Wednesday, January 30, 2013

100 Things I Love About Korea # 47: Replay - Thanksgiving SPAM

[This is a replay of a previous post from September 27, 2007.]

"Happy Thanksgiving! Here's some SPAM."
Tuesday was Chuseok (chew-sock) here in Korea (and China - I think). This is a fall harvest festival, sometimes called Korean Thanksgiving. For Chuseok, nearly everyone around Korea travels to the home of a high ranking family member (oldest living member, oldest son, something like that). The roads are packed with cars, and the cars are packed with food and gifts. Near the beginning of September, the stores start to fill up with these gifts.
We westerners are always amazed at the gifts that Koreans give for Chuseok and Lunar New Year (in February). Some of the more popular gifts include: seaweed, liquor, spam, tuna, toiletries, socks, lotions, cooking oil, and fruit (huge boxes of pears, apples, peaches, or grapes). Sarah and I have always laughed at the popularity of SPAM here - you know the pressed meat in a can.
We have been blessed to have free babysitting for several months now. A woman connected to our church has both her children studying in the USA, and she is lonesome for children. Emma loves her, so ever Friday night, we take her to "Imo's" (Aunt's) house. We decided we would get into the Chuseok spirit, so we bought her a $35 gift pack of spam and tuna. That's a lot of spam!
We also picked up some bathroom gift packs for our neighbors (shampoo, lotions, toothpaste, body wash, loofa, etc.). When we dropped by with our gifts, they looked surprised, and the women of the house disappeared into a bedroom to scrounge up a return gift for us. It was good fun.
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