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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 19: Parents’ Day.
How often do you express gratitude to your parents? Usually, people seldom express how thankful they are to their parents, and that's why there's a day in South Korea to express gratitude to parents. It's called Parents' Day, or 어버이날(Eobeoi Nal.) the word 어버이(Eobeoi) means "parents," both the mother and the father. In this lesson, we’ll learn about Parents' Day on May 8th.
Now, before we go into more detail, do you know the answer to this question: which country first started celebrating Parents' Day?
If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
In South Korea, usually the first thing that comes to mind about Parents' Day is carnation flowers. As May 8th approaches, students make red carnations in art class. They usually write a letter of thanks to go with the carnations they made. Then on Parents’ Day, they pin the carnation corsages on their parents and give them the letter.
For adults, it's natural to spend less time with your parents as you're getting older. That's why people visit their parents on Parents’ Day and have a meal with them. Usually, they have dinner with their parents, who they haven't had a meal with in a long time, and give them a gift or gift certificates to express their thanks.
There's also a special song for Parents' Day in South Korea. Elementary, middle, and high schools invite the parents of their students to a Parents' Day Ceremony. During this event, the students gather and sing the Parents' Day song to their parents. One of the lyrics says, "What else can be called as big under the sky? Mother's sacrifices are endless." In Korean, it says “하늘 아래 그 무엇이 넓다 하리오. 어머니의 희생은 가이없어라. (haneul arae geu mueossi neoltta hario. eomeoni-ui huisaeng-eun gai-eopsseora.)” It means that a parents' love for their child is as big as the sky.
Here's our fun fact for the day! Do you remember which national holiday is held on May 5th? Children's Day, right? Since Children's Day and Parents' Day both take place in May, this month is called "the Month of Family." or 가정의 달. (gajeong-ui dal)
Now it’s time to answer our quiz question: which country first celebrated Parents’ Day? Korean Parents' Day has roots in the Mother’s Day holiday in the United States. In the U.S, the holiday was originally championed by a woman named Anna Jarvis, who gave away white carnations in remembrance of her mother. Later, when it came to South Korea, the tradition changed to show gratitude to mothers and fathers, and people started giving red carnations to their parents.
Well, listeners, how was this lesson? Did you learn a lot?
Does your country celebrate Parents' Day?
Please leave us a comment on the lesson page telling us how at KoreanClass101.com.
And we'll see you next time!