S Korea celebrates traditional coming-of-age day

16:04, May 16, 2011      

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A group of students wearing traditional Korean costumes attend a coming-of-age ceremony at a university in Seoul, capital of South Korea on May 16, 2011. (Xinhua/Park Jin Hee)

A traditional coming-of-age ceremony was held in central Seoul on Monday to celebrate young people turning 20 and to raise their awareness about roles and responsibilities that come with being an adult.

A number of young men and women dressed in Hanbok, South Korean traditional clothes, gathered in Namsangol Hanok Village to mark the country's coming-of-age day that annually falls on Monday of the third week of May.

Among the participants were foreigners staying in South Korea, enjoying the opportunity to embrace the transition into adulthood in the country's traditional way.

The participating young people expressed mixed feelings about entering adulthood. "I think I have to behave more responsibly as an adult and I'm excited and nervous at the same time because it feels like the beginning of a new life," said 19-year-old Lee Hyuk- jae.

To mark a child's passage into adulthood, the young men had their hair coiffed into a topknot and wore a cylindrical hat woven from horsehair known as a "gat." Meanwhile, the young women put up their hair in a bun, fastened with a "binyeo," an ornamental hairpin, and put on a "jjokduri," a ceremonial cap.

Then, the young people bowed to all the guests out of gratitude, and had their first drink of alcohol, which was replaced with tea, accepting the transition into adulthood.

At the end of the ceremony, the young people visited ancestral shrines to inform the heaven of being a responsible member of society.

The participating young people took the traditional ceremony meaningful when nowadays it has become more common for 20-year- olds to receive roses and presents from families and friends on this special day.

"I learned how to behave well as an adult, including ways to salute properly and dress appropriately, and it helps me have more responsibilities," said 20-year-old Sul Hee-won.

Source: Xinhua


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(Editor:王千原雪)

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