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SNU Brings Korean and Foreign Students Together to Celebrate Chuseok

  • September 22, 2016
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Students and professors are hoding Songpyeon (half-moon rice cake) that they made for Chuseok
Students and professors are hoding Songpyeon (half-moon rice cake) that they made for Chuseok

With every September comes one of Korea’s most widely celebrated holidays, Chuseok, a holiday that is celebrated on the full harvest moon of the lunar calendar. Many Korean students look forward to this holiday as it is a chance for them to travel outside of Seoul to their home cities and spend time with relatives. As wonderful as it is for Korean students, for foreigners it means a time of closed restaurants, stores, and many other public places, which can make Chuseok a lonely few days.

Fortunately for the foreign students currently attending SNU, the College of Engineering hosted an opportunity for those students from different countries to get a taste of Chuseok on September 10. On the rooftop garden of the SNU Rainwater Research Center (Building 35 of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department) a total of 70 students took part in a cultural exchange as Korean students taught their international peers from over 10 different nationalities- including Iran, Ethiopia, and China- how to make songpyeon, a traditional rice cake that is eaten over the Chuseok holidays. In addition to making songpyeon the students also had the chance to taste other Korean traditional food such as jeon (pan-fried delicacies), dakgangjeong (crispy and crunchy fried chicken), sikhye (sweet rice drink), and japchae (sweet potato noodles with stir-fried vegetables).

According to Professor HAN Moo Young, who helped coordinate this event, “We hope that the foreign students not only receive academic education but also learn about the Korean culture during their time here [..] I hope this event will spread to other departments as well.”

The students seemed to enjoy this cultural exchange. A student from Indonesia who has now lived in Korea for five years recalls, “At home since there is no Chuseok or its related traditions, I never knew much about this holiday. By learning from the Korean students how the traditional food is made, I had lots of fun.”

Written by: Yu Young Jin, SNU English Editor
Proofread by: Professor Travis Smith, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations

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