This summer, for the months of May, June and July, Auburn University will be home to a variety of classes surrounding carious aspects of Korean culture.
Every semester, the Korea Center-King Sejong Institute at Auburn University, located in the Office of International Programs, offers Korean language classes and culture classes. Among these, there are options for both credit and non-credit courses.
With the help of a grant from the King Sejong Institute Foundation in South Korea, the university will now be able to offer six Korean culture classes over the course of the summer.
The first class took place on May 22 in the Korea Center at Foy 244. The class focused on Hanbok, a traditional Korean dress. There, students learned about the historical significance of Hanbok, as well as the five colors- otherwise known as Obangsaek- that are used in various parts of Korean culture, including Hanbok.
The class went from 10 a.m. until noon, with students created dolls dressed in Hanbok from Hanji, traditional Korean paper. To complete the experience, students were allowed to try on Hanbok and take pictures in their attire around Auburn’s campus.
Korean Calligraphy was the focus of the second class, which occurred on May 29 at the same time and place. Through this course, students were taught how to use different tools, such as special brushes and Somi ink, to practice Korean calligraphy.
On June 9, 10, 23 and 24, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., the university will host Korean cooking classes. The first portion of the class will be held in person at the Korea Center to teach students about recipes and Korean cuisine culture. Each student will leave with individually packed ingredients for each meal they are going to make.
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The second portion will be hosted over Zoom. The students will follow along with the live Zoom instructor as they demonstrate how to cook the dish with ingredients students received in the first class.
Two meals will be cooked over the span of those four days. The first will be Kimchi, a traditional Korean fermented food, using radish in place of Korean cabbage. The second will be Tteokboki, a spicy rice cake dish.
The fourth class will be a Taekwondo class and will be the only course offered in an off-campus setting. From 10 a.m. to noon, on June 12 and 19, there will be a class offered at the World Champion Taekwondo on Dean Road in Auburn, which will teach Korean traditional martial art, as well as basic movements.
The fifth class will be Korean Ceramics, where attendees can learn about contemporary Korean ceramics. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to have a hands-on experience of creating their own ceramic bowl. This will be held on June 26 and July 3 from 9:30 a.m. to noon in Foy 244.
The sixth and final course is Korean quilt-making. In this class, students will revisit Obangsaek as the five color materials used to make a Korean lucky bag. This will be held on July 10 and 17 from 10 a.m. to noon in Foy 244.
Every culture class is open to the public and free of charge. In the past, Auburn has been able to offer Korean arts and crafts classes, traditional Korean music and dance classes, and more. The university plans to continue to do so in fall 2021 and on into the future.
The fall will offer the same courses that are offered this summer. Additionally, the university will host a film screening night of the movie "Minari".
The third week of September also marks Chuseok, or Korean Thanksgiving. The Korea Center plans to host an on-campus event in which students can enjoy Korean cuisines and a variety of traditional games.
“We also strongly encourage Auburn students to take our courses to gain more intercultural competency, which is one of the Korea Center’s missions,” Dr. Seungheui “Ellie” Lee, Deputy Director of the Korea Center, said. “We sincerely hope these courses can help Auburn students and the community build more empathy and awareness of different cultures.”
Additionally, the Korean Language Club (KLC) and the Auburn University Korean X Dance (AUKXD) are organizations by students, for students to encourage Korean engagement. They can be found on AUInvolve and are open to any student, regardless of background, who desires to learn more about the language and culture of Korea.
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