Sharing Mother’s Love With Multicultural Families

Love Sharing Event, Greeting National Holiday was held by the Intl. WeLoveU Foundation on September 13 for the multicultural families living in Seongnam city and neighboring area, having Chuseok ahead. To this 15th event sponsored by Seongnam city and the International Association of University Students for Environmental Movement, about 80 multicultural families were invited, who came from the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Mongolia, China, Japan, etc. to get married or get a job and formed a family in Korea. All their family members, including their children, attended the event.

This event consisted of various programs: traditional Korean game experience and traditional Korean culture experience, sharing national holiday dishes, etc. Around 4 p.m., the festival started and Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah warmly welcomed the multicultural families who gathered at the main conference hall of Seongnam City Hall.

“If we understand each other, we are one people and one nation on this earth. You may find it difficult to be accustomed to Korean culture and have hard times as you came from overseas countries, so we have prepared this event to share love with you on the Koreans’ biggest national holiday, Chuseok. Though this is small, please take it as big. I wish you to understand Korea even more and live together with Koreans well, considering this country as your country, as your hometown.”

Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah consoled the emigrated women who were missing their countries much more as a national holiday came, and wished them and Koreans to understand each other and live together like one family. Lee Jae-myeong, Mayor of Seongnam City, appreciated the WeLoveU members’ supporting multicultural families as a non-governmental organization, and promised that he too would support them, saying, “From now on, Seongnam City will also consider more policies for the multicultural families.” Lee Bae-geun, Chief Director of Korea Youth Service Center, attended this event and said, “Though the number of foreigners in Korea is over one million, there is still social prejudices against them. But those who are living with us after emigrating into Korea and give birth to Korean children are also Koreans. I wish this beautiful festival, which embraces them with a mother’s mind, will be held more and more.”

After taking a commemorative photograph, while the participants were looking around the Seongnam City’s PR hall, members of the International Association of University Students for Environmental Movement prepared traditional Korean culture experience section and traditional Korean game experience section at the event hall. The participants had a happy time to try Hanbok (traditional Korean clothes) and enjoyed traditional games like Jegichagi (shuttlecock kicking), Tuho (arrow throwing game) and so on.

Hanbok with beautiful line and color attracted their attention the most. Pham Thi Xuan, whose youngest daughter got married to a Korean man, came from Vietnam for her daughter’s postnatal care. She was amazed to try Hanbok on her traditional Vietnamese clothes, Ao Dai. Virginia, who came from the Philippines to Korea through international marriage, tried Hanbok with her husband and daughter, and learned the way to make a beautiful deep bow. At another corner, button photo or instant photo was taken and presented to the family members as a happy memory.

After that, they had a dinner party with national holiday dishes. Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah said, “On Chuseok, Koreans share dishes with neighbors,” and asked them to enjoy what the WeLoveU members had prepared with their sincere heart. The emigrated women, who ate Korean food like Songpyeon (rice cake), Bulgogi (roasted meat) and fruits very deliciously, were exactly Koreans. They also labor to make dishes and serve visitors just like Korean daughters-in-law every national holiday. What is different, however, is that they cannot go to their hometown unlike Korean daughters-in-law, but only miss their parents in their home countries.

Yang Su-yeon, who came from Thailand, has lived in Korea for over ten years. She became a mother of two children and received Korean name instead of Thailand’s name “Anjou Marie.” She said that she had visited her hometown only three times for the past ten years. After the festival, she said, “Through today’s festival, I could feel the love of my mother who always takes care of me.” Inkjimaek, who came from Mongolia three years ago, is more reminded of her parents and siblings when she is sick or it is around national holidays as she is the youngest daughter among eight siblings. After she became pregnant, she felt lonely, living only for her husband. But she is now much accustomed to Korean life thanks to many help from Koreans including the WeLoveU members living near her home.

The participants left the event hall with an armful of gifts with happy smiles on their faces. Since there are family love and a mother’s love, this Chuseok will be more bountiful to the multicultural families.