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New year’s wishes change over time

Posted January. 03, 2015 07:13,   


Different people have different wishes for a new year. Still, people’s wishes on the new year’s eve reflect the times. There were times when people wished an overseas trip in their lives, while leisure and health have become important wishes nowadays.

In a new year, some have such simple hopes as “living a well-regulated life” while others dream of winning a lottery. What have South Koreans wishes so far?

According to the results of online surveys conducted by major South Korean companies and Internet portal sites, “family’s health” topped among the list of a new year’s wishes in the 1990s. In Samsung Life Insurance Co.’s 1991 poll of 720 salaried workers in Seoul and Gyeonggi Province on their wish for a new year, 50.4 percent of the respondents said their “family’s health,” while 16.3 percent said “wedding” and another 15.3 percent cited “economic affordability.” In the same survey by the company in the following year, nearly 60 percent of those polled said their “family’s health” was their top wish. “Health” was the most popular wish in the 1990s, except in 1994, when “safety” was the top wish in the aftermath of a series of major fatal accidents that cost many lives.

From 2000, “economic affordability” rose fast in Koreans’ wish list. In a new year’s wish survey of 1,000 Koreans at ages 20 or older by a polling agency in 2000, Research & Research, 58 percent of the respondents chose “economic advancement,” far higher than health (19.4 percent). Other polls also suggested that many Koreans had money-related wishes such as successful investments, pay hikes and sudden wealth. Buying houses, promotions and self-developments were also among major wishes.

Quitting smoking or drinking and losing weight are some of the typical wishes for a new year that do not last long. In a survey of 3,693 Internet users on their new year’s wishes by by Easy Day, a women’s web portal site, 17 percent of the respondents said “success in diet.” Jeong Jae-yong, a 31-year-old office worker, said, “I made up my mind to quit smoking every year but the determination did not last long.” He said he has the same goal this year.

While many salaried workers wish “freedom in taking leaves” from work, dayworkers pray for not having the “pain of having no work to do.” Students and their parents are of one mind in praying for improved school records. “Every morning is the same but at least on January 1, I feel like being able to ditch old memories and start anew,” said a 25-year-old university student. “I hope that 2015 will become a year when everyone makes their wishes come true.”