Ms. Lee's Chuseok Chapel

In September, third grade teacher and DEIL member Paula Lee presented about Chuseok during lower division Chapel. Wearing a hanbok, a Korean dress worn for semi-formal and formal, traditional occasions, Ms. Lee spoke about a common practice shared by many different cultures around the world: harvest celebrations. The first images that she displayed depicted North American Thanksgiving and was quickly identified by many students in the audience. Other examples included the rice festival in Bali and the grape festival in Argentina. Ms. Lee went on to say, "My parents are from South Korea which is a tiny country in Asia. The beautiful part is that most of it is made up of mountains, and it is surrounded by ocean, so you are never too far from hiking or swimming in nature." She then talked about the holiday Chuseok, referring to it as "Korean Thanksgiving," saying that she had recently celebrated it with her own family.  

Ms. Lee wore a hanbok during her Lower Division chapel. 

Students and teachers learned that Chuseok is a major harvest festival and a three-day holiday when Korean people visit their ancestral hometowns and celebrate the good harvest in a variety of ways. "They visit the graves of the recently deceased and pay respect by bowing and giving offerings." There are also "many celebrations in towns that include traditional dancing and music, folk games, and competitions like a big town fair." Ms. Lee said, "The best part of any Thanksgiving is the food. There are lots of different foods, but one of the most important is songpyeon which is a rice cake filed with honey and nuts." This year, Ms. Lee said, "I got together with my family for dinner, and I ate maybe a dozen of those…"

Ms. Lee showed a video of dancers performing a dance called ganggangsullae. She explained, "It is supposed to represent the waxing and waning of the harvest moon."