Sunday, November 12, 2006

November 11th

To a Canadian, November 11th means Remembrance Day. The minute of silence at 11.11, the school assemblies singing "Blowing in the Wind" and reciting "In Flander's Fields", buying dozens of poppies because they never stay on my jackets and being poked with the little pin, and a couple of years as a Scout leader with ceremonies at the Cenotaph and hot chocolate after at the Legion. Listening to the "Last Post" never fails to send shivers down my spine.

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

In Korea, November 11th is a holiday with an entirely different set of spots. It's Pepero Day. Basically, there are cookie things that are tall and straight. 11/11 looks like four Pepero, which inspired an entire holiday dedicated to exchanging cookies with everyone you know! I got some from my students, very cute. You are especially supposed to give them to girlfriends/boyfriends and so there are tons of elaborate packaged ones with teddy bears and other such things. The displays are something else, I tell ya.

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