By: Alea Rahim
This year, Koreans around the world will be celebrating one of the nation’s most important holidays this month. Dubbed as Korea’s “Thanksgiving”, Chuseok- also known as Hangawi- falls on the lunar calendar on the 22nd of this week.
Chuseok is a 3-day holiday that celebrates a good harvest under a full moon while feasting over traditional foods, and a time for Koreans to visit their ancestral hometowns. It is a holiday where families meet and share quality time together by playing cultural games and having a decent meal at the dinner table.
For 20-year-old Korean sophomore Sun Kyung Yoo, this will be her first Chuseok away from her family. “It’s already hard when we [international students] are so far away from home and feel home sick,” said Yoo. “It’s harder when it’s Chuseok and I can’t be with my family.” Yoo’s Chuseok would consist of taking a 3 hour drive to meet her relatives, then spend the next couple of days enjoying the meals prepared by her family members while catching up with her friends and relatives. In America, Yoo doesn’t have the opportunity to meet up with her family but she refuses to spend it alone.
“I may not have my family,” said Yoo. “But I have my friends here on campus and I am willing to share this tradition with them.”
As the treasurer of the Korean Student Association, Yoo and her fellow club members are planning a celebration for not only the Korean students, but for everyone on campus. The KSA is hoping to gather as many students and teachers as possible to make this Chuseok a less lonely holiday.
“We should always celebrate our holidays together,” said Yoo. “We should eat, laugh, and have fun on these days.”
The KSA will be celebrating Chuseok on Friday, September 24th at 1:00pm in the Chapel on campus.