Thursday, July 05, 2007

July 4th in Korea

The Fourth of July is just like every other day in Korea. What was I expecting? I've spent two other Fourths outside of America, but both times, I was surrounded by other Americans. We celebrated together, even if we were away from our homeland. This fourth, I didn't even see another American.

I did read a small passage from a English education text for teachers. It made me very homesick:
"Festival in America. It is celebrated as America's birthday. The Declaration of Independce was signed in Philadelphia on July 4th 1776. It is the day Americans celebrate their freedom. It was John Adams who said that July 4th should be celebrtated with parades, shows, games, and good food.

The first official 45th of July party was 1777 in Philadelphia. Warships fired a 13 gun salued in honor of the 13 states. The soldiers paraded through the streets. By the mid 1990's [sic] the annual 4th of July picnic was an American tradition. People grill BBQ or hot dogs, and eat corn on the cob, coleslaw, potato salad, chocolate cake and homemade pies. Some famileis make their own ice cream. There are activities such as watermelon- eating and pie-eating cotests. Celebration ends with fireworks."

Happy Fourth. Watch some fireworks for me!


  1. Sad isn't it? There are very few Americans on Geoje. I know of 4 other families in Okpo. Two of which we see often the other two not so much. However, everyone is gone for the summer except us it seems. All day I thought of the huge BBQ my family hosts each year. Happy late 4th to you my fellow American.

  2. Yeah, I know a few Americans around, but many are out of town. Yeah pie, and American flags are in short supply here...

  3. Hello Joshua,

    I currently live in Florida and I am in the process of acquiring an English teaching job in South Korea. I found your blog when I could not find much information on the City of Geoje Island which is where the organization I am working with wants to send me for a position. I know in Seoul there are other foreigners like myself, but it seems there are not many Americans in Geoje and I fear it may be lonely for me. I am glad to see there is a movie theater at least :) Thanks for all the great information your blog has provided me.


  4. Becky,
    There are a TON of expats in the Okpo area (okpo is located on Geoje Island). Check out

  5. "Americans" you mean "US Citizens", right? Because there are more Americans in the world (Canadians, Mexicans, Argentinians, Brazilians, etc. etc., are ALL Americans as well). Just to make sure about the meaning about "Americans".
    Saludos latino-americanos.

  6. Of course I was referring to people of the United States as Americans. In English, the most common meaning of "American" is used to describe people and things from the United States.

    From the Wikipedia article United States:

    "The standard way to refer to a citizen of the United States is as an American. Though United States is the formal adjective, American and U.S. are the most common adjectives used to refer to the country ("American values," "U.S. forces"). American is rarely used in English to refer to people not connected to the U.S."

    Americans refer to people countries south of America as "Latin American" because the primary languages are derived from Latin. In the same way, in Spanish, people from the United States are "estadounidense" and everyone else are "americanos."


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