[EDITORIALS]Reach out this holidayThe annual ritual of the Chuseok exodus has begun. This year's holiday is shorter than usual, but the number of people leaving Seoul and heading to the homes of their parents to celebrate the harvest moon is said to have increased. More than 30 million Koreans are expected to travel across the country, crowding freeways and state roads. People may suffer from the traffic congestion, but their minds will be filled with anticipation toward long-awaited reunions with parents, relatives and hometown neighbors.
In contrast to this nationwide festive mood, flood victims who lost their homes and jobs to Typhoon Rusa last month are insulated from this holiday spirit. They remain in their battered houses. Some are sick with worry because they have not found missing relatives. Descendants who lost the remains of ancestors to a flood that swept cemeteries do not know what to do. Instead of rejoicing a bountiful harvest, they agonize. They cannot even think about commemorating their ancestors. Their concerns now are how to endure the approaching winter and make a living in the future.
Koreans have shown their philanthropy in the face of the largest typhoon toll in history. Donations for flood victims exceed 100 billion won ($83 million). Volunteers and soldiers helped with restoration, instilling hope to the victims of floods. A youth organization pooled 40 million won and bought food for ancestral rites with that money, and sent the donations to flood victims. A group of volunteers organized collective rites for the flood victims. In certain regions, civil organizations conducted campaigns urging local residents to spend Chuseok with those ravaged by the flood.
There is an old Korean saying that goes, "No more, no less, just as the full moon of Chuseok." It is the season of harvest, and people feel generous. We hope people do not just care about their direct families but also share their caring and love with the flood victims this holiday. If it is difficult to take part in the volunteer work, there are other means to show your compassion, such as making donations. We also need to remember suffering children and the elderly, who are often forgotten because much attention these days is going to flood victims. When you show love to those who are in need, Chuseok will be a truly meaningful time.