Kim Jeong-myeong, 23, a university student in Seoul, South Korea, said he wasn’t interested in family gatherings during the traditional New Year.
“Older relatives started asking me about their future careers, which only added to the work-related stressors. Then my parents urged me to get married soon, ”Kim said. “I hope it will be easier this year, because I can take away my upcoming military service to avoid such questions.”
Kim-like young people are avoiding extended family gatherings, which are the center of Tet and Chuseok. According to a joint survey of Job Korea and Albamon job portals, 6 out of 10 South Koreans say they want to avoid attending family gatherings and celebrate New Year alone.
The number of those who are not keen on family meetings is surprisingly large, according to Chosun Ilbo. From the perspective of a young person, annual communication with relatives is rarely fun. The generation gap between family members is huge. Questions about a career or job hunting are inevitable.
Conversations often have a superior voice to young people who are looking for work when they are living amidst the unemployment rate among young people of 9.5%. Young people rarely get helpful advice from older relatives and are often compared to success or failure with other family members.
In fact, one-third of the respondents said the stress they faced when meeting relatives during Tet and what they faced when looking for work or studying.
According to the results of a poll of the survey participants, the youngest Koreans hate the most: “What are your future plans?” And “When will I get a job?”. Sentences that start like “When I was your age …” or “I said that to be good for you …”.
However, because it is traditional, the Tet meetings are hard to avoid. Up to 57% of the 3,390 survey participants said they would still participate in family gatherings during the New Year.