Korean Culture School for Adoptees Holds First Spring Session

ASIA Families began its spring semester of Korean Culture School for Korean adoptees and their parents on February 9.

Jang Jae-Ok, Director of Global Korean Cuisine Research, teaches parents of adoptees how to make japchae.

Jang Jae-Ok, Director of Global Korean Cuisine Research, teaches parents of adoptees how to make japchae.

During the opening ceremony at First Korean Presbyterian Church in Rockville, MD, where the culture school’s classes are held, Director Grace Song said, “This semester, two families are coming all the way from Charlottesville, Virginia, to participate. This is one example of how Korean Culture School continues be a supportive place for adoptive families on the East Coast to meet and interact.” She added, “By learning about their native culture in culture school and having the knowledge of both Korean and American countries, I hope to see adoptees grow as global leaders.”

This semester, a total of 53 families and more than 150 participants have registered for culture school. Adoptees range in age from teenagers to as young as two. In fact, the culture school just started a nursery class for four children ages 2 and 3 who have been recently adopted from Korea.

The opening ceremony included a celebratory K-pop dance performance by Selah Art Group’s youth team of Korean international students, led by Jeong-He Kim, as well as a time for parents to introduce each of their own families. The parents spent the rest of the morning making japchae with Chef Jang Jae-Ok, while the children learned about the traditions of Seollal, such as the New Year’s bow, and spent time making and eating dumplings and rice cake soup.

Korean Culture School is run by more than 30 volunteers and Korean teachers and operates through the support of the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Education.

ASIA Families is also planning a trip to the Korean motherland, the Korea Bridge Tour, from June 24 to July 5, as well as a Korean culture camp, Camp Rice, held outside Baltimore, MD, on July 25-27.

Reporter Yeong-He Jung
Translation by Gina Kim