* This post is written by Cindy Zimmer, one of the Korea Blog’s Worldwide Korea Bloggers.
It’s no secret that I love Korean culture and I’m trying to continue studying Korean now that I’m back in Toronto. And while I’m not the best student (I really should study more on my own), I am exploring different ways to learn. Today’s post is about one of those ways.
For the past 10 weeks, I went once a week – on Thursday evenings after work – to the Korean Consulate in Toronto to attend two different classes. First up was the Korean Culture class, a one-hour class that began at 5:30 pm. Now I have a decent understanding of Korean culture from living and working in Korea for 3 years but I knew there was still a lot I could learn. And of course, there was! Some of it was reviewing what I already knew but some of the information we covered was completely new.
My favourite classes were the last two. In the second last class we learned how to play two traditional Korean games – <insert names>. I was okay at 투호 (Tuho – pitching arrows into a pot) but totally sucked at 제기차기 (Jaekichaki – Korean hacky sack), which made sense as it’s similar to hacky sack and I sucked at that too as a teenager. But we not only had the opportunity to learn how to play the games, we also learned how to made the arrows and the Korean hacky sack.
The last class was even more fun. We got to dress up in hanbok (traditional Korean clothes), learn how to do a “big bow” and then we performed a traditional Korean wedding for the two language classes. It was so much fun!! I, unfortunately, forgot my camera but one of my culture classmates was kind enough to lend me hers.
The second class was a Korean Language class, a two-hour class from 6:30 to 8:30 pm that is offered at two levels – beginner and intermediate. I would describe my level as high-beginner (and with a little hard work, I could definitely move up to low-intermediate) so I signed up for the intermediate class. I knew it would be a stretch at times but I love being challenged. And I was glad I did, our teacher was fantastic. She was able to explain everything clearly so I rarely was lost.
I would definitely recommend both classes I attended and I knew some people in the beginner class who recommended it as well. And the best part, the Korean Consulate in Toronto provides the classes free-of-charge three times a year (Fall, Winter and Spring). All you have to do is apply about a month in advance. Next session of classes will start September 2011. For more details, check their website or the Korean Education Centre’s website.
* The original piece can be read at HERE