Poem: “Seoul Sister” Translated (part three)

I’m a Seoul Sister because Koreans

see all people as extended family.

In Korea elderly people are addressed

as Grandmother and Grandfather

Halmoni and Halaboji

they’re given respect by everyone

because all elders are seen as wise.

Where would we all be without them?

We wouldn’t exist.

In Korea among colleagues

slightly older females and males

are addressed as sister or brother

the mind set is about acknowledgement

that we’re all a family

and that with age comes

experience and clarity

a wealth of knowledge to share.

Most Koreans love to sing, dance, eat and drink

a common greeting is, “Have you eaten?”

if you haven’t, they’ll feed you

a feast capturing all tastes:

sweet, sour, salty, bitter, spicy and pungent.

We’re very soulful, romantic and tragic

and we bow with elegance.

I’m proud of my heritage roots

and thankful to be able to represent

the hidden jewel of my mother country

re-translated in North American culture’s

freedom of being and expression

a beloved sanctuary

for the weary and oppressed.

The dream of America still exists

as long as we keep it alive.

10 Comments

  1. Your heritage is a beautiful one. The older man or woman has a wealth of wisdom to share with the youth that are blessed to be in their company. We could learn a lot from your culture. Geriatrics should be treasured, respected and cared for in our society. Great post. Love ❤️ Joni

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s very true about how Korean food caters to all tastes.

    Those two pics at the top remind me of those times I ate in Korean restaurants in Vancouver.

    What I particularly enjoyed and found interesting were those 3 different side dishes you were given with every entree you ordered.

    And I often noticed the side dishes were not always the same. It varied depending upon what Korean restaurant you were eating in.

    Sometimes you were given vegetables or pasta noodles or a dish resembling pickles or German sauerkraut.

    But the side dishes were always very good.

    When the waitress asked me, Do you want some more side dishes, I always said Yes because they were always so good, whatever they were.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, always say yes to an offer of more bahn chahn. I’m currently reading a Korean cookbook that describes the Korean culinary tastes and how they correlate to the seasons and nature, the book was heavy so I left it at work. I wish I had brought it home! The original purpose of Korean food was medicinal, especially food for royalty and the courtly class. The side dishes that you mentioned are standard in every Korean meal. They’re called, Bahn Chahn, Korean housewives had to cook a variety of little entrees for each meal, Kim chee is the picked version of one of many different types.
      That’s why rice is a good compliment since it’s mostly bland it absorbs all the flavors.

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    1. Thank you, I’m glad that you feel that way about Korean cultural traditions. I miss having a community in the modern, western ideal of independence. I once saw a Korean cultural folk dance, grandmothers were dressed in beautiful Korean dresses called Hanbok, afterwards I saw one of the dancing grandmothers at a bustop so I paid for an Uber (driving service) for her to get home. I felt honored to do that for her. Elders have been through so much hardship, they should have a peaceful, luxurious retirement. I appreciate your comment❤️❤️

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      1. I have a huge respect and admiration for your traditions, and if I rule this world I would make sure that those were reinstated! It is so humbling and helps you believe that there’s still a chance to keep important values in place in a society that is degenerating at each step. Thank you for sharing! Excellent post!🤗♥️

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      2. I think you’d make a good leader 😄, I wish society would change to respect wisdom again from elders, they know so many lost art forms and information, and they are so cute, we should make sure they’re treated well❤️ Thank you for your comment🌸

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