"We have two sons and two daughters. I raised them and provided for their higher education by working as a haenyeo. All of them graduated from college. I even sent my first son to graduate school, even though I began with empty hands.
While my children were growing up, we needed a lot of money. So when I wasn't diving, I helped on my neighbors' farms and made extra money for my children's school expenses. After they grew up, I could buy farmland and build a house. "I don't envy anyone. Everything I gained was from working as a haenyeo. "[I have] nine grandsons and three granddaughters.
Fortunately, they already have a deep appreciation of the haenyeo's life. I've never been ashamed of being a haenyeo. Before...people looked down on us. Now we're acknowledged by many people."
Excerpted from "Moon Tides: Jeju Island Grannies of the Sea" (2011) by Brenda Paik Sunoo.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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