This is belated, so parents of the world, please accept my apologies… HAPPY PARENTS’ DAY!
Yes, May 8th brought us another of Korea’s family-orientated days of celebration. Only a few days after Children’s Day, the respect and honour is reciprocated as children pay tribute to their parents.
Just like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day celebrated here in England, is doesn’t matter how old you or your parents may be- you should always be sure to treat them on Parents’ Day. Here are the top 5 ways to go about this:
1) A Red Carnation
Similar to daffodils given to mothers on British Mother’s Day, in Korea both parents are granted with red carnations on Parents’ Day. Not only are these aesthetically beautiful, they are also a symbol of love.
2) Extra effort and Respect
It’s engrained in the Korean psyche to be respectful, particularly where elders and especially where parents are concerned. This is the day for children to do that even more for their parents, ensuring they don’t have to do any hard work, and that no arguments arise. This is their day, and children will be doing all they can to make them smile.
3) Family day out
Thanks to the Korean government, many of Korea’s museums and parks are free on Parents’ Day (and on Children’s Day too). The weekend that has just passed will have been filled with family days out across the country. This year in Suwon (Gyeonggi-Do) there was a big procession, and re-enactment of the story of King Jeongjo, who is famous for his dedication to his parents.
4) Awards Ceremony
Big cities hold annual awards ceremonies which focus on those who have been exceptional to their parents. These include families who have experienced turbulent times and difficult circumstances, yet continue to be strong and close. It is society’s way of thanking carers, showing the rest of the country their pious example.
5) An appropriate gift…
What would any special day be without the giving of gifts? Of course, this day allows children to choose presents ranging from money to medicine to favourite food to clothing. For the more extreme, consider korea.net’s advice: “For fashion-conscious old folks you might consider plastic surgery that could involve Botox or other medications to do away with wrinkles and age spots.” I’m not sure my mum would appreciate that, but maybe some would!
As a belated celebration of Korea’s Parents’ day, why not visit or call your parents today, and thank them for all they do. A red carnation or any other (appropriate!) gift would surely be appreciated.
An alternative way to celebrate would be to watch Jong-Ho Bong’s thriller “Mother” which is a dark yet fantastic tale of twisted motherly love: https://kimchisoul.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/jong-ho-bongs-mother/
- For more information on Parents’ Day visit http://www.korea.net/news.do?mode=detail&guid=46485