Thursday, May 14, 2009

Korean Mothers and Fathers Day 2009

It was May 8, 2009, Aw-baw-ee nal our Mothers and Fathers Day in Korea. Emotions run high on this day for Koreans. I was invited by my community of H.D. (lepers) villagers as the elder to dinner. Because there were many joining in, a local buffet was chosen-reasonable price but an excellent variety of food. As we feasted on all kinds of fish, meat, vegetables, fruit mostly Korean delicacies, but even some western cuisine- I had to stop- take a deep breath in joy and gratitude.

My thoughts went back to 50 years ago when I first came to Busan Korea. The refugees from the North Korea were everywhere. Not only did we have little food, clothing, medicine but even a place to sleep. This was the fallout of the terrible Korean fratricidal War, 1950-53. But today was very different. No worries or privations, thoughts about tomorrow, all had come to enjoy! All ate, were filled and there was much left over.

It has always surprised me how little time it takes to go from an underdeveloped country to a developed one. Korea has made this transition being now the 13 to 15 largest economy in the World. What would the Korea of the North and South be if united? It is an interesting thought to entertain and hopefully the North on its better days does have the thought flit through their minds.

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