Korean culture comes to campus with class festival

On Thursday, Oct. 13, Sangyoub Park, associate professor of sociology, and members of his SO300 class “K-pop and Beyond” celebrated Korean culture with a festival to commemorate South Korean Hangul Day, also known as Korean Alphabet Day.

It is a national holiday to celebrate the Korean alphabet’s invention and proclamation and is held Oct. 9 annually. K-Festival was held at the southeast patio of Henderson Learning Center where students tried out ppopgi, honeycomb candy, and played various games.

Park introduced “ddakji” and “jegichagi” as his childhood games. Ddakji, a Korean game played by two or more players, is constructed by folding two paper squares together into one singular square and is won when the other player’s card is flipped. It was also featured in the Netflix series “Squid Game.”

Jegichagi, on the other hand, is something similar to American hacky sack where the player kicks the jegi into the air and attempts to keep it aloft. Park also brought some ppopgi, or the famous dalgona from “Squid Game”, to share with his students, which he said took quite a long time to make.

“For the last three weeks, I did get kind of ready for the K-Festival,” Park said. “I started making the honeycomb and spent a few hours every week.”

Park said that he wants the K-Festival to be an opportunity where students can be exposed to Korean culture and promote diversity. He also wants Korean culture to be an opening for students to learn about other viewpoints and he hopes to do something like the K-Festival on a larger scale in the coming years.

“It was fun to experience and get that unique aspect,” said Ciera Haner, a junior in mass media.

Haner also said how thankful she was to Park and the class for the experience of a different perspective and hopes the event continues to stick around.

Riley Lang, a junior in marketing, also encouraged other students to take the class if they are interested in other cultures, especially Korean.

“Definitely take it,” Lang said. “If you’re interested in other cultures, specifically like K-pop or K-drama, it’s definitely worth taking.”

All things considered, if students find different cultures exciting and specifically Korean, they definitely reach out to Park. His email is [email protected]

Edited by Glorianna Noland, Rakesh Swarnakar