My story takes place during the Korean War (1950-‐1953). It was a conAlict between different government ideologies. North Korea wanted a communist government, while South Korea wanted a democratic government (the boarders of North and South Korea were, and still are, at the 380 latitude). North Korea crossed the boarder and took over a lot of South Korea. At one point, the United Nations sent troops to help South Korea. This resulted in pushing North Korea back, close to the Chinese boarder. China, thinking that this was a threat to it’s own boarders and country, sent many people to help the North Koreans. My Grandma and Grandpa were among them. My Grandma told many fascinating stories about the time she was in the army. But from among all these amazing stories, I picked one about my grandpa’s and grandma’s Airst encounters.
1. What have you learned about your family’s history? How has working on this project helped you understand your family better and given you a better sense of your identity? I already knew that my grandparents met when they were serving in the army in North Korea. I have learned the story of my grandma in the army. But I learned that my grandpa was shy.
2. Why do you think doing a project like this is important? It is important because further generations would now about my grandma. It is also important that I learn how to write a narrative. It is also important that I learn how to interview my grandma.
3. What part of this project did you enjoy the most? Why?
I enjoyed interviewing my grandma because I liked to hear her stories. I was exited about it in the beginning, but later on I wasn’t. So I really didn’t enjoy it.
4. What specific challenges did you face during this project and how did you over come them? Focusing on a small moment was difficult, but I flashed forward and backwards so I could get most of the story. Another challenge was the detail. I tried to fix it by re-interviewing my Grandma, but that didn’t really help.
"Google." Google. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2012. <http:// www.google.com/>. "World Book Online Reference Center | Online Reference Book| Online Encyclopedia." World Book. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2012. <http:// www.worldbookonline.com/student/article? id=ar751407>. "Korean War." BrainPOP. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2012. <http://www.brainpop.com/ socialstudies/ushistory/koreanwar/>.
Simple but Sincere “Tang Rui!” my friend pulled me aside. “Did Gui Zhi Yang write you a letter yet?” “Yes he did,” I replied. “Well, did you write him back?” “No. Not yet,” and I didn’t know if I should. It all began yesterday when I was strolling back from breakfast. I saw a tall Aigure walking toward me. His steps were tight and nervous, as if the March air was too cold for him.
As the Aigure neared, I realized that it was Gui Zhi Yang, a private in the army. His eyes scanned the area
around him, and the blushing, nervous Gui Zhi’s hand dived into his pocket and drew out a triangular piece of paper. It was tossed into my arms, while the blushing private scampered off. I held the tiny triangle in my hand
After breakfast, I let my feet carry me to a place where I could have privacy. A place that no one could
Aind me read. The bathroom.
The bathroom was only a ditch on the side of the mountain, a temporary bathroom for a Chinese army
camp in the Korean War.
When I reached the “bathroom”, I unfolded the letter.
Dear Tang Rui,
When others say good things about you, I am happy. When others say bad things about you, I want to
warn you right away. That’s it? Puzzled, I counted the number of messy Chinese characters in the letter. 20. I looked back, counting the number of characters that were incorrect. 8. It’s so simple, I thought, but it’s sincere.
What will happen if I write back? His vocabulary is so low, since he dropped out of school right after
elementary. It might embarrass him if I write an elaborate letter. What if I just don’t write back? But that might hurt his feelings. I thought. “Tang Rui,” my friend said, after I told her of the mistakes in the letter, “What really matters is a man’s temperament.”
The next day I curled up in my bunk bed. I had picked the perfect time to reply to the simple letter. All
the other women were performing for the military men, so I had all the privacy I needed to write my three-‐ paged letter about one topic.
Dear Gui Zhi Yang, I believe a family is very important. I would like to bring this to your attention. The family is the base for the community and the country…
Where were you? • North Korea I heard stories about you and Grandpa, how Grandpa wrote you a letter. Can you tell me about that? •
Yeah. Your Grandpa wrote me a letter; it only had 20 characters in it. It said, “When others say your good, I’m happy. When others speak poorly of you, I’m not happy.” After I read it, I counted the words that were wrong. There were 8 words wrong.
What did you think when you realized the words were wrong? •
I knew he wasn’t educated much. He dropped out of school when he graduated elementary school. I Ainished high school.
What did others say when you read the letter? •
They said that your grandpa is a good guy, and to write him back.
What was the hand writing in the letter look like? • It was messy What did Grandpa act like? • He was nervous and shy What was the weather like? • Well, it wasn’t raining. I don’t know, just not raining. What did you think when you read the letter? • I thought it was simple but sincere.
Source: http://www.worldbookonline.com/student/ article?id=ar751407&st=north+korea ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Fought 1950-1953 Called Democratic peoples republic of Korea Communist country Different government from South Korea since 1948 Apparently, neither side really won.
http://www.google.com What is the capital of North Korea? Pyongyang If you search what is the capital of north Korea, the answer pops up from google
A historical narrative based on my family's experiences.