Reflections from a Korean Professor



Hello, My name is Misook Ji. I am an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at USD. I originally come from South Korea. It is my pleasure to share my culture with you. Korea is located in the eastern part of Asia. We use the Korean language. Korea has a long history of 5,000 years with a rich culture, and many traditions.

Our culture is very family-oriented and we have very close relationships with all family and relatives. For a long time, Koreans have had a big families with grandparents, parents, and their children all living together in one house. Through this, I have learned to respect my family along with elder people in my neighborhood and my community.

I remember that when I was young I went to visit my relatives and neighboring elders to give my greetings and respect on our lunar New Year day. I had to give my special greeting gesture of kneeling down to show my respect. I wore Han-Bok, my traditional dress for the holidays, which is very colorful and beautiful. Koreans have big holidays similar to Thanksgiving Day and New Years day, but in a different way. We use a lunar calendar as well as the regular calendar. Every year we have different dates and months to celebrate our holidays based on the lunar calendar system. I even have two different dates for my birthday; one for each calendar. I find it fun to count in this way.

Learning about other cultures means more than just learning about their language or their faces. It is about learning and sharing their insights, ideas, and different perspectives. Each culture and each country has different ways of thinking and living. Sometimes, these ideas are different and do not reflect our own values. We just need to be open to new views and perspectives. I wish you luck in helping someone try to succeed in a different society than their own!