I saw this old South Korean woman gathering edible plants in Namsangol Hanok Village last Sunday.
This was a random shot… but it immediately brought back to mind what I have always thought about South Korea’s older generation. This is the generation that drove South Korea to its economic progress. This is the generation that endured poverty, rose above it and pushed their young ones to work even harder. This is the generation that knew what it was to struggle between communism (courtesy of the North) and military rule which gradually turned into a liberal democracy (South). This is the generation whose families are divided by the 38th parallel – that military demarcation line disallowing unity of families (never mind the nation).
My respect goes to this generation.
The current generation is enjoying the fruits of this older generation’s labor. Their women settled with whatever was available and made something out of it – may it be food, clothing, infrastructure. This is not an isolated picture. There are times I still see old people gathering plants around, may it be in the park or along the Han River. Admirable.
I loved looking at these two. I discreetly stole a moment from them.
What kind of strength and discipline and willpower does this generation possess to be able to have achieved the status that South Korea is now enjoying?