While it centers around the romance between two opposite lives, it also takes us to Chief Hong Dusik’s relationship with the Gongjin villagers, including Ms. Gam-ri, the oldest granny in town who filled the parental shoes for him.
Here are three invaluable lessons that Chief Hong learned from granny Gam-ri:
1. Life is too short to dwell on negative thoughts.
“Life may seem so long, but it really isn’t. Throw away unnecessary thoughts and be honest with yourself,” Miss Gam-ri gently admonishes Chief Hong.
In her old age, granny Gam-ri taught Chief Hong to be aware of life’s limited amount of time—thus, to risk his heart and live deliberately.
Miss Gam-ri knew that life could sometimes take so many things for granted so she challenged Dusik to face his fears, give room, enjoy a new-found relationship, receive the rich moments that life offers, and savor each moment freely.
This golden wisdom strengthened Chief Hong to turn away from denials and reciprocate Hye-jin’s love confession.
2. Life’s value is so much more than what we do.
“How you help others is admirable but you must live your own life, too. Eat a lot of good food and be happy. I know these years haven’t been easy for you. Don’t worry about other things now, and only think about yourself,” Miss Gam-ri affirms the worth of Chief Hong.
Veiled behind an outwardly confident and reliable Chief Hong is his feelings of worthlessness in life and love—rooted from high stress producing situations that involve damaging words that he internalized.
To hear Granny Gamri’s encouraging words of life helped replace the traumatic words he bottled up inside for a long time.
“Am I allowed to be happy?” Dusik wonders. As granny Gam-ri understood that his value is so much more than what he does in life and happened in the past, she responded, “You deserve it.”
This helped Dusik reflect on his self-worth and finally have the courage to be honest and open up to Hye-jin about his brokenness.
3. Live life with no regrets.
“Just go tell her that you’re sorry and give her a hug. What if she gets tired of waiting and ends up giving up on you? This kind of relationship isn’t easy to come by, so you must do your best not to lose it,” Miss Gam-ri enlightens Chief Hong to choose love over fears.
Granny Gam-ri knew that sometimes we miss so many moments in life when we are not willing to take risks and grow. Hence, she challenged Dusik to live life with no regrets and act with conviction for the sake of his relationship with Hye-jin.
Instead of playing it safe and staying satisfied with the status quo, Dusik finally confessed to Hye-jin his disappointments and traumatic tough turns in life.
He took the risk to expose his darkest and yet, he was loved all the more by Hye-jin. That moment was a significant healing for Dusik.
It’s amazing how a grandmother’s love and her words of wisdom can cause a profound and lasting impact on a person’s well-being.
Life may be harsh for Chief Hong growing up, but he was blessed to have a nurturing relationship with an unrelated grandmother who gave him the constant supply of love, attention, honor, and unwavering support.
That is who Miss Gam-ri is to Chief Hong in “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha”.