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Chuseok: Comprehensive Coverage of International Students' Holidays
  • By Jo Ah-bin, cub-reporter
  • 승인 2023.10.16 01:02
  • 호수 324
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▲ Against the backdrop of Songdo Beach, Janelle is staring at her phone camera and smiling broadly

Unlike Koreans who spend time with their parents or relatives during the holidays, Chuseok, is also a few days off for foreign students who live in Korea and are far from their families. Through interviews with international students at CWNU who encountered the holidays in Korea, we listened in detail about the holidays and living away from home.

Q. Please introduce yourself.

Okada: Hello. My name is Aoi Okada, a fourth- year majoring in the Department of Business Administration from Japan.

Q. What made you decide to come to Korea as a student or an exchange student?

Okada: First of all, I always wanted to study abroad somewhere, and I chose Korea because I had been studying Korean as a leisure activity since I was in middle school, and the cost of studying abroad was relatively cheap.

Q. It was the Chuseok holiday from September 28 to October 2, what did you do during this time?

Okada: From September 28th to October 1st, I had a chance with a friend to stay at a hotel in Haeundae, Busan, where I saw the East Sea and ate a lot of Korean food such as pork with rice soup, and wheat noodles.

Q. Did Chuseok remind you of home or family?

Okada: I couldn't think of my hometown or my family. That's because I spent a lot of time during the holiday season resting and recharging myself, so I didn't miss my hometown and family.

Q. What is a similar holiday to Korea's Chuseok in your country?

Okada: In Japan, there's a holiday called, "Obon," which is a time to make offerings to the spirits of our ancestors. It seems to be semantically similar to what Koreans do on Chuseok.

Q. Then, what do you do when you spend, "Obon," in Japan?

Okada: Students who live alone go back to their hometowns to visit family and relatives. Also, since Japan’s main religion is Buddhism, people usually visit family member's graves and clean them.

Q. Please introduce yourself.

Janelle: My name is Janelle and I’m from France. My major is in Foreign Languages: English and Korean, and I’m in my third year.

Q. What made you decide to come to Korea as an exchange student?

Janelle: Well because I'm currently studying Korean, I really wanted to come to Korea to improve my Korean, but also because I wanted to see how people live in Korea and how it differs from France.

Q. It was the Chuseok holiday from September 28 to October 2, what did you do during this time?

Janelle: During Chuseok I went to Busan with my friends. Together we visited many attractions, like the Busan Tower and the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple. We also ate a lot of Korean food, like gaebul and small octopus.

Q: Did Chuseok remind you of home or family?

Janelle: No, it didn't remind me of my family or home because we don't have that kind of holiday in France and also because I was so busy discovering a new city that I didn't really think about it. If I had to pick a holiday that's similar to, "Chuseok," in some way, there's a national holiday called, "La Toussaint." However, we don't honor the graves of family members as much as people who celebrate Chuseok in Korea do.

After interviewing two international students who spent Chuseok in Korea, we found that they had a variety of experiences related to Korea during the holiday, such as visiting Busan with friends and looking around the tourist spots. We hope that not only the international students but also other CWNU students had a great Chuseok holiday, and we also hope that it was a well- deserved break for the upcoming midterm exams.

By Jo Ah-bin, cub-reporter  opal_40@naver.com

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