Today is Korean Independence Movement Day, also called as Sam-il-jeol (삼일절). On this day, Koreans commemorate the uprising against Japanese colonial rule (that took place on March 1, 1919) by holding a memorial event and hoisting the national flag in all government offices and in every home. Sam-il-jeol literally means 3-1 (March 1st) Movement. During this tragic event in Korean history, many people lost their lives while fighting for the country’s freedom.
- Sam = 3
- il = 1
- jeol = holiday, significant day
My mother-in-law has told me a lot of heartbreaking stories of Korea’s tragic past in the hands of Imperial Japan. She always tells us how privileged we are to live in a free country because things were totally different in the past. For many of us who grew up loving Japanese cartoons and comic books, it is quite hard to imagine a period in the past when Japan brutally colonized South Korea.
Under Japanese rule, Koreans became low-class Japanese citizens. They were forced to take Japanese names and speak Japanese language, among other grave offenses. Women were forced to work in Japan’s military brothels. Farmers could not even enjoy the fruits of their labor because everything would be brought to Japan or consumed by Japanese officers, leaving the Korean farmers with almost nothing to eat. In short, they were treated like slaves. Sad but true, some Koreans even betrayed their countrymen and worked with the heartless Japanese for their own benefit. Some resisted and fought for their rights but most people just tried to survive. Japan has given Korea a painful past (too painful to forget) and a complicated present (as they are still claiming what is originally Korea’s). No wonder why a lot of Koreans hate Japan until now. They even take a soccer match too seriously. This holiday also reminds me of my home country’s sufferings in the hands of Japanese invaders during the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines. 😦
My friend and I were supposed to meet in Myeongdong today, but I’m still sick so we had to cancel our date. Since it is a non-working holiday, Hubby and I woke up late. We just got up to have brunch and then we slept all day. Too lazy to cook for dinner, we decided to visit the newly-opened Japanese restaurant near our house. What a perfect place to commemorate Sam-il-jeol! Hehe. 🙂
The restaurant was full when we arrived. Fortunately, one group went out after few minutes and we were able to get a table; or else we had to wait outside in a very cold rainy weather.
- 1 Ordinary sushi set (Udong noodle soup)- 10,000 won
- 1 Special sushi set (Udong noodle soup) -15,000 won
- 1 Ramen – 6,000 won
The complimentary side dishes were miso soup and cabbage salad. We were also given 2 cone maki and yanggaeng (sweet red bean jelly) as “special service.”
Overall, our dining experience at 우마스시 was great though I didn’t like the small space-tables were quite too close together. After having a Japanese dinner, we went to the nearby A Twosome Place cafe to have some dessert and to finalize our household financial report for the month of February.
That’s all for today. 대한민국 만세!