I was born on the 24th of November in the year of 1977 in Busan, South Korea where it all began. At that point in time, South Korea was under the dictatorship of a president who never got voted in. He was later assassinated by his own bodyguard in 1979.
In the 70s and 80s, South Korea was a very poor country, and everybody in the house had to work to make the ends meet. The fear of North Korea and the border tension meant that we were isolated from the world, and nobody wanted to deal with us.
My parents did not know each other before marriage as the bond was a traditionally arranged one. They both hailed from Busan which was a small village in Gyeongsang province. It has now grown into a city, but back then it was very backwards and old fashioned.
My father was the eldest son in the family. He came from money because of his rich background. My mother’s father was an Eastern medicine doctor and had his own clinic. In those days there was no need of a license to practice medicine.
I was born in a small clinic in Busan. My father was not very pleased because he wanted a son, when God gave him a daughter. In older days, sons were considered a blessing and daughters a burden to the household and the family.
Two people that had a huge impact in my life
Obviously, in the years when I was born, my mother and father were the two most influential people for me. My mom was a small lady who was educated and worked for Samsung. She wanted to pursue higher education as well as a career. However, her dreams were cut short after I was born as she had to stay at home and care for me. I will always be in debt to the things she sacrificed for me.
My father was not very active socially. That is the most of what I remember about him. Although he came from a rich family, he didn’t receive any financial support from his family. Therefore, for a very long time, he suffered economically and financially.
However, he was a very creative man and was known as a famous inventor in our village. He had many patents registered for his inventions. Even with all the inventions, he still suffered economically and was not able to provide to our family's basic needs.
He couldn’t fulfill the duty he had as the head of the family. This meant that he did not take care of my mom and me like he should have. Looking back, I personally think he could have done a better job had he tried so.
1977 SOUTH KOREA