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My great-grandmother

Early life of Oaksoon Kim

My great-grandmother is named Oaksoon Suh and she was born in Gangwon (gahng-wahn), South Korea in 1893. She mostly worked as a house-worker while men would usually be out working for their family. During my great-grandmother's life, she grew up regulating household work, cleaning and also cooking for her mom and dad---she was an only child. Education was scarce during her time so Oaksoon could only learn up to 1-2 years while more males than females would go to school, but they still didn't learn a whole lot more than women. Female house labor was 5 times greater than male house work.

Oaksoon marrying my great-grandfather

Oaksoon Suh (her maiden name) grew up as a poor girl raised in a family where her dad gained money by selling crops and completing labor work. In 1913, she married my great-grandfather, Kyong Ho Kim, who had a lot of money due to inheritance over generations and generations. This money was spent towards purchasing house workers, but Oaksoon still had to watch over the servants and also cook and clean with them. Her last name after her marriage changed to Kim.

Oaksoon Kim had her first child in 1923. The baby is my grandfather and since my great-grandmother married rich, she and her husband would inherit money down to my grandfather. This was their only child and the outcome was a boy. Having a male child was very exciting and important because the son would have to take over his parents' belongings and work for money after his parents passed away. Since females couldn't work for money, having a male child was important because males were allowed to make money by having jobs.

What my great-grandmother would wear

Since my great-grandmother was poor before she married my great-grandfather, she couldn't afford many clothes so she stook to only one outfit---a semi-intricate white dress. This picture represents what Oaksoon would've worn as her day-to-day attire. Females were treated as beautiful individuals so they also carried make-shift parasols to protect their skin from the scorching sun rays.

An accurate representation of how Oaksoon would be transported by her servants

The servants would carry my grandmother on a wooden carriage which they would hold from wooden sticks.

Fun fact: Valentine's day is very popular in South Korea. Unlike most countries where the couple exchange gifts at once, the females are the only ones treating the males on this day. They shower gifts and treats all over their boyfriend/husband. But on March 14, the male has to return gifts to his girlfriend/wife that costs three times the amount he received on Valentines Day. This event is known as White Day.

Death of Oaksoon Kim

My great-grandmother died on 1960 in South Korea due to an illness, also 15 years after my great-grandfather died, due to a stroke. After my great-grandfather's death, Oaksoon had to work on her husband's farm and also take care of her son. This was very hard because she had no experience with farm working and she wasn't smart at spending the money she had left.