In South Korea, families celebrate Chuseok, a type of mid-Autumn harvest festival, to celebrate and thank their ancestors. The festival brings families together, from great distances, and lasts for three days, complete with delicious food and memorial services. In Korea, roads out of Seoul become jammed with traffic—people trying to go visit their hometowns. Women traditionally prepare the food, and this time allows grandmothers to share wisdom and advice with their granddaughters, whom they might not see often if they live far away, with many families having moved to Seoul from the countryside. Families typically celebrate the ancestors of the paternal line.
At the KCC Chuseok party, we began with learning about Chuseok and the traditions associated with it. After, we enjoyed some traditional food which is usually served on that day. Then, we tried to make song pyun, the traditional rice cake dessert served at Chuseok. It is said that girls who make pretty song pyun will have pretty daughters. In that case, my daughters will be ugly! It was quite difficult. Finally, we played some games and got to know the other KCC members better. Much fun was had by all, even if the song pyun and games were challenging! Sharing cultural holidays such as Korean Chuseok or American Thanksgiving really helps to bring everyone together and begin a socio-cultural discourse over similarities and differences, allowing for better understanding and sensitivity.