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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class: Holidays in South Korea Series on KoreanClass101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Korean holidays and observances. I’m Brandon, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 18: Labor Day.
Did you know that May 1st is May Day? In South Korea, it's called Labor Day or 근로자의 날 (geunrojaui nal), and it was established to improve labor conditions and increase the status of laborers.
In this lesson, we’ll learn about Labor Day on May 1st, and the many events held in South Korea.
Now, before we go into more detail, do you know the answer to this question: what does the term for May Day really mean in Korean?
If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
When Labor Day arrives, many companies have athletic competitions or 체육대회(cheyuk-daeheo) for their employees. Instead of going to work that day, you’ll see many employees heading to the training center of the company, or playgrounds near the office. These competitions, including such events as soccer games, allow people to enjoy time together and develop teamwork skills. After the events, employees and their families gather and have dinner to promote company loyalty.
Also on Labor Day, many companies give gifts to their employees. As the day approaches, employees get an email from their company asking what presents they would like to receive. Usually, they pick an umbrella set or appliances that they can use at home. This way, the company can give the type of gifts that the employees want.
Additionally, many companies are closed on the Labor Day, giving people time to spend with their families. Since most workers can't have dinner with their families often because they work overtime almost every day, many people take this time to go on a relaxing drive through the countryside with their family.
Here's our fact for the day! Did you know that not everyone can enjoy Labor Day? In South Korea, many people are non-regular workers, meaning that they may not have the same type of benefits as full-time employees. That's why on Labor Day you can often find campaigns and events around the cities for people who have weak labor rights.
Now it’s time to answer our quiz question: what does the term for May Day really mean in Korean? It’s 근로자의 날 (geunrojaui nal) which literally means Worker's Day. People who work for companies are called 근로자(Geunroja) in Korean. That's why Labor Day is also called 근로자의 날 (geunrojaui nal.)
How was this lesson? Did you learn a lot?
How does your country celebrate Labor Day?
Please leave us a comment at KoreanClass101.com.
And we'll see you next time!