Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chuseok Sushi

Mark and I celebrated our first Chuseok with family. Chuseok is basically Korean Thanksgiving. People get together with their families and eat a lot. There are a lot of traditions associated with Chuseok especially as related to ancestors... there's a good description here if you're interested.

Our teacher told us that married women tend to hate the holidays as they are expected to spend the entire day cooking and cleaning and waiting hand and foot on the men. Meanwhile, the men spend their time sleeping, eating, and drinking alcohol. If I understood our teacher correctly, there's a belief that the men aren't allowed to enter the kitchen or it will anger the ancestors. Pretty sure that superstition was created by a man!

I was kind of hoping for a very traditional Korean Chuseok with my birth family (maybe minus all the hard labor). But the more holidays I spend with them, the more I realize my family really doesn't behave like a traditional Korean family.

My birth father was supposed to arrive in Korea on Chuseok day. So a little before 7, the doorbell rang and it was my two uncles and their families. So we chatted with them (yay! we could... a little), watched t.v. and waited for Birth Father to come from the airport.

When Birth Father arrived we headed to a restaurant. (This is my kind of family... minimal work for the women... haha.) We actually ended up eating sushi to celebrate the holiday.


Yep, complete with the wriggling tentacle things...


But I know you probably don't care about the food. Here are the family members... We actually separated into an "adult" and "kid" table. Yep, even in Korea I will forever be placed at the kid's table. :)

Here's the adult table.


Actually, I got to meet a few new family members on Chuseok, which was cool. These two ladies are my aunts! They are Birth Father's younger sisters. They were really sweet to me and had a few questions for me, which I was mostly able to answer. W00T!


Now onto the kid's table. The girl on the left is the college-aged cousin I've met before. She really came out of her shell this time one-shotting soju and she even spoke some English! She actually told me she wants to start meeting with me on a weekly basis to practice English and Korean. :) To her right is her older brother and his wife who happen to be the same age as Mark and me. Her brother could speak good English and told us he wants to go to the United States because he loves the NBA. So of course we told him we'd be happy to show him around anytime. When we get back to the States, we may have a lot Korean visitors. :)


And finally, me with my littlest cousins. They're cute, aren't they?


And here's a final one with Mark. Mark loved teasing the little cousin in the middle. She was kind of freaked out by the full fish, so when she wasn't looking Mark put one right in front of her face. When she turned her head, she saw the fish and screamed. Then later he pointed out a huge spider to her and got the same reaction. Good thing Mark didn't have a little sister growing up, or I would've definitely felt sorry for her. :)


All in all a really nice Chuseok. These truly are the special moments that I'm so happy to be able to experience over here.

1 comment:

Mica said...

Your Chuseok celebration looks so cool! And I'm glad that you and the other ladies didn't have to slave away in the kitchen, while Mark and the men drank and lazed around.

It must be so cool to meet all these family members and be part of the larger group.

Where was Sangkwun?