When Altogether, You Are Never Alone
HYU Chuseok festivals for international students
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When the season comes for farmers to harvest crops and fruits treasured with their sweat, it is the best time to throw a party. Koreans named this day of invaluable delight, Chuseok- Korean Thanksgiving that comes every August 15th of the lunar calendar. While Chuseok presents Koreans with blissful moments to enjoy traditions, a large number of international students often get lost on what privileges this day delivers to them. In order to help the international students learn more about Chuseok and how to enjoy it, the Division of Engineering and the Office of International Affairs (OIA) prepared discrete Chuseok festivals.
Invitation from the Division of Engineering
The Division of Engineering invited all of the international engineering students studying at Hanyang University (HYU) to experience and learn more about Chuseok. The event was held on September 26, 2017 in front of the Engineering Building and lasted for a 150 minutes, beginning at 12 PM. In order to provide a unique experience for foreign students who can’t easily access special Korean culture, the Division of Engineering included a total five booths for the Chuseok adventure.
The first booth was a traditional food festival, including songpyeon (half-moon shaped rice cake served only during Chuseok) and sikhye (sweet rice drink). Also, a booth for trying out Korean traditional clothes- the hanbok was prepared. Students received the opportunity to learn about the various colors and shapes of the hanbok. The next expedition was a traditional folk game. The most interesting game that intrigued the students’ attention was a slap-match game, also called ttakji. The runner-up of this match was Hafiz Omer (Electronic Engineering, 2nd year) from Malaysia, who recalled this game as the best experience in this event, saying, “it was a great experience for me since we don’t have such a game in Malaysia. Also, trying on the Hanbok made me feel like a king due to its silky texture and vivid red color.”
The program also included a booth for making Korean traditional masks and folk-painting bags. This program introduced a new concept of Korean masks and folk-painting and allowed foreign students to easily experience the culture in a more exciting way. Along with various programs, the samulnori performance (Korean traditional percussion quartet) was also displayed by the Dance Club from the Division of Engineering- Bunpuri. “I love Korean culture, and the samulnori performance was also fascinating. I am especially impressed by Arirang, the Korean traditional song,” said Dilmac (Department of Computer Science, 3rd year) from Turkey.
Complete all the Chuseok quests and win the prize
The OIA has been preparing Chuseok events for international students of HYU every year. This program took place at the entrance of the International Building on September 27, 2017. “The purpose of this program is to let the foreign students spend the long Chuseok holidays together since most of them are here in Korea alone,” said Yang Ji-young, event supervisor of the OIA. Along with members of the OIA, Global Saranghandae (international HYU ambassador) and Welcome Handae (volunteer group for international students) members also helped global students learn and be more adjusted to Chuseok culture.
The program consisted of trying on hanboks, writing words of Chuseok wisdom in individual’s calligraphy style, folk games, and a traditional food booth. Once individuals were confirmed to have completed all the activities, the OIA gifted them with traditional presents. Global students passing by the International Building could try on a colorful hanbok with a cup of sikhye in their hands, and songpyeon in their mouth. “I think the hanbok looks good on me, due its beautiful colors. I had to study for this year’s Chuseok holiday, but this event gifted me a great memory to dwell upon,” said Berk Gebes (English Education, 2nd year) from Turkey.
Also, folk games such as tuho (traditional game of throwing sticks into canisters) and jegichagi (Korean shuttlecock game) drew the attention of foreign students. The calligraphy corner, where international students could experience writing well-wishing remarks for each other on picture scrolls, was also crowded. “I especially loved tuho, despite the fact that I missed out all the marks! Even though I miss my family in Nigeria, staying here with my friends during Chuseok through this kind of event definitely cheered me up,” said Shalom Oruma (Division of International Studies, 1st year).
Kim Ju-hyun firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Kim Youn-soo
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