A Chuseok to Remember

Exactly three days before Chuseok and we were riding on a taxi going South. I could vividly see the disappointment in your face while your eyes blankly stares straight out of the window. Obviously same goes with your thoughts. From time to time, I could hear deep breaths and that hypes up my frustrations higher. It's Chuseok but we are both disappointed, there's nothing to celebrate about.

Chuseok in Korea is a well-celebrated week-long holiday to appreciate all the blessings and do traditional Thanksgiving ceremonies together with the family. Upon that scenario, this conversation followed:

A:  "Is there a celebration like Chuseok in the Philippines?"

B: 'We don't have such thing as thanksgiving but we celebrate Christmas, the same way as you celebrate Chuseok in Korea.'

A: "I wonder what should I do this Chuseok, it's my first time that I will celebrate it abroad."

B: 'Since it's not holiday in the Philippines, then most probably, you'll be working.'

A: Every Chuseok, I just go to my province, bow to my elderly and ask for money. (laughs). I could stay at home, play games, sleep and then sleep. Sometimes, drink. (laughs again). Also, every Chuseok, I could meet my cousins, nieces and the whole family.

As my usual way of trying to cheer you up, I bought a gift and wrote a letter the next day. I wrote how happy I am to meet someone who'd fire up my interest in different ways-- of course in a low key manner. Also ending a note with a little wish that you spend Chuseok nicely and be blessed throughout the coming year.

Suprised with the gift, you asked me what popped up in my mind to suddenly give you something out of nowhere. 'It was initially because it's Chuseok and I don't want to disappoint you.' Of course, It was just all in mind. I don't plan to voice it out.

'There's a sale when I went out for shopping, then I saw these items and thought that it would nicely fit you.' I told you as an excuse. Obviously, you don't believe it but I could feel that it changed your mood!

A few hours later, I got a message from you thanking me for the simple preset I got for you and you told me how much you appreciate it.

"I know you don't need to give me a gift but I also know that you got it for me this Chuseok. You don't have to but you still did. Thank you, I appreciate it. I may not be with my family but I got a good friend like a family here because of you."

On the first day of Chuseok, we decided to go out. There's no traditional hanboks (the traditional Korean attire) and no monetary gifts but we spent the whole day talking about life, future plans, friendship and random stuff that we notice about people -- to give it a little Korean feel, we had a nice Korean dinner to cap off the night.

For me, a day of appreciation is the best way to celebrate Chuseok and making someone else smile on a day like this would surely be a day to remember. How do you celebrate Chuseok in your country?


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