Organizations in Seoul and Gwangju are inviting expats to experience Seollal this week.
The Yeoksam Global Village Center is holding a Lunar New Year event for foreign residents in Seoul’s National Folk Museum of Korea from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
The attendees will learn the history and customs of Seollal, and celebrate with other participants by cooking up a traditional Seollal meal that includes rich cake soup (tteokguk) and mung bean pancakes (bindae tteok).
Guests learn traditional crafts at a Seollal event at the Yeoksam Global Village Center in Seoul. (YGVC)
“Many expats who live in Korea are interested in learning about Korean culture. Seollal is the best opportunity to get involved in Korean society and feel the warm atmosphere of the holiday,” said Anna Shulepova, the head of Yeoksam Global Village Center.
The YGVG is a branch office of the Seoul Global Center, which provides expats with a support network and aims to help them acclimatize to life in Korea.
Another branch, Seorae Global Village Center, is holding an event from 1:15 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday for parents and children of all nationalities and ages to learn about “hyodo,” the traditional bond that ties Korean families together.
Elsewhere in Gwangju, the Gwangju International Center is offering expats the opportunity to come together to learn about Seollal customs, play traditional Korean games, eat tteokguk and dress in hanbok at an event on Sunday.
As the most important Korean tradition, Seollal is a national holiday that marks the beginning of the lunar calendar. It calls for Koreans to reunite with their families and pay their respects to their ancestors.
“Koreans are enjoying the quality time with the loved ones, (but) expats living in Korea feel left alone and don‘t have much to do in the festive season. Considering that, GIC has decided to celebrate this Seollal together with International residents in Gwangju,” according to the GIC website.
Interested expats should ensure they register online for the events in advance at global.seoul.go.kr/yeoksam
By Sylvia Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org