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Holiday Causes Stresses

Posted September. 11, 2002 23:13,   


Lee Mi-jung, 40, has concerned about providing the ritual for ancestors with Chuseok just around the corner. For prices of fruits and vegetables skyrocketed 150% from the previous year.

So she decided to reduce the kinds and amount of food for the ritual and purchase food in advance at discount stores.

In the past, she usually spent 200,000 won for the provision of food for the national holiday. She decided to spend the same amount of money and reduce the amount of food to be provided.

With only 10 days left before the biggest national holiday, the public has been stressed out because of the skyrocketing prices and difficulties in arranging transportation to come back to their hometown.

Lee Eun-gyeong, 40, housewife, has no different story from Lee Mi-jung`s.

She decided to omit some menus from the food list for the holiday.

She said that even though she shortens the menu list, it seems to take more money to provide food."

Many people are in agony over preparing holiday presents. Park Sang-jin, office worker, said, "I provided fruits for Chuseok presents last year, but I don`t know what to buy this year since prices of fruits have dramatically risen."

People, whose hometowns are located in damaged area, are having difficulties in finding appropriate places to hold the ritual for ancestors.

A housewife, 35, has currently been at odds with her in-laws over finding a place to hold the ritual. Her family held the ritual at the house of her father-in-law, but the house has been flooded by the latest typhoon. After a lengthy debate, her family members agreed to informally hold the ritual at the house of her father-in-law.

As the restoration work for damaged railroads and roads have been delayed, a large number of people living in cities are worried that they might not able to get transportation to come back to their hometown. Employees in industrial complexes in areas hit by the recent typhoon could not receive holiday bonus.

A gentleman working at a venture company in downtown Seoul failed to get transportation and therefore had to give up the visit to his hometown.

A lady, 31, who identified herself as only Park works at Shinhan Concrete Co. in Donghae, Gangwon Province. She said, "As the company has been completely inundated, I don`t even expect holiday bonus. I just want to receive my wage so that I can buy something for my family."

Min-Hyuk Park Hyo-Lim Son mhpark@donga.com aryssong@donga.com