POSTECH International Community Celebrates Lunar New Year
POSTECH international community members and their families rang in the Lunar New Year, also known as Seollal, in true Korean fashion with a celebration at the Student Union Building on Thursday, February 12. The event, organized by the POSTECH International Relations Office and International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), gave the POSTECH international community the opportunity to experience the most celebrated national holiday in Korea.
Participants dressed up in traditional Korean attire called hanbok and learned how to perform sebae, a deep formal bow of respect, to Vice President of External Affairs Yonge Ha who passed out sebaedon, pocket money, in traditional luck bags to participants.
Rinita Guhapramanick from India came to the event with her 6-year-old daughter Sanskriti. Her husband is a post-doctoral researcher at POSTECH. “This is my second time to attend the Lunar New Year celebration at POSTECH. My daughter is a great follower of Korean culture. We enjoyed the blessing of receiving bags of ‘good luck’ money, wearing hanbok, and the food with tteokguk, traditional Korean broth with sliced pieces of rice cakes, as its signature dish.”
Attendees took part in the folk game jegichagi that is similar to the game hacky sack or footbag. Tteokguk was served for dinner as it is a staple dish for Koreans on Seollal. Eating tteokguk on Seollal is thought to add a year to one’s age as well as bring a new year of good fortune in Korea. The dinner also included a variety of jeon (pancake-like dishes), tteok (rice cake), bulgogi, galbi (grilled marinated beef), sikhye (Korean fermented rice drink), and sujeonggwa (Korean traditional fruit punch).
“It was a great experience to try on a hanbok,” said Marat Latypov who is from Russia and works as a postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Advanced Aerospace Materials at POSTECH. He attended the event with his wife. “My wife has dreamed of trying on a hanbok ever since she came to Korea.”
Dr. Laypov was surprised by how complex tying a bow on a hanbok seemed and was glad to have learned how to do it properly at the event. He also found jegichagi to be a very fun game that is more entertaining and competitive than the traditional Korean board game yutnori. “I think this event helped us to appreciate at a new level how traditional and deep the celebration of Seollal is in Korea.”