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Jets Flyover

Daegu International School's student news site
ANNOUNCEMENTS
  • Spring Break from April 8th-12th.
  • HSSC Baseball Game @Samsung Lions Park on April 4th.
  • [HS] Friendly Match Soccer vs. DMHS @Camp Walker on April 2nd.
  • Don't forget your spirit shirts on Friday.
The Student News Site of Daegu International School

Jets Flyover

The Student News Site of Daegu International School

Jets Flyover

Modern dilemma throws a wrench into Korean tradition

Chuseok raises generational controversies
Korean+MZs+and+conservative+elders+clash+on+the+values+of+Chuseok%2C+a+traditional+holiday.+
Christine Park
Korean MZs and conservative elders clash on the values of Chuseok, a traditional holiday.

Many Koreans embrace Chuseok with open arms, but some question its relevance. Also known as Han-ga-wi (한가위), the national holiday celebrates a bountiful harvest. However, the jolly festivity frequently comes as a stressful burden for families. 

From the start of the 4-day-long holiday, homecoming cars crowd the highways all throughout Korea. Stuck in jammed roads, travelers endure hours of fatigue. After the long travel, families finally gather, only to encounter a new source of stress. During the season, Korean households often hold Cha-rae (차례), a traditional Confucian ceremony to honor one’s ancestors. It requires meticulous preparations and burdensome labor. 

For these reasons, Korea’s younger generations oppose Cha-rae. A survey from the Korean Statistical Information Service (KOSIS) revealed that 63.5% of Koreans in their twenties disagreed with traditional ceremonies. On the contrary, many elderly argue for the conservation of this practice. 

Every year, heated debates around Chuseok customs break out among the Korean public. Older individuals argue that we should uphold the ceremony, while others view it as outdated. The same KOSIS survey demonstrated this social disparity – the support for traditional family assemblies varied widely from 21.4% to 75.5%. 

The KOSIS statistics show opposition among younger generations to traditional customs. (Christine Park)

Such controversy originates from rapid developments within Korean society. Before urbanization in the 1960s, Chuseok meant little more than a local family celebration. However, mass-scale migration from rural towns to cities instigated a drastic change to this holiday. As families dispersed throughout the nation, the “little celebration” became one of the few moments where parents could reunite with their children. 

For youths today, Chuseok merely indicates a day off work. A survey from the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism illustrates this trend: adolescents traveled twice as often than the elderly, since they simply wanted time to relax instead of preparing meals for Cha-rae. Due to these clashing views, emotional conflicts between senior citizens and the young seem inevitable.

The increase in tourism among adolescents on Chuseok illustrates the change in perception of the holiday. (Christine Park)

Outdated Confucian philosophy also plays a role in this conflict. Many customs, such as Cha-rae, still follow old-fashioned principles. For example, a report from the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family showed the prevalence of Confucian patriarchy in this celebration: 95% of respondents answered that only women cook. 

This extreme statistic shows the influence of patriarchy on traditional holidays. (Christine Park)

Due to such antiquated “rules”, disagreements and stress easily compile over Chuseok. Sometimes, it even breaks family relationships. A news article mentioned, “According to KOSTAT reports over the past five years…divorce rates increased by 11.5% around February and October.” 

I believe that education and compromise provide a way out of this controversy. Rather than carelessly enforcing one’s beliefs onto others, generations must make efforts to reconcile their misunderstandings. Koreans should learn that strict adherence to formal customs does not indicate more respect for this holiday. 

In earlier days, people showed gratitude toward family members during Chuseok for their hard work throughout the year. The message mattered the most, not ceremonies or rules. Sadly, now, it has deteriorated into a blend of outdated customs. Instead of blaming one another, we should return to the roots of the celebration and thank our families for another wonderful year.

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About the Contributors
Jerome Kwon, Writer
Jerome Kwon makes a comeback to the Jets Flyover staff after a one-year hiatus. With his heart on his sleeve, Jerome desires to write inspiring, thought-provoking, and critical articles for the students of DIS. Jerome greatly admires Mr. Lipsky and hopes to learn from him. He has a profound interest in the current geopolitical issues that affect the globe, especially Korea. He aims to become a riveting columnist and provide the latest investigative journalism for the people.
Leanne Yoon, Managing Editor
Leanne Yoon, dubbed as “Lenny” by her close friends, rises into her sophomore year bursting with ambition. As a leader of clubs such as Menstruation Station, SOAR, Debate Club and String Orchestra, Leanne often ponders on what else she could bring to her fellow Jets. In her leisure time, she vibes to music and immerses herself in all things K-culture. This year, Leanne hopes to bring the Flyover to the next level as the co-managing editor of the publication. 

Catherine Park, Editor in Chief
Cath loves writing stories and making art. Luckily, God gifted her a talented left hand. As the vice president of the National Arts Honor Society, she can be seen drawing around campus. Cath explores many different genres of books, music, movies, and activities, and is willing to explore more about them throughout her experience as the editor-in-chief. All she needs is paper, a pencil, an eraser, and her dog, Russell. Cath writes, illustrates comics, edits articles, and manages the Jets Flyover.
Christine Park, Illustrator
After years of persuasion from her peers that sparked intrinsic motivation, Christine Park finally enters Journalism as a senior. Chris’s greatest passion revolves around the field of art and anime. Her role as the president of the National Art Honors Society and Visual Arts Club proves the enthusiasm she bears for artistry. As the new illustrator for the Jets Flyover, Chris is eager to dive into journalism and share her artwork and comics with a wider audience.
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  • A

    AndyOct 18, 2023 at 7:24 pm

    This article is the best article I have ever seen. Keep up the work Jerome!!!

    Reply
  • J

    JeromeOct 17, 2023 at 10:09 pm

    This article is so interesting! I hope to see more of these impressive articles.

    Reply