Thursday, September 19, 2013


Happy Chuseok! Chuseok (추석) is one of Korea's most important national holidays. On this day, almost everything is closed, people go back to their hometowns for family reunions and eat lots of food, and feelings of goodwill abound. Chuseok has been called "Korean Thanksgiving" in reference to the traditional American holiday, but to be honest, the similarities between the two do not run very deep.

That said, I did want to take a moment to be thankful for, well, my life. When I was home last weekend, I got a moment to catch up with a good friend from high school whom I hadn't seen in quite some time. We went to Yogurtland (where else?) and chatted. Bringing each other up to date on the past few years and laying out our thoughts for the coming ones was eye-opening for me in a small but significant way.

I realized that I have so many blessings for which to be thankful: up until now, I have had the fortunes of good health and a good education; right now, I have a job that I love and that brings a steady income; for the future, I'm making plans for graduate school that are slowly but surely taking shape. You know, not everyone can say that they are truly satisfied with their present situation and excited about the future. But I can! And it's humbling, because I know I didn't do anything to deserve any of this. God was just like, "Hey, let's make this kid's life relatively easy, maybe he'll turn out all right." And he did, I think.

So, this Chuseok, I am thankful for the opportunities granted me by Fulbright, for the love and support of my family, for all my friends, who continue to make me into a better person, and for God, who blesses his children all the time for no apparent reason other than fatherly love.

I'm even thankful for jetlag, because it's dragging me to sleep right now -- way before my usual bedtime -- in an apparent effort to get me to sleep at an unusual (for me) albeit appropriate hour. 굿나이트!


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  2. I'm always amazed by the beautiful traditional Korean clothing worn during Chuseok.