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“Learn To Forgive Yourself” and Other Life Lessons We Learned From “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha”

The 2021 K-drama hit Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha — featuring the feisty Yoon Hye-jin, the happy-go-lucky Hong Du-sik, and the adorable Gongjin villagers — regrettably came to a close just a few weeks ago. Of course, only after showing that every character the audience are now more than happy and contented in their laidback lives. The series was popular for a few good reasons: the tumultuous but equivocally romantic love affair between the two main characters, the mysterious but easy-going vibes of each of the villages, and of course, the moral life lessons, like the ones listed below, sprinkled all throughout the 16-episode drama.

Find and Treasure Your Life-Long Friends

Gongjin grannies - Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha
The Gongjin grannies each lead a life filled with adventures and fun.

Without a doubt, the Gongjin grannies are the most laidback among all the characters. They don’t worry about anything in their lives since they only work when they want to and just mostly have fun while trying to tease each other. Because of their advanced age, their words rarely fall on deaf ears. And although sometimes unsolicited, the advice they give to the younger characters would always be treasured and heeded.

The lifelong friendship between the three is a breath of fresh air for all the drama that happens in every episode. But what they really bring to the table is how adorable they could be each time the focus of the scene is on them. They bicker a lot, and they sometimes get into arguments, but all the quarrels they have are all healthy and always end up with them hugging or just laughing everything off. If you’ve lived your life long enough, you’ll know better than get yourself involved in pointless arguments over something small.

Let Your Heart Heal With Time

Hwa-jeong, Cho-hui, Yeong-guk - Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha
These three characters got themselves involved in a perfect love triangle.

Time mends a broken heart, and among the characters, no one experienced a more devastating and complicated heartbreak more than these three. “Love triangles” often feature two characters fighting for a single person, who can’t choose between them, but this one is entirely different. Yeo Hwa-jeong is in love with Chang Yeong-guk, who is in love with Yu Cho-hui, who is in love with Yeo Hwa-jeong. It’s an endless loop for the three of them, and they’ve all — well, at least the two women — kept their hearts and mouths closed amid the pain. By the end of the series, they’ve all reconciled and remained close friends.

Have the Courage To Speak Your Mind

Pyo Mi-seon - Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha
If there’s anyone who can rein in the feisty dentist, it’s her best friend Pyo Mi-seon.

Arguably all characters in the series are strong-willed and ready to fight, but Pyo Mi-seon might take the cake for being the bravest among the bunch. She isn’t afraid to speak her mind, possibly because she knows she’s almost always right. Even Yoon Hye-jin, with all her flare and guts, would sit down and listen when Mi-seon is speaking. She was also the one who made the first move to her customer-turned-friend-turned-lover Choi Eun-cheol.

The only time — and totally the worst time — Mi-seon held back on her words was when she was assaulted inside her clinic. She told Hye-jin that she didn’t say anything because she was afraid that their clinic would close down if she reported it. Thankfully, Hye-jin spoked with her and made her understand that her welfare is much more important than their work.

Learn To Forgive Yourself and Others

Chief Hong and Miss Dentist - Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha
If the rain of challenges and hardships in life is too heavy, you’ll still surely get wet even if you bring your umbrella.

Hong Du-sik might always be seen smiling and just having fun while working odd jobs in the village, but he’s the one who hides the biggest secret. In his mind, he caused the death of his old best friend and ruined the life of an elder in his former company. While it might be true from a single perspective, the time he spent atoning for what he had done should have been enough for him to forgive himself. After all, it was also enough for the family of his supposed victims to forgive him.

Chief Hong found temporary solace and distraction under the care of his Gongjin neighbors. He carefully hides his wounds and focuses on other things while he’s with others, but he bears the pain and sorrow alone when he’s on his own. Thankfully it wasn’t too late when he finally found the courage — with the help of Miss Dentist and the other villagers — to confront his “inner demons” and slowly get his wounds treated and mended.

Live Your Life to the Fullest

Hye-jin and Gongjin villagers - Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha
What the Gongjin residents really taught Hye-jin (and the audience) is to be contented and to live life to its fullest.

“A life lived for others is a life well-lived.” Perhaps, that’s the motto of all the selfless residents in Gongjin. When Yoon Hye-jin first decided to move to the village, her goal was simply to escape Seoul and ultimately find work. At first, she thought Gongjin would just be another stop in her life, a break or a breather in her quest for a bigger success. But the residents of the tiny fishing village shook her foundations and turned her into the best version of herself. Success isn’t measured by the number of designer clothes she wears or fancy bags she owns; success is achieved when you’re feeling happy and fulfilled at what you’re doing.

The residents of Gongjin weren’t the most affluent of people, but they all feel content with what they already have. Fresh and delicious food on the table, a stable work to keep the mind and body busy, and a few lifelong friends to share your petty problems with — if you have those three, you’re good for the rest of your life.

What Did You Learn After Watching Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha?

Have you seen Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, too? What life lessons did you learn after seeing the final episode? Tell us in the comments below, and let’s cry while we reminisce the scenes, especially the fun ones! #

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