Another very fun event this week was music night over in Gireum, an area bordering Jangwi. I was amazed repeatedly as different performers, especially piano players and a few singers, created some amazing music. One of my favorites was a ten year old who got up and played a very complex and beautiful piano solo perfectly. I attribute this to the fact that when Koreans want something, they work, work, and work for it. Students, especially, are extremely hard working. In the U.S., I would suggest that the most idolized people are sports figures or singers. In Korea, scholarship is what is considered accomplishment, and the title of "teacher" is one of the highest respected. Thus, Koreans must study hard their whole life in order to get into a good college, because it is so competitive and difficult. It is much the same with music or anything else one might pursue, even if it isn't their career or occupation - when they do something, they buckle down and work and practice so that they can do it very well. There was definitely no mediocrity during that music night, and I heard some pretty incredible musicians. There were a lot of investigators there and nonmembers performing, and I'm sure everyone had a great time, because I did.
Another snippet of Korean culture I can't remember if I've shared is that every person has a title. There is no word for "you" in Korean (actually there is, but it is considered very rude and/or accusatory to use it). Thus, people are referred to by their titles, whether they be occupational, personal, or religious. For example, to a old lady on the street, I would call her "grandma," which sounds exactly like "harmony" in Korean.
Thanks for the messages and encouragement I always get. It's very helpful and appreciated. I hope everyone is doing well!
|Hiked up the Mountain on P-day again. This is before sunrise.|
|Just before sunrise.|
|2015/10/25-These are our mats. I sleep on the one that is second closest to the camera (the one next to the one with the soccerball on it)|