[EDITORIALS]Reviving the Chuseok spiritChuseok, a traditional symbol of affluence and prosperity in Korea, is only a week away. But people say that the economy is so sluggish that it puts the old saying in the shade: “No more, no less, we wish things to go on as in the Chuseok season.” Usually during Chuseok season, the harvest was rich and the minds of the people were generous. But these days, we only hear the sound of sighs.
Housewives who struggle with insufficient money to manage housholds worry about the difficulty in filling their shopping baskets for the traditional thanksgiving rituals. And merchants who expected at least a short Chuseok sales boom are being disappointed. Department stores, discount stores and traditional markets ― all say that sales for this Chuseok are not like those in previous years.
Because of the serious economic situation, Chuseok is gloomy. A social campaign, “not giving nor accepting presents,” has made already poor consumer psychology sour even further. The campaign started with the good intention of rooting out corruption, but it brought the bad effect of depressing Chuseok sales. Sales of farm products in particular, which people buy for presents during Chuseok, have decreased drastically. That is proof that the atmosphere of society has turned so bad that we are refusing the good old custom of exchanging small gifts. Instead of rejecting the custom of exchanging small gifts entirely, we should revive the psychology of consumption by settling on a culture of exchanging reasonable presents with warm hearts, as the Chamber of Commerce and Industry wants.
Chuseok provides an opportunity for family members who live scattered around the nation to get together, even if it means enduring horrific traffic, to feel the warmth of their families.
We hope, during this season, that people will be generous in thinking not only of their own family members but also people around them who lead difficult lives, and look for ways to help them. When the economy goes bad, the warm helping hands extended to our lonely, estranged neighbors are fewer and fewer.
The more difficult the times, the more valuable is encouraging and comforting each other. However difficult our lives become, we cannot let our minds go barren. With the warm love of people, let’s get rid of this gloomy Chuseok and make one with affluence in our minds.