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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 23: Armed Forces Day.
In South Korea, every male citizen over eighteen years of age has two years of required military service. Approximately 650,000 people are currently serving as active duty military personnel. In this lesson, we’ll learn about Armed Forces Day or 국군의 날 (gukkunui nal) on October 1st, the day honoring military personnel protecting South Korea.
Now, before we go into more detail, do you know the answer to this question: why was October 1st chosen to be Armed Forces Day?
If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
On Armed Forces Day on October 1st, a large street parade takes place in Seoul with marching soldiers and combat demonstrations. Also, the parade features various types of military equipment, such as infantry fighting vehicles and missiles.
On Armed Forces Day, you can find events in the sky too. Above Seoul, you can see an air show involving planes from the Republic of Korea and the United States. You’ll see fighter planes flying around the sky on this day. Additionally, you can enjoy the music of the Korean military band, as well as performances of military bands from other countries, including Canada, France, and the United States.
Members of the military enjoy many discounts on Armed Forces Day. The most popular discount at amusement parks is for children whose mothers or fathers are in the military, or for enlisted soldiers who may have the day off. When they show their military ID card, usually up to four people can get into the amusement park with a discount of forty percent off the normal ticket price.
Here's our fun fact for the day! Did you know that, after you complete your two years of military service in Korea, you have at least eight years of reserve duty after you're discharged? Even when people are working, they undergo reserve training or 예비군훈련 (yebigun hunryeon) about three days each year.
Now it’s time to answer our quiz question: why was October 1st selected for this day? After the Korean War broke out in 1950, the South Korean military was continually pushed toward the south. Eventually, South Korean armed forces started moving to the north, and finally they crossed the 38th parallel on October 1st, 1950. That's why October 1st was designated as Armed Forces Day.
Well, listeners, how was this lesson? Did you learn a lot?
In your country, is there special day honoring military service?
Please leave us a comment at KoreanClass101.com.
And we'll see you next time!