February 12, 2021 08:23
Some Koreans more or less secretly welcome the extension of lockdown over the Lunar New Year holiday -- mainly because it allows them to escape the nagging family or relatives.
By ancient convention, elderly relatives must ask lots of prying questions about marriage and job prospects, and some young people are glad they can now cite government fiat to avoid them, especially if they are unemployed, single or experiencing other difficulties in life.
One 27-year-old graduate who was unable to find a job last year says he is glad the government decided to ban gatherings of more than five people. "I'm in no mood to celebrate the Lunar New Year's Day with my family because I'm still jobless," he admits. "I hope lockdown is maintained at least until I find a job."
Employment portals Job Korea and Albamon polled 1,609 people last week and found that 69 percent intend to avoid family gatherings over the holiday.
Im Woon-taek at Keimyung University said, "Visiting family members once a year to bow to them over the Lunar New Year holiday is a moral duty for most Koreans, but the coronavirus epidemic has eased that burden. But in reality the trend doesn't stem from the epidemic but from a weakening sense of filial piety."
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