By the desire of students to expand the Korean culture, a whole day was made dedicated to it.
The Korean Festival first took place in 2015, followed by a surprise for Bomi Hwang, CSUSB’s Korean professor, that the festival continued annually.
For Hwang and her students, it became a big project while they all got to know each other during the process.
“When we started, we had meetings every other week for four months, including dress rehearsals, driving to Los Angeles to get the Korean costumes. Korean culture is a way to bind us together. I’m so grateful that I’m able to work with the students here,” shared Hwang.
The festival usually consists of some kind of visual display, followed by a dinner reception and a showcase.
This keeps students and attendees actively exploring the culture throughout the day.
For the visual display this year, it was decided to do a reenactment of a traditional Korean wedding ceremony.
When it comes to the uniqueness of Korean traditional weddings, the wardrobes capture most of the attention due to the distinctive elements.
Along with the wardrobe, the ritual and bows play a huge part in the ceremony.
“When it comes to bowing, there are specific frequencies. The groom and bride are going to bow at least three times and how they bow also has a meaning, it’s just a rare opportunity to watch the entire ritual,” said Hwang.
Food is another unique component of Korea that draws people in to check out the different types of tastes that the country offers.
“The Korean food is usually limited here because the temperature is very important. When someone is catering it seems to be more simplified. But foods like Kimchi and other traditional Korean dishes take a long time to make,” shared Hwang.
A few varieties of food from Korea are kimchi and skewers, which consists of a collection of vegetables along with meat.
Throughout the entire day, there are elements of traditional and modern-day Korea displayed while maintaining a balance.
For the showcase, there is an intermission in between that helps break the present and past of Korea.
“The beginning has more modern things such as K-Pop (Korean pop music), that’s presented by CSUSB students, the second part is consist of traditional performers that are native Koreans,” said Hwang.
Hwang has heard many of the reasons why students want to first learn about Korea, but later on, develop a love and eagerness to explore the culture in depth.
“Learning Korean, language is part of the culture. Students have various reasons when they first want to learn the language such as because of the food, K-Pop or the art, but we want to create something that has all those components and more so there can be exposure to the culture,” shared Hwang.