Hanguk Christmas

‘Tis the Christmas season in the land of the morning squid, and although far from home we are traipsing through the Yuletide best we can. Armed with paper snow flakes a mock mini pine tree atop the fridge, I am more decorated in the far East than ever at home. Honestly, I am a bit of a scrooge. I usually don’t privy the frosty excitement that seems to perk up in the more seasonal minded. That said, the comparatively sparse decorations do add a touch of hominess, especially in a land where Christmas means one day of work (Thursday at that) and the kids think chocolate cake and pizza are traditional Christmas foods.

On Christmas eve we are having a celebration at work, but I am not sure exactly how traditional it will be. Fusion Christmas. Something like a shrimburger kimchi set with sweet potato fries and a chilsung at the Lotteria. What makes me question the integrity is the odd query from our boss that we dress up in ridiculous costumes (preferably as the opposite sex) with lots of make-up and do synchronized dance moves to a Korean pop song. With the twisted South Korean marketing logic that seems to see dancing and ridiculous outfits as the magnum opus of promotional ploys, boss man thinks this will surely win over new students. Maybe upon seeing the goofy waygookans floundering around making fools of themselves these poor overworked little students will see some beacon of hope for their after school monotony, and subsequently chide their parents into enrolling them, but I still think it sounds more like Halloween. The fact is it’s a total sham, being as we have instituted a new curriculum which has the kids either buried in books, testing, or doing dictations in every free second(we literally outlawed games). He confided his secret strategy with us afterwards: “you see, we trick them with fun and dance, make them think that this is what class is like (sinister giggle), and then we have them.” I mean honestly it’s  damn hilarious. Education is a fucking industry here. But again, an unconventional Christmas. Almost makes me glad we have a tree.
december (48)
Also, this is our new apartment, which is a few feet bigger than our last place. Here is one last picture for the full panorama.
NewApt

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1 Comment

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One response to “Hanguk Christmas

  1. huemeister

    Ah, Christmas in Korea. Having to “explain” the meaning of the holiday – how Santa and presents are tied in with a man who was nailed to a cross, and how a bunch of people decided that they should build a religion around it, which has become coopted by commercialism, and which is more mythical than reality to begin with. Better to sing “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” and play it up for a grand show. Otherwise, the kiddies may see my more cynical nature, and we can’t have that. No, it’s better to teach the myth than the reality, for they will discover it themselves soon enough.

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