During my interview with my grandparents I learned many things about my Korean background that I did not know.
- My grandma, Oh Younghee, and grandpa, Yoo Jaykook, are both from Seoul.
- When my grandparents were growing up the economy of Seoul was very bad, due to the Korean War (1950-1953). There was no electricity and no school buses. My grandfather had to walk 6 miles round trip and rely on oil lamps for light.
- They met and got engaged in Korea, but married in the US
- They were the first of my family to immigrate in the year 1970. They came to the US because they liked the new opportunities and potential for the future.
- They told me that life was very good and full of hope, but there were still the challenges of learning the language, culture, and customs. Also they had no car so my grandpa bought a bicycle and they rode together for a year.
- They both attended the University of Florida for graduate school. My grandma earned a masters degree in food chemistry and started work as a registered dietitian. My grandpa earned a PHD in Computer Science and his first job was at Goodyear Tire in Akron, Ohio.
- They had two daughters and moved very frequently. They went from Florida to Ohio to Virginia to Hawaii to Korea and back to Virginia.
- My ancestor (32 generations ago) named Yoo Gwan (nickname is Hajung) was the prime minister under King Sejong in the Lee Dynasty. King Sejong is known for creating the Korean language (Hangul). Before him Chinese characters were used and and only upper class people could read and write. He wanted everyone to be able to use literature so he created it. There is a road in Korea named after Yoo Gwan called Hajung Ro.