Saturday, October 13, 2012

Chuseok 2012

Down below you can see my lovely preschool students in Elegance Class!  Chuseok (추석) was two weekends ago, and they got to dress up in their beautiful hanboks (한복) at school.  They were absolutely darling.

Chuseok is likened to America's Thanksgiving, but I don't think they're that similar.  Here are the similarities:
#1 - Families get together and eat a lot of food.
Now that that's over, here are the things that are different about Chuseok:
#1 - Chuseok is steeped in tradition that goes back long before America was born (no offense intended).
#2 - Koreans take this time not only to be with their families but to remember and pray to/for their ancestors, depending on whether the family is Buddhist or Catholic/Christian.
#3 - Keeping with the respect for ancestors, children also perform deep ceremonial bows to their adult relatives.
#4 - Children will also wear their colorful traditional hanboks (which you can see pictures of below), though adults won't.
#5 - One of the traditional foods made on Chuseok is songpyeon (송편).  It is a small, soft rice cake stuffed with a honey and sesame seed mixture.  I don't care for it much, but the kids here gobble it up.
#6 - The date of Chuseok changes every year because it follows the moon's cycle.  The holiday lands on the 8th full moon of the lunar calendar.
#7 - The kids play traditional games like tuho (투호), which involves throwing batons into buckets and ssireum (씨름), a kind of wrestling.  There are others explained here!

Of course there are more special things, but I just realized that I have pictures to show you!

Judy of Elegance Class showcases some strange hat I've never seen before, but she sure is cute.
Todd Teacher with members of Beloved Class.
Abigail of Lion Class looked like an adorable Korean doll.
Safety first.
Happy Chuseok from Elegance!


  1. Is there a story behind the class names - Beloved class, Lion class, Elegance class?

  2. Oh yes! I've forgotten now how strange the class names sounded when I first started working at SLP. (That stands for Sogang Language Program. It's associated with one of the large universities here.)

    We have a class for each letter, A-N. That's how many classrooms we have, plus Elephant, Lion, Penguin, and Kangaroo for the itty bitties.

    Ambition, Beloved, Confidence, Discovery, Elegance, Frontier, Generous, Honor, Incredible, Justice, Kindness, Luminant, Marvelous, and Nature.

    It's fun hearing people say sentences like "Honor is so great," and "Kindness is driving me crazy!"

    When the school recently moved locations (right before I came), the teachers and admin got together to decide the names.

  3. How pretty! I love seeing people in traditional garb :)


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