Growing up in a small town in Southern Illinois we called the lunar new year the Chinese New Year. suppose we did that because the newspapers, radio, & TV news reported it that way. I don’t really know if that’s the case, and while I was growing-up I didn’t really think about it one way or the other . As an American we celebrated January 1st as our new year, and I still do. I choose not to participate in the lunar new year celebration this year. Just doesn’t seem right to me. I’m a sun man not a moon man, jesting just a bit. If I can learn a little more Korean language by this time next year, I plan to participate next year if I’m able and still around. It’s always been my upbringing to live one day at a time and not to plan as if I will always be around. To be more exact about it I use this approach about my life: If the good Lord is willing I’ll do such and such. I try not to make a big deal about it as it comes natural to me from living that way. Through my early experiences in life I learned that death comes suddenly and unannounced; therefore, my plans are tentative, rough, and flexible. My thoughts and writing follow that design as well.
Back to the Year of the Ox. Obviously, no-one owns the lunar new year and many people celebrate it all over the world, both past and present. Here in Korea the people don’t think of the lunar new year as Chinese. They think of it as a traditional Korean celebration with their cultural roots going back over four thousand years. Geographically and population wise they are a small nation, but they think, act, relate and speak in a Korean way that is unique to them and to them only. To them the lunar new year celebration is their time for ending one year and bringing another one in with new possibilities and a new beginning. I wish not to offend them by calling it the “Chinese New Year.” And with this new knowledge I’ve decided not to refer to the lunar new year as the Chinese New Year any more, but from now on to refer to it as the Year of the Ox or whatever the next year brings, or just the lunar new year.
Being home alone and aware that almost the whole nation of the Republic of Korea, most of its 47,000,000 inhabitants, is celebrating the Year of the Ox, I’m left to myself and own devices for entertainment and finding ways to pass the time without going stir crazy. Other than listening to Classis Country or Bluegrass on AOL.radio and writing in my blog, I am stuck with the curse of old age that effects many retired individuals as myself, so I believe without any scientific evidence or polls to back me up. That curse is thinking about the past and oftentimes unremarkable events in the past that are trivial and without much substance. Such is the case today, In order to give it more weight I thought I would enter it into my blog, so here goes.
From my earliest memory I, today, realized I never cared much for fashion in clothing line. What was in as far as style, or what colors were popular for the year, never interested me one bit. As long as I had a few trousers, several shirts, socks, and a pair of shoes I was happy. My disinterest in clothing resulted in very few shopping occasions in my life. I sill hate shopping for clothes and going into the dressing room and trying on a shirt or a pair of pants. It’s tiresome and a chore for me to go shopping for clothes, plus it cost a lot of money that could be used for other things I really like. I’ve purchased very few clothing items for myself during my life time. I suppose my lack of interest in my own clothing led to my mother and later my wife to buy almost all my clothes throughout my life. As I completely neglected to assume responsibility for my own clothing needs, they stepped in when they saw I didn’t have an interest in this facet of my life, and they stepped in because they loved me and cared about me. They wanted me to make a decent appearance and not be made fun of by others. Today, for the first time, I am appreciative of their efforts and their love in that regard. RDH
P.S. It’s the 26th day of January 2009 in Korea although the blog date is the 25th, which is the day it is in the United States