small, pretty carnation plant and a basket of kiwifruit to go along with it. In the words of my host brother (who says this every day when I ask him how his day went), "Nothing special." But I know my host parents appreciated the sentiment.

몇일 전 5월5일에 어린이날였어요. 대부분 사람이 가족 함께 소풍 하는데, 우리 홈스테이 동생들이 집에 머물고 공부했어요. 이제 어린이 아니기때문에 어린이날 못 축하한다고 말했어요. 그리고 오늘 5월8일 어버이날 인데, 보통날였어요. 홈스테이 여동생은 학교에서 저를 만났고 저에게 손으로 만든 카드를 부모님께 드린다고 부탁을 했어요. 했고 이 뿐 만 아니라 작은 예쁜 빨간 카네이션과 키위를 홈스테이 부모님께 드렸어요. 대체로, 그냥 하루였지만 홈스테이 부모님 고마워할것 같아요.

P.S. In class today, I was working on acrostic poems with my first-years. One of them happened to recall a cute acrostic she'd heard before:


That said, time to call my actual 부모님, if they're awake, and wish them a happy Parents' Day!

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