May 5, 2015 – It was a fun-filled afternoon for the children who came to celebrate Children’s Day at the Korean Cultural Center. While November 20 is the Universal Children’s Day (United Nations recommendation), May 5 is officially recognized as 어린이날 [children’s day in Korean] or Children’s Day in South Korea where parents give presents to their children and spend time with them as well.
On this day, children often visit the zoos, tour at the museums, go on excursions, and other children-oriented environment where they can have loads of fun by simply playing, meeting other children, and learning at the same time. KCC prepared various activities for their young visitors to enjoy the said holiday.
The children enjoyed watching the animated cartoon Bernard Bear and getting their favorite Pororo and Friends characters painted on their arms while waiting for the event to formally start. The arm painting was a big hit, I must say, as the artist never ran out of clients! It’s quite evident that the children were very excited for what’s in stored for them.
The Director of KCC, Director Oh Choong-suk, then welcomed the children and their parents to the said celebration and thanked them for coming to experience Children’s Day – the Korean way. After watching and listening to the Director, the children learned some basic Korean words such as ‘Kamsahamnida’ (Thank You) , ‘Annyeonghaseyo’ (Hello) , ‘Oppa’ and ‘Hyung’ (older brother) , and ‘Unnie’ and ‘Nuna’ (older sister), helping them grow to be more respectful and polite.
After learning some Korean words, Pao ‘Unnie’ (KCC Events Coordinator and host) asked them questions regarding what they learned and gave out prizes to those who were able to answer correctly. It was good to see that they were able to understand and remember what they just learned. Hangeul tracing followed next where the children traced their names written in Hanguel (Korean writing) with colorful pens and some even put drawings on it. Children are indeed creative and imaginative. Smiling shyly, they had their photos taken with their names.
The fun wasn’t over yet as the children were treated to another movie, ‘Pororo went to Korea’. And the kids were all excited hearing Pororo’s name. Others ran, moved their seats and went up stage to get as close as possible to Pororo and his friends. For those who don’t know Pororo yet, let me introduce him. ‘Pororo the Little Penguin’ is a South Korean computer-generated cartoon character that began airing in South Korea in 2003. The series tells the adventures of Pororo and his friends who live in the snowy village of Porong Porong Forest, who often encounter challenges and learn practical and moral lessons in each episode.
When the children were done with their trip to Korea courtesy of Pororo and his friends, the kids had their fills with ‘kimbap’, the Korean rice roll, milk, and some Korean snacks. With their energy back and their tummies full, they’re all ready for the next game.
KCC Teacher Minji’s ‘gayageum’ class played several children’s songs where the kids needed to listen to and guess the title of the song. ‘Gayageum’ is a traditional Korean instrument with 12 strings. The songs they played were a mixture of English, Korean, and Filipino. And yes, the children got prizes when they guess the correct title of the song. The children were all ears that they were able to tell what song was played.
Having all their photos taken, with lots of fun items to take home and play with, and their much loved character beautifully painted on their arms, the celebration of Children’s Day came to a happy end. It was very heartwarming seeing the kids leave with smile on their faces. They had fun, that’s for sure!