SOUTH KOREA: Sleepless in Seoul

SOUTH KOREA: Sleepless in Seoul

My little one is finally sleeping through the night for the most part. I never thought this day would come. You may remember one of my very first posts with World Moms Blog in which I bemoaned the sleep deprivation that comes with a newborn. Now that he’s sleeping, you’d think that I would be well-rested, but unfortunately a year of constant sleep interruption seems to have led to a bit of a sleeping problem. I’m fortunate if I get 4-6 consecutive hours these days.

I was feeling very sorry for myself until I recently met a school teacher here in Seoul who told me that the kids she teaches in primary school are getting about the same amount. Reflecting back on my pre-pubescent school days I remembered a strict 8pm bedtime and a 7am alarm clock. That’s 11 hours of sleep. After school I had to do my homework and chores, and then I was free to play until dinnertime.

Here in Seoul and in other parts of Korea parents are incredibly invested, monetarily and otherwise, in the education of their children. Academic success is crucial. Many children attend public school from early morning to mid-afternoon, after which they go to an academy, called a hagwon, where they often stay until 9 or 10pm. Yes, you read that right. (more…)

Ms. V. (South Korea)

Ms. V returned from a 3-year stint in Seoul, South Korea and is now living in the US in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her partner, their two kids, three ferocious felines, and a dog named Avon Barksdale. She grew up all over the US, mostly along the east coast, but lived in New York City longer than anywhere else, so considers NYC “home.” Her love of travel has taken her all over the world and to all but four of the 50 states. Ms. V is contemplative and sacred activist, exploring the intersection of yoga, new monasticism, feminism and social change. She is the co-director and co-founder of Samdhana-Karana Yoga: A Healing Arts Center, a non-profit yoga studio and the spiritual director for Hab Community. While not marveling at her beautiful children, she enjoys reading, cooking, and has dreams of one day sleeping again.

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