A few days ago, women of neighbourhood unit No. 14 in Kaeson-dong, Moranbong District, Pyongyang, visited apartment No. 3 on the ground floor with foodstuffs.
“The daughter-in-law living at apartment No. 3 on the ground floor gave birth to a baby some days ago. Therefore, all the residents congratulate her like their own affairs,” said Kim Mi Yong, head of the neighbourhood unit, adding it has become a custom of the neighbourhood unit to share joy and sorrow with each other.
The neighbourhood unit is famed as a harmonious one. When there is a big celebration, sons and daughters join the army, a baby is born and other happy things happen, the whole neighbourhood unit rejoice at them like their own events. But when there are unfortunate things, all the residents try to give any help while showing concern and consoling.
“Perhaps, the good habit of helping neighbours has been created since honoured disabled soldiers have settled in our neighbourhood unit, I think,” said Kim Mi Yong.
Honoured disabled soldiers have long lived in the neighbourhood unit.
Neighbouring householders have taken charge of even a work of hammering a nail to help the families of disabled soldiers, and women have bought more subsidiary foods or goods for them or shared their own with them.
“Our table becomes really abundant on holidays or birthdays. Whenever special foods are added in one or two kinds, all sorts of delicacies are provided. Affection between neighbours made our neighbourhood unit a harmonious group,” said Jang Tae Gil, a disabled soldier residing in the neighbourhood unit.
Last May, An Song Il, the eldest son of old woman Ryu Kum Nyo, fell ill with sudden illness.
After hearing the news, the head of the neighbourhood unit and other women visited her home with various medicines and health-promoting foods and others asked the doctor in charge for a sick call.
Saying that her son could soon recover from illness as neighbours showed concern and helped her, Ryu Kum Nyo added that as the saying goes, “A near friend is better than a far-dwelling kinsman,” it would be more correct to describe our villagers as members of one family.
Neighbours help the families of disabled soldiers and busy working married couples with making kimchi in the kimchi-making season in a lively family atmosphere, give souvenirs to sons and daughters who join the army and congratulates those who return home after their demob, and such warm affection shared among the members of the neighbourhood unit adds pleasure to everyone’s life.