Gifts for Chuseok holidaysAs time goes by, holiday homecoming has changed, but we still celebrate with friends and relatives and share the joy of harvest. This is the best time of the year, with crops are harvested, fruits are ripe and sky is clear.
However, the farmers are half worried and half hopeful whether the consumers will pay the fair price for the agricultural and livestock products that they dearly raised through the draught, heavy rain and livestock diseases. In fact, the consumption of Korean agricultural and livestock products has drastically decreased as a result of market opening, changes in eating habits and the Improper Solicitation and Graft Act. In the past, 40 percent of agricultural and livestock products had been consumed during the New Year and Chuseok holidays. But this year’s sales of agricultural gift sets for the New Year’s holiday decreased by 26 percent compared to the previous year.
I feel sorry that the meaning of holiday gifts sharing gratitude with friends, families and acquaintances has faded due to the Kim Young-ran anti-corruption act. It is especially regrettable that exchanging agricultural and livestock products for holidays such as Chuseok and the New Year is more of Korean tradition of a kind heart rather than a gift.
For the Chuseok holiday, the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation is hosting “Hangawi Agricultural-Livestock-Fisheries Gift Festival at 2100 Hanaro Mart locations around the country, offering up to 30 percent discount on agricultural products and goods used for memorial services for ancestors. 60 percent of the gift sets are under 50,000 won ($44), offering a wide range of choices for consumers. Fruit gift sets with small yet quality products and gift sets by farmer-operated businesses are also on sale, and 127 direct marketplaces are open across the country.
Related to the anti-corruption law, there is no restriction on exchanging gifts with anyone who is not in public position, and sending a gift over 50,000 won to a public servant whose duty is not related is also possible. For the Chuseok holiday, I recommend sending Korean agricultural and livestock products to send gratitude.
*Chairman of the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation