Celebrating Chuseok

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Happy Chuseok from all of us at Macmillan! We celebrated the holiday in style, dressing in traditional Korean clothing called Hanboks. The holiday is similar to an American Thanksgiving and it was fun to be part of the celebration. We made sompyeon, a traditional Chuseok sweet desert, played traditional games, even lined up for the children to come up class by class and bow to the teachers.

I came to school that day not knowing what to expect. I had seen teachers dressed up from past pictures but no one had mentioned anything about it. Delighted, Aileen and I ran to change into our Hanboks when we were handed them upon entering the school. Coming out all the students had come out for their snack and immediately all ran up to me, laughing and saying, ‘Oma! Oma! Oma, Oma!” Now, I might not know much Korean but I do know enough to recognize that all of my little rascals were running up to me calling me mom! I think this day helped take my relationship with the students to an entirely new level. =) I must say, they have a way to warm my heart everyday and I look forward to teaching them, their eagerness, excitement and genuine joy are absolutely the best part of my day.

Part of the afternoon festivities included a traditional game where we threw darts into a bucket (imagine endless cheers and jeers from all our tiny young ones), then a sloppy display of making sompyeon (imagine play dough meets sugar and cinnamon concoction). After lunch we went outside and sang many Korean chants courtesy of the direction of the students’ jazz teacher. The kids faces to my attempts at echoing the Korean were pretty cute =). After that we danced around the playground singing, laughing and falling over our hanboks. There is this traditional game where you pair off and essentially ‘fight’ someone else with the goal being to knock over the other person. You stand on one leg and hold the other one above your knee and hop and bump into the other person over and over. It was quite a hilarious spectacle to watch our little ones! Then, not sure why I was surprised, but of course Aileen and I were paired off with each other. We had a good go with cheers and laughs from the kids. After that, we did a bridge sort of procession (there’s a picture where Sally and Emily caught me), then completed the day with a rowdy, competitive rendition of tug-of-war! All in all, I’d say my Chuseok was celebrated in style. Gosh, I love those little ones!

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