Party at School
Chuseok, otherwise known as Thanksgiving, is basically the biggest and most important holiday in South Korea. Families get together to eat an enormous amount of food, not unlike the American-style Thanksgiving. They give thanks to their ancestors for the successful harvest. It is a three day holiday celebration.
The Friday before the holiday, and my week-long vacation, we had an all day party at the school. The children looked so darling in their traditional dress, which are called Hanboks.
Peter, from my arts and crafts class
Julie, our wonderful new assistant teacher
Karen and her kinders
Andrew and Jason
My colorful kinders
My coteacher Selina and Edward
The Saturn class
Thanksgiving Bulletin Board
Korean customs for this holiday are different, but yet quite the same. On the morning of Chuseok Day, Songpyeon, or Korean rice cakes, are made. We made these with the children at the school. It is the food that represents Chuseok. The rice cake can be prepared with rice that is kneaded into golf ball size. Then it can be filled with sesame seeds, red beans, beans, chestnuts, and many other ingredients. The children filled theirs with a lot of sugar. An old Korean saying says that whoever makes the most beautiful Songpyeon will meet a good-looking spouse. I suppose this is good motivation for singles to make the finest Songpyeon.
Food is typically prepared and set out to give thanks to ancestors through a memorial service, Charye. Formally, this service is held twice a year, again on New Year's Day, to honor ancestors. After this service, families visit their ancestors' graves and do a ritual cleaning of any weeds, etc. that have grown over the burial site or mound. This is known as Seongmyo. This a duty, and to show respect and devotion for their family.
The students take this day very seriously, and are so proud to be wearing their Hanboks. After making Songpyeon, all the kinders gathered into the auditorium to learn and practice bowing.
Little Alvin. He is just the cutest.
No, he is not supposed to be playing with the drums. Haha.
She was quite busy digging for gold.
Emma and Ashley
The whole Kindergarten crew
Here come the elementary students!
Me with Ryan and Evan A.K.A. Mushroom. My most talkative kids in class.
Evan representing Oshkosh!
Julie, the sweetest girl. She sits next to me everyday in class.
Lisa and Allie
Let the games begin!
Tony has the biggest hands in the world.
By the way, I was always on the winning side. Was that just a lucky accident? I think not..
All the kids had a lot of fun, and I am sure they were glad to not have regular classes.