Eugene Cho

happy new year – again?!

letter.jpg

yes, happy new year to each of you – again!  today is the celebration of lunar new year.  many folks know it in the states as ‘chinese new year’ but many other asian people, including Koreans, also celebrate this day.  while most have adopted january 1 as new year’s day in order to celebrate with the larger world, they still maintain a deep appreciation and celebration of the Lunar New Year or Sollnal (in Korean).  sollnal (korean new year) and chusok (thanksgiving) are the two most significant holidays in the korean culture. 

so, happy new year to each of you from our family.  the video (and short post) below was something we posted to mark the western celebration several weeks ago.  may this year be filled with mystery, surprises, blessings, and much joy. 

on the first day of the year, we eat a traditional dish called ‘duhk-gook'(korean rice stew).  most korean families begin the new year with this meal.  we also had some friends over to play ‘yut nori.’  unfortunately, the ladies crushes the men.  and lastly, we called our elders to wish them a happy new years. now that we’re parents, our children changed into their traditional korean clothing to pay their respects to us.  in return, elders give each child a word of encouragement and wisdom and some cash as a gift.  usually, our parents are with us during the holidays so we would also bow to them.  thanks to modern technology, minhee, the kids, and i were able to bow and pay our respects to our parents via the webcam and skype program. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Filed under: asian-american, culture, family

6 Responses

  1. Esther says:

    We celebrated the New Year with over 150 friends (co-workers, prayer supporters, students, families with children, young and old, they came in groups of 25, all day round) We bowed to each other and had a real good time sharing, eating, looking at old photos and praising the Lord for His goodness and grace. It is wonderful to belong to God’s family.

  2. David Park says:

    sae hae bohk mahn ee bahd eu sae yo!~

  3. elderj says:

    yeah… what david said

  4. linda k. says:

    i had duhk-gook for breakfast and lunch, then more pieces of duhk smothered in sesame oil and injected with sugar after dinner. clearly, this is one of my favorite foods. it was a gluttonously glutinous day.

    i really like the hanboks your kids were wearing — trendy, traditional, and contemporary. when i was that age mine was just way overly coloful and embellished, i probably blinded everyone around me.

  5. gar says:

    happy new year… or as Cantonese people like to say… “sun nin fai lok!” =)

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One Day’s Wages

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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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