Confession one: I’ve never really been all that great at Halloween. Pressure to think of a witty but warm costume always leaves me panicking. Confession two: This year I skipped the anxiety and stole a dear friend’s costume idea instead. After some creative use of construction paper, my Leela came together. Shane dressed as Andy Bogut for school.
Halloween is not a traditional Korean holiday. The only people who really celebrate it here are the foreigners and a few other select populations-- mainly college students and schoolchildren.
At our hagwon, we marked the occasion with an all day Halloween party. The kindergarten classes had a strong showing of angels, princesses, superheroes, and witches, with a few more creative getups thrown in here and there. After morning crafts, we herded the kids into school vans and unloaded in front of an unsuspecting grocery store where mommies waited, cameras in hand.
The kids sang a couple of songs before we relocated to an open area to take pictures.
The kids got to “trick or treat” from the parents, who came loaded. On the ride back, the bus nine kids heaped my hands full of candy: mango taffies, Snickers, and fruity hard candies. Nice. After lunch, the nine kindergarten classes gathered in the auditorium for a fashion show, where each and every child walked one by one across the red carpet and had their picture taken. Each and every child. Long, but they were adorable.
Later that afternoon, the elementary school students arrived, much less dressed up and much less enthused. We teachers were assigned to control one of four rooms (craft, picture, game, or facepainting). Though we had too much time and too little to do at each station, and too few pieces of candy left, the kids had fun and enjoyed having a night off from their studies. Though it was an exhausting day, the Halloween party was a nice slice of home.