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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Student Essay - Eric Kim Dong Uk, Grade 10, Fairview International School - Family Traditions

Eric Kim Dong Uk, Grade 10, Fairview International School

Family Traditions

Gustav Mahler once said that tradition is not the worship of ashes but the preservation of fire. From where I am from, tradition is very important. It is especially important for my family. There are many traditions my family has adopted from our culture. One that has stood out the most is the tradition of commemorating a late family member on the anniversary of their death. This tradition has stood out to me because it is one that I think is very important and meaningful. During this occasion, we always do three main things.

First, every one of the deceased’s relatives comes together for this occasion. Since the commemoration of a death in the family is very important, every one of them does this. No one wants to be alone going through these hard times. This is why we always gather as a family for the comfort of one another. Even when sometimes circumstances don’t make it easy for the family to be together, we always try our best since we don’t want each other to go through these hard times alone. Going through the death of a loved one is very painful, so we make we are there for one another.

Secondly, we recite passages from the bible and sing hymns. Many of my family members are Christians, so reciting passages and singing hymns from the bible are ways of commemorating the deceased. We recite passages that remind us of the deceased person and what he or she was like. Every one of us sings from our hearts and recites the passages with sincerity. There is also time to share our encounters, experiences and memories we have of the deceased. Even if one isn’t Christian, one is welcome to join in. This part of the evening is done with the most sincerity and solemnity as it is the main part of remembering our experiences with a family member no longer with us. 

Finally, we all eat dinner together cooked by our family. Since many family members are gathered together, the meal is a huge one. We spend a long time cooking this meal for everyone. We all eat a meal together in honor of the deceased and in memory of him. Although the reason everyone is gathered together is a sad one, all of us end up catching up with one another and having a joyful meal. What starts out as a sad and heartbreaking evening, turns into a good and joyous one where everyone remembers that we all want each other to be happy and so would the late family member.

To sum up, the death of a family member is a difficult occasion to go through but this tradition helps to make it easier and also for us to remember that person. Therefore, we always make sure to attend this event.

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