Maybe the biggest issue with owning more material things these days, is the fear of losing them. However, ironically, by protecting these things, we seem to have lost others of more importance. Some of our societies, while seeing great improvements to our quality of life, have become a much colder place. We may head home, close our doors and shut out the rest of the world.
Do you know or care about who your neighbours are ? Sometimes it may even be better not to know.
This is the reason why the community spirit of Reply 1988 is very nostalgic and so enviable.
To be considerate with one another.
Serious discussions are held about what item to get for their children’s Christmas presents so that they will not end up comparing with each other and feel bad.
Unhappy topics get discussed in the open and solutions are found. Jinjoo stopped believing in Santa because Bora very ‘helpfully’ told her the truth, and all the parents got together to make her a snow(ice)man just so that she could hold onto her childhood a little longer.
Taking care of each other’s children.
Miran got Bora to give group tuition to benefit the weaker children.
When Choi appa was away at his friend’s funeral, the other parents made sure Taek ate his meals. Again when Choi appa collapsed in his shop, it was Deoksun’s dad who found him and got him prompt medical attention that saved his life. The ajummas even took turns to visit him in hospital and took care of his meals. Sungs even allowed their daughter to travel to China to take care of Taek. Deoksun’s mum also sent food to the Kims house so that they would not go hungry while Miran was in the hospital with Kim appa.
Being there for each other.
Kim sajang slipped and broke his hip, everyone came to be with the rest of his family while he was in surgery. Choi appa even informed Taek of the situation and he pulled some strings to help Kim sajang get treated sooner. The Chois didn’t usually do flashy things, but they were willing to bend the rules for people they cared about.
When Deoksun got into a fight with Noeul’s girlfriend and ended up in the police station, Dongryong’s dad even brought an “inspector” , who was actually his school principal along to attempt to smooth things over for her.
Banding together in times of danger.
When a thief appeared in the neighbourhood, everyone gathered and did a headcount to ensure the safety of each other. At the news of Taek being possibly involved in an airplane crash…everyone rushed out of their houses deeply worried to find out the latest news. This is the community spirit that binds.
In a time where people may not even give up seats to the elderly on a subway train, much less take over a stranger’s heavy belongings to hold in a crowded bus, what can we say about how things have become?
Is it too late to go back now?