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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 7: National Liberation Day.
Do you know what happened on August 15th, 1945? On this day, Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces in the Second World War. At the same time, the Korean Peninsula was freed from Japanese control. August 15th was the day that Korea's long-held wish to be independent from Japan was granted.
In this lesson, we're going to learn about National Liberation Day, 광복절 (gwangbok-jeol) which is on August 15th.
But before we go into more detail, do you know the answer to this question; of the independence activists, one man organized the national liberation army, the independence army, and established the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea or 대한민국 임시정부 (daehanminguk imshi-jeongbu) for independence on the Korean peninsula. Do you know who that man is?
If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Korean people celebrate National Liberation Day on August 15th every year. The Korean name for this holiday, 광복절(Gwangbokjeol), is made of the Chinese characters 광(Gwang) meaning "light" and 복(Bok) meaning "returning." In other words, 광복 (gwnagbok) means "the day the light came back." August 15th is the day when the light of freedom came back to Koreans, who were deprived of basic rights for a long time and suffered from forced labor and compulsory military service.
On National Liberation Day, many people visit Independence Hall 독립기념관(dongrip ginyeom-gwan)in Cheonan City. This place honors the activists who fought for the independence of the Republic of Korea, and even though a long time has passed since 1945, a lot of families still visit Independence Hall to show their kids the ancestors who did not lose their hope in spite of the tough times.
On this day, just like Independence Movement Day, 삼일절(samil jeol) and Korea Memorial Day 현충일(hyeongchoong-il), Koreans everywhere fly the national flag or 태극기 (taeguekki). On National Liberation Day in particular, the national flag is often seen around the world, as well as in South Korea.
For example, Koreans living or traveling abroad who've gathered to commemorate the day can be easily found in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. So, Koreans who go backpacking to Europe in August may try to go to Paris on August 15th, if they can.
Here's our fun fact for the day! Did you know that in the late 1990s more events were held on National Liberation Day than usual? In the ’90s, the economic situation was so bad that South Korea received a bailout from the IMF. These extra events were organized to encourage people by reminding them of their ancestors, who overcame difficult times under Japanese control without losing hope.
Now it’s time to answer our quiz question: who was the leading activist? It was 김 구 (Kim Koo), who established the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea. He argued strongly for the independence of the Republic of Korea to world leaders, who took the Japanese colonization of the Korean peninsula for granted at the time. That’s why 김 구 (Kim Koo) has always been considered a representative who Koreans respect.
How was this lesson? Did you learn any new information today?
Is there an anniversary in your country like National Liberation Day?
Please leave your comments at KoreanClass101.com.
We’ll see you next time!

10 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

KoreanClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Hi Listeners! What do you usually do during the holidays? 

KoreanClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 01:46 AM
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Hi Abby,


Thanks for posting! They are on different days, 광복절 is on August 15th, according to the solar calendar, and 추석 is on the lunar August 15th, so the date changes every year.


Cheers,

Lyn

Team KoreanClass101.com

Abby (BTS and EXO)
Tuesday at 05:55 AM
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Wait are 광복절 and 추석 on the same day because both say August 15?

KoreanClass101.com Verified
Monday at 12:46 PM
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Hi Colin,


Thank you for following up.

We appreciate your feedback.


Sincerely,

Laura

Team KoreanClass101.com

Colin
Tuesday at 11:16 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Thank you

KoreanClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 11:04 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Harvey Dent,


Thank you for following up.

We have just updated the lesson notes PDF file.

Sorry for taking longer than usual. :wink:


Sincerely,

Laura

Team KoreanClass101.com

Harvey Dent
Friday at 06:31 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Not so long ago, when these corrections were responded to, the person would say the PDFS has been updated, and therefore I was able to re-download it right away. They doesn't happen now, but I don't even get notification now when the PDFs are ready, so I can't download the corrected ones. I consider this a degradation of a service standard I used to confidently rely on. Can a message be posted here when the PDFS has been updated? I'll beo forwarding this concern to corporate as well!

KoreanClass101.com Verified
Friday at 06:26 PM
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Hi Colin,


Thanks for your feedback. :)

We will correct them as soon as possible.


Regards,

Claire

Team KoreanClass101.com

Colin
Friday at 05:59 PM
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the example i just mentioned (in its incorrect form )is also duplicated once in the PDF on page 2.


Colin

Colin
Friday at 05:57 PM
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삼일절에 한국에 가면 많은 사람들이 집 앞

에 태극기를 단 모습을 볼 수 있습니다.

"If you’re in Korea on March 1, not only will

you see the Korean flag 'Taegukgi '

outside the prison, but a lot of houses also

will put up the flag."



The korean version makes no mention of a prison.