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Friday, October 9, 2009

Cheers to the New Town Art!

This afternoon, I was sitting at my desk, and heard the sound of traditional Korean drums.  I quickly got up from my desk and headed towards the window... surprised to find that there were tons of people all congregated in the street in front of my school.  I couldn't miss out on an opportunity for a Korean experience, so I grabbed my purse, shut down my computer and left work early - without telling anyone!  I know, I'm such rebel!

When I got there, this is what I saw...

Luckily some of my students were there to tell me that it was a ceremony in recognition of the new TOWN ART.  (Scott, Tommy, Jared, Zack, and Kennedy)  Yes Nole, Kennedy is the one named after you!

Here are a few examples of some of the sculptures that have been installed in the village surrounding my school!

You'd have thought I was a movie star or something...  When I arrived, I thought it was all adults, but one by one, my kids came out from hiding and surrounded me!  They all wanted to practice their English!  It was adorable, but I had to keep saying "Ededa Choyong" (kids, be quiet) because when they speak English, they always yell!

The whole village was there to celebrate... even the puppies!

... and my very quiet and reserved student, Logan, who happened to be carrying a gun that looked VERY REAL! 

This man was so enthralled that a foreigner was in his village that he literally held his phone in front of my face almost the entire time I was there, taking pictures and videos of every move I made... Creepy, but harmless, I'm sure. 

As the presenters were finishing their speeches, college age volunteers walked around handing out cups of Makoli (Rice Wine) on trays.  The men were especially excited about this!

All the big wigs together at the end of the ceremony!  I have no idea who they were, but I will tell you that I was standing in a line of about 10 photographers and videographers for news stations, so I'm guessing they were important!

...and then came the trays of tofu, pork, kimchi, and garlic.  Everyone shared chopsticks, and everyone ate from the same dishes!  It blows my mind how Koreans will wear masks to prevent getting sick, but will eat from the same plates with the same utensils... go figure!

But the craziest part of the whole thing were when the rice cakes were made available!  The crowds of ajumas (older women), crowding around the rice cake table was like a scene from a Compassion International infomercial where the African children are pushing their way through the crowd to get a bowl of rice!

Although, as I thought about it, I realized these women have lived through such poverty during the Korean War that this behavior is not considered rude to them, but rather a means of survival.  It's just life... sometimes you have to push your way to the front to get what you want.

They were scarfing them down like they were the 1st thing they'd eaten in weeks! I will admit, they were delicious!

This is Ryan.  He is one of my 1st grade students, and he and his brother were trying to stuff as much rice cake as they could in their mouths at one time!

This woman offered me her entire rice cake, and showed me her grill all at the same time!   You Atlanta rappers have nothing on this woman!  

It's moments, and events, like these, that remind me why I love Korea so much!  Cheers to the NEW TOWN ART!  :)

1 comment:

  1. I love all these pictures! I esp love that you took a picture of the man taking pictures of you!! Too funny. You're having some very memorable experiences.