This week, the Korea Times featured our first session of Korean Culture School for Spring 2016. Here is the English translation.
About 180 Korean adoptees and adoptive parents gathered and learned about New Year's Day traditions.
ASIA Families (Exec. Director Grace Song) began its first session of Korean Culture School at the United Korean Presbyterian Church (Rev. Haegil Kim) in Bethesda, MD. This semester, 59 children and teens, 70 parents, and 47 volunteers are participating.
After an opening ceremony, participants learned about Korea’s unique cultural transitions around Sullal (New Year’s Day). Children learned about New Year’s bows and pocket money after bowing to adults. They also had a chance to discuss about differences between Korean holidays and US holidays. Some children learned K-pop dance and had a chance to sample rice cakes.
Adoptive parents participated in a panel discussion on birth family reunions. Panelists included two adult adoptees who had reunited with their birth families and an adoptive parent who has been communicating with her child’s birth family in Korea. This semester, the parent program will also include a lecture from a North Korean refugee, a session on Korea tourism and UNESCO sites, and a presentation on Korean art.
Korean Culture School sessions for children use a model of team teaching. A Korean adoptee and Korean American lead class activities together. The Culture School’s program goals are to instill Korean identity among Korean adoptees and empower them to be leaders.
ASIA Families plans to do active fundraising events to offer scholarships for adopted youth and expand opportunities to invite adoptees to visit Korea in the future.