Kamis, 11 November 2010

korean family life

Korean Family Life

Fathers and grandfathers are the main authority figures in Korean families. This has been true since the official adoption of neo-Confucianism as the state philosophy at the beginning of the Choson period, around A.D. 1400, and it reflect the historic pattern of patriarchy in East Asian culture. Children, in return, are required to practice “filial piety”. Filial piety (Korean:Hyo) begins the fact that people are eternally indebted to the parents who give them life, nourish them as helpless infants, protect and provide for them in childhood, and show them how to become good human beings. During childhood people acquire an appreciation for the family heritage that is being handed down to them from previous generation through their parents. They learn that as adults they will be responsible for maintaining and preserving the family heritage and for passing it along to their own future children. They understand that they are part of a network of relatives, with duties and obligation to everyone else in the family. They also realize that they can call upon their family for support throughout their lives. The obligations are mutual and operate as a important source of identity and emotional security.

The idea of filial piety is so pervasive in Korean culture that the language itself is structured to reflect the junior-senior relationship of the parties in any given conversation. A younger person will attach “honorific” elements to sentences to show his or her respect to a parent, teacher or boss. Throughout every day, people are constantly figuring their relative position and adjusting the way they speak accordingly. Filial piety is thus the model for almost all social relationship in Korea.

Korean accept filial obligation as part of life. The obligations set the patterns for getting along with other people and make it easier to know how to act in daily situations. Everyone agrees that parents have a duty to their own ancestors to be wise and benevolent toward their children. Everyone also agrees that that it’s the children’s duty to obey their parents and to repay them with loyalty and sincere effort. In relationship outside the family, people also understand how to behave toward others who are above or below them on the social scale. The idea of filial piety is a model for all these relationships as well.

Today, when most Koreans live in cities, there is much nostalgia for the days when farming household often consisted of grandparents, parents and children generation under one roof. There was no old age insurance or social security system, so different generations of a family took care of each other.

City life has changed that, and in today’s high-rise apartment buildings there is little to compare with the social interaction that was so much a part of Korean village life. Nor there is the space. Korean farmhouses were never roomy, but it was easy enough to step outside into the porch, or into the yard. Elderly people nowadays find it boring to be cooped up in apartments with elevators that can only take them down to traffic-choked streets where there is nothing to do but shop. Now that there is medical insurance and a certain amount of old age pension support, older Koreans often opt for their own apartments and live apart from their adult children for as long as they can. In this respect modern urban life in Korea resemble life in the United States.

Dalam keluarga Korea, Ayah dan kakek merupakan seseorang yang berwenang terhadap keluarga. Hal ini terlihat sejak periode raja Cheoson. Anak-anak di keluarga Korea selalu dibiasakan berdiskusi dengan orangtua mereka. Mereka membicarakan bahwa anak-anak sangat berhutang budi terhadap orangtua yang telah memberikan mereka kehidupan, merawatnya saat bayi, melindungi dan memberikan masa kecil yang menyenangkan. Hal itu dilakukan agar anak-anak mereka tumbuh menjadi seseorang yang baik. Sejak kecil anak-anak belajar menghargai warisan budaya dari generasi terdahulu sebelum orangtua mereka, mereka akan mengajarkannya kembali pada keluarga mereka dimasa mendatang. Mereka mengerti bahwa mereka adalah bagian dari keluarga, ini sangat penting untuk identitas dan emosional mereka.

Orang yang lebih muda mengucapkan sebutan kehormatan jika berbicara, itu untuk menunjukkan rasa hormatnya kepada orangtua, guru, atau atasan. Begitulah hampir semua hubungan sosial di Korea.

Korea menerima kewajiban seorang anak sebagai bagian dari kehidupan. Itu diperlukan untuk tahu bagaimana bersosialisasi dengan orang lain dan tahu bagaimana harus berbuat. Setiap orang setuju bahwa orangtua mempunyai kewajiban kepada leluhur mereka untuk bijaksana dan baik kepada anak-anak mereka. Semua orang juga setuju bahwa anak-anak mempunyai kewajiban untuk mematuhi orangtua mereka. Dalam hubungan diluar keluarga, orang-orang juga mengerti bagaimana bersikap kepada orang lain yang lebih tua atau yang lebih muda dari mereka dalam status sosial.

Sekarang ketika mereka tinggal di perkotaan, mereka hanya bisa mengenang saat-saat ketika kakek, nenek, orangtua, dan anak-anak tinggal bersama dalam satu atap. Kakek dan nenek mengasuh cucu mereka dan melihat cucunya saat mulai belajar berjalan. Kakek biasanya pergi keluar untuk menemui sespuh desa atau kadang-kadang minum dikedai minuman.

Kehidupan di kota telah merubah semua itu, bangunan napartemen disana sangat kecil jika dibandingkan dengan kehidupan sosial di desa. Sekarang orang yang sudah tua merasa bosan karena hanya bisa mengurung diri di dalam apartemen dengan lift yang hanya bisa membawanya turun ke jalan dimana disana tidak ada yang bisa dilakukan kecuali belanja. Mereka merasa kerepotan dengan perubahan dari kehidupan di desa dengan kehidupan di kota. Keadaan ini mirip dengan kehidupan di AS.

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