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Language & Culture Korea's Love for Trees

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작성자 Jess
댓글 0 Comments 조회 3,442 Views 작성일 23-04-23 15:55

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When I was still a teacher and teaching my students about global cities, I often cite Korea as a great example of a harmony between development and nature.

And this is because I still have my memories of my previous trip to Korea, particularly in Goyang and Busan and Seoul.

 I cannot help but wonder on how trees are very numerous in the heart of the cities—most cities that I previously know are mostly peppered with cement and metal and asphalt that it seems that any organic and growing thing aside from humans is not allowed in them. And now that I have stayed and lived in Korea as a graduate student for more than six months already, and witnessed autumn, winter, and spring, I saw and appreciated more the love for trees Korean people have.

 I mean during winter, they cover them with fabrics. They trim them. They put supports for them. And recently, this spring, I saw the trees lining up the road in Chuncheon injected with what my Korean friend said to be vitamins. I do wonder what practices other countries do to ensure the health of their trees? I also hope I am mistaken to think that this is unique in Korea. I am reminded also of the care the Little Prince did for his rose. And in the end, Korea and everyone need trees just as trees need our considerations or even love—they give us the very air we breathe, the relief from a shade under the hot summer sun, the free fruits when it is time, and the beauty of blossoms in spring.

 

And to end, perhaps, what better way than to insert Joyce Kilmer’s “Trees”?

 

 

I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

 

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

 

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

 

A tree that may in summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

 

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

 

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

 

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