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The Long Season of Rain by Helen Kim
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The Long Season of Rain
by Helen Kim


changma -- long rainy season
komooshin -- traditional footwear made of rubber
Uhnni -- (written like another name, e.g.. Changhee Uhnni) -- used for older (than the speaker) unmarried woman
Opa -- (written like Uhnni) older male relative
chung -- deeper than and different from love. An attachment that that grows with time and sharing. Even if you don't like someone you can still have much chung for them
bulgoki -- marinated beef
han -- sorrow and grief
chul -- maturity and wisdom

p.16 As all traditional houses in Korea, our house had very little privacy. If we wanted to play loudly or talk away from adults' ears, we had to move away from the main section where the living area joined Grandmother's room and our big room that we shared with Mother and Father.
     The wooden lattice sliding door covered with rice paper in Grandmother's room and our room didn't let much noise out.

p.17-18 We lived in a typical Korean house, though our vegetable garden was not that common. The house was in the shape of a horseshoe, and in the hollow middle was a courtyard with a rose garden where white, pink, and red roses bloomed in early summer. Facing the garden from the living area, the left arm had the kitchen, the pantry/dining room, and our helper's room. The right arm included the storage room, the entrance area, the bathroom, and an extra bedroom that became Changhee Uhnni's and mine that summer.
     Except for the main section, where we could go from our bedroom to Grandmother's without putting on shoes, the other parts of the house were not internally connected. When it rained, we had to put on our shoes and walk underneath the eaves in order to go to the kitchen or the bathroom.
     The house and the grounds were surrounded by a protective wall. All that could be seen from the street was the gray tiled roof that sloped down, turned up in the corners, and jutted out from the main structure. During changma, spurts of water gushed from the jade-colored gutter that ran along the tiled roof.

p.78 Father was in his uniform and Mother in a flowery hanobok, a traditional costume of a short jacket with half-moon-shaped sleeves and long flowing ribbons, and a floor-length skirt that spread out like a tent.

p.156-157 "What happened to your hair?"
     "I cut it," she said in her distant voice.
     Father stared at her. "Nacham, what is Mother going to say?"
     "It's my hair."
     Father wagged his favor at Mother. "Why did you... It's... it's ugly. Do you know that?"
     "What difference does it make if I'm ugly? Who would look at me?"

NAMES: Boksoon, Changhee, Junehee*, Moonhee, Keehee*, Sungjin*, Yunekyung, Kyunja, Myunja, Hyungsik*, Jongmee, Chungsik*, Nho (surname)

*masculine names

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