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Spreading the Korean Culture
4/22/2011 | 4:50 PM

On April 16th, M.I.T.’s Korean students hosted several Korean culture based activities for people to partake. The groups were divided into two: one group learned how to play the Korean drums known as a Janggu; a double-headed hourglass-shaped drum.

While the other group learned the traditional Korean singing called Pansori. Not only did adults and college students come to participate in the class, some high school students came as well. After experiencing both the classes, we had a chance to talk to some of the students and ask them how they thought the classes were and how they felt about it.

We had a chance to speak with a couple students after the class.
David, a freshman from Northeastern, told us that “The drums were really fun to learn and play. I had watched people play similar drums on TV before, and I had always thought about what it would be like to play it. The teachers were really good, so my learning curve was consistently steep and I got a lot out of it”.

Catie, a senior at Wakefield High School, “thought that the classes were really interesting and insightful”. She says she “learned a lot about [a culture] that not many people around here know about”. “I also enjoyed watching the professionals show off their skills in an ancient art they are really passionate about and it was just as awesome to be able to try it for ourselves. I enjoyed every minute of it and learned a lot about Korean culture and history”, she added.

Regan, another senior from Wakefield High School shared his experience with us. He said “the drumming part was surprisingly challenging”. He enjoyed both the
lessons, but was confused on some parts since the translation from a different language to English can leave some details clouded. He later added, “In the end, what I received from the experience was a very cursory introduction in one facet of korean culture”.

Joao Martins, a percussion major at Berklee College of Music, joined the others in the learning experience. He said that he “found the class very interesting” and was delighted that such a opportunity existed. He told us that he heard a little introduction into the Korean drums before, but he was not expecting the drumming experience to be so hands-on and thorough. In the end, he told us that he enjoyed the classes a lot and was willing to come if there was another opportunity similar to this one.

< Both the teachers who taught the classes were professionals in their practices.

Both personally chosen by the Korean government to spread the word about Korean culture and heritage. We had the chance to talk to the teachers and both exclaimed that they did not expect such a big turn out of foreigners.

They were pleasantly surprised

and one of the teachers stated that she was “emotionally moved” by the experience.

by Ryan Suh

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