Thursday, November 11, 2010

Living History

After teaching the other night, I had a quick conversation with one of the mom's of my students. Hopefully, it will turn into a long conversation before I leave. But this is an interesting story to share, and very inspiring!

This (Korean) lady had told me once before that she had lived in Argentina for a couple of years when she was about 8 years old. I found that quite strange, and the next time I saw her I asked her more about it. She said that her parents and some of her family were fleeing Korea because of fear of a war. There was already an uncle living in Argentina, and he was doing very well for himself and so the family chose to move there. The family being some aunts & uncles, and her mom & dad.

This past tuesday, I asked her a couple more questions.. yes, a.) because it is a strange story and b.) I couldn't be any nosier than I already naturally am.

She told me that her parents were married in North Korea, and during the Korean War they fled to South Korea (nice-uh!). The mother left all of her family and friends, and successfully made it to South Korea with her husband's family. They stayed for about 8 years, and when word spread about North Korea building tunnels underground to invade Seoul they decided they had to leave the country. They were terrified of living under North Korea's rule again. When they moved to Argentina, they worked in restaurants and in the fields.

----In 1965, 13 Korean families arrived in Argentina by boat. Between 1970 and 1978, 500 more families (about 2,800 individuals) arrived, the Argentinian government was allowing these families to settle in the less-developed areas of the country. They were supposed to have great knowledge of farming, however few did and many ended up relocating to cities. (Wikipedia)----

When the threat of another North Korean invasion dwindled, her family decided to move back to South Korea. Her mom to this day has not spoken to any of her family members, does not know if any of her 8 brothers/sisters are alive, and will probably pass away never knowing.

Two words,



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