By So Hye Suk (pictured), resident in Janghun-dong No. 3, Neighbourhood Unit No. 47, Mangyongdae District, Pyongyang
On Mother’s Day every year I receive congratulations from many children.
On the occasion I recollect with deep emotion the days when I had had all the glories in my life in the embrace of the benevolent socialist country.
Tens of years earlier, I came to know through newspapers, broadcasts and TV that a girl announcer was bringing up an orphaned brother and sister.
It was a reality which could be seen only under the socialist system, the world of humane affection where people take it a commonplace event to care for others before themselves and dedicate their flesh and blood, even their valuable lives, for their comrades.
Comparing me with the young girl announcer possessed of ennobling spirit that could not be imagined in Japan where I was born and spent my childhood, I was resolved to live like her.
So, I discussed with my husband and brought up 33 orphaned children in the 1990s when the country was experiencing severe ordeals.
Among them were a baby nearing its first birthday, nursery and kindergarten children and primary and middle school students. It was easier said than done for me to bring up tens of children with different characters, ages and hobbies. Whenever neighbours asked me why I take a burden upon myself as the country takes care of orphaned children, I answered that I felt no tired as I did it by myself to relieve the country of its burden. I keenly felt that it was easy to be a mother but difficult to discharge my duty as such as they grew up.
Back to my childhood, as I was loved by all family members, it was beyond my capacity to shoulder difficult household chores. So, I sometimes wept secretly. I gave up giving birth to my own child and tried to become their true mother, devoting maternal affection to them lest they deviate from the right path.
In those days my neighbours, leading officials of the dong office and district and others from schools, hospitals and shops visited my house almost every day to learn about the study, organizational activities and living conditions of my children and helped me with sincerity. Sometimes I received daily necessities from many strangers.
Thanks to such loving care, my sons and daughters have grown up happily without any shadow on their face. They are now creditably performing their duties at the posts of national defence and difficult and labour-consuming workplaces.
As an ordinary woman, I have brought up those orphaned children in order to relieve the country of its burden even a little when it was experiencing hardships. However, Chairman Kim Jong Il saw to it that my deed was known across the country, that the title of Labour Hero was awarded to me, and that a feature film about me was made. And he ensured that I took part as a delegate in the national conference of persons exemplary in assisting the army held in 2002 and the national meeting of mothers several times, in which I had the honour of having a souvenir photo taken with him.
As there is the embrace of the great father who takes warm care of all the people on this land, all mothers of the country are full of happiness with a great pride and self-confidence amid the blessings of their children.
I always ask my children as follows:
You should become the genuine sons and daughters of the Workers’ Party of Korea who faithfully uphold and follow the respected Comrade Kim Jong Un, our destiny and future.