Since last week, my students have been bugging me to give them free time for the whole period as a gift for them on Children’s Day. Of course, I would not let them waste forty minutes in the classroom just chattering or playing on …
I start most of my classes with an introduction to the day: What day is it today? What day was it yesterday? How is the weather today?…you get the idea. So when I flipped the classroom calendar to May my kids were quick to fill me in on the most important day of the month. Children’s Day (어린이날) is celebrated every May 5 and became a public holiday in 1975. The day is meant to “esteem the personalities of children and plan for their happiness” (Wikipedia), although what I gathered from my students was: presents, presents and more presents. Parents and grandparents give gifts to their children and spend time with them either at home or on an excursion of sorts (zoo, museum, movies, mall, etc).
Now looking back, I see that it was pretty sweet being a kid, no responsibilities, you can run around and play all the time - but wait, I teach 5 year old kids and their life isn't all peaches; they have so much pressure on them to learn many important things, everyone tells them what to do (including me!) and they are always getting into trouble, they can never just be kids and do what they want to do. Being a kid sucks sometime since children grow up so fast these days and start studying and working very hard, very young.
I remember being a kid and asking my mom on Mother's day, why there was no childrens day? It doesn't seem fair that Mothers and Father's get a day all for themselves, especially since, it seemed to me at that age, that they got whatever they wanted all the time! Her answer was always the same, "everyday is Children's Day." I however, disagreed.
Children’s Day, it’s Children’s Day, drink our soju in the sand for it’s Children’s Day!
National holiday in South Korea to honor the children for their adherence in furthering the thriving economy of their country.
This one goes out to the hardworking children of Korea for giving us foreigners yet another excuse to explore the beautiful city and kick back on the beach. Cheers!