Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Happy Belated Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving)!

I might do a separate post on what it's like to spend 40 hours a week learning a language, but for now I wanted to highlight a special day from our language class last week. The students and teachers celebrated Chuseok, also known as Korean Thanksgiving. This was our first-ever Chuseok celebration, and it was in Virginia!

The best part was the food, which we arranged as a potluck where everyone chipped in money and many brought things to share. We had some absolutely delicious food there, including bulgogi (a marinated beef dish and M's favorite), fried tofu, japchae (a glass noodle and vegetable stir fry), hobak jeon (zucchini fried in egg and my favorite), and sliced dduk/tteok (rice cakes). Of course, we also had songpyeon, a traditional half-moon rice cake dessert that is the signature food of Chuseok.

We also played a lot of fun games as a class. First, we made a traditional version of a hacky sack called jegichagi (pictured above on my foot). The goal is to keep kicking it without letting it touch the ground. I was by far the reigning champion, with 28 hits before it reached the ground. My 15 minutes of fame and glory were up, though, when we transitioned to the other games. I was a disaster at ddakji, where you folded squares of paper (like Korean origami, pictured below) and tried to knock other people's squares out of a designated area on the floor. The mechanics reminded us of marbles. My friend G built a super-reinforced square or something, because nobody else stood a chance against his once it was on the ground. Last, we played what M and I called Korean cornhole, where we tried to throw beanbags and arrows into a beautiful vase. The actual name of that one was tuho, and it was incredibly difficult (as you can tell from the first photo of this post)!

If you're interested in the Korean language at all, here are a few helpful vocabulary words and phrases for Chuseok:

  • Happy Chuseok!: 행복한 추석 되세요! / 추석 찰 보내세요!
  • Have a great weekend (since Chuseok is usually a long weekend)!: 주말 찰 보내세요!
  • Songpyeon, the rice cake traditionally eaten during Chuseok: 송편
  • Ddakji, the origami game: 딱지접기
  • Jegichagi, the hacky sack game: 제기차기
  • Tuho, the cornhole game: 투호

행복한 추석 되세요 to all the blog's readers! Next year, we'll celebrate Chuseok in South Korea! We're really looking forward to it.

No comments:

Post a Comment