|A large blob of rice cake in the making.|
This past weekend, I went up to Hwacheon (화천) to attend the annual Hwacheon Peace Forum, a twenty-four-hour camp that combines an excursion to locations around the DMZ (De-Militarized Zone between North and South Korea) with a language and cultural exchange between Korean students and Americans. On the evening of the first day of the camp, we visited a hanok (한옥) village, a collection of dwellings built in the traditional Korean style that often serve as host to these sorts of camps. The first thing we did there was get the lowdown on how to pound our own 떡.
|My student partner HL and me pounding at the 떡. (taken by SY)|
Anyway, everyone who wanted to work out their aggression via giant wooden mallet got a chance to do so, and then we coated our rice cakes in the sweet bean powder and started nomming.
Afterward, we had a nice outdoor barbecue dinner and I got to hang out with all of the Korean students and get to know them much better. It was neat how quickly we all became close. All it takes is a few enthusiastic circle/icebreaker games and food, and suddenly you've got tons of new friends. I introduced everyone to Ninja, a favorite from college, and also got really into many rounds of Mafia later in the evening. I'll elaborate on what this Peace Forum was actually about in the next post. To come: the non-touristy DMZ, the World Peace Bell, and otters!
|Korean students and American teachers having some fun before dinner.|