Modern Lifestyles Erode Chuseok Traditions

      September 06, 2014 09:08

      The traditions of Chuseok or Korean Thanksgiving are changing fast as modern lifestyles loosen the hold of ancient customs.

      According to a survey by the Korea Transport Institute of 9,000 households last month, only 25.5 percent will spend three or more nights in their ancestral hometowns during the Chuseok holiday, compared to 40.3 percent a decade ago.

      On the other hand, some 12.4 percent said they will make just a one-day trip to their hometowns, as against 10.4 percent in 2004. The proportion who only want to stay overnight also rose 7.1 percentage points and of those spending two nights 5.7 percentage points.

      Incheon International Airport is crowded with vacationers on Thursday. /News 1

      The number of households where parents will hit the road to visit their children almost doubled, with 13.8 percent saying so compared to 8.6 percent in 2004.

      The proportion of households who plan a family trip during one of the national's biggest holidays also increased three times from 0.7 percent in 2004 to 2.3 percent this year. And that figure does not include individual members of households who will leave the rest of their family behind.

      With improved transportation infrastructure, the time that people spend on the road on their way to their hometowns has decreased, although the number of people who travel in passenger cars increased from 76 percent to 84.4 percent.

      Last year it took at most nine hours and five minutes to travel from Seoul to Busan, about three hours less than in 2003. IT improvements also contributed as more people find faster routes using their gadgets.

      "In 10 years the transportation infrastructure will have further improved, so more people will make a trip to their hometowns in only half a day and can then go abroad," a researcher at the institute said.

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