It's that time of year again! The season I love and the holiday that lets you show a bit of your "weird" side. Halloween! I love the colors, the nights getting longer and the mystery that comes with the holiday.
When I learned that Halloween is a very new concept in Korea, I was a bit sad to be honest. But, I can't expect a holiday like Halloween with its roots in Anglo-Saxon, Celtic and Germanic tradition and superstition to be the same in an Asian culture. Christmas isn't even the same, which I'll get into for a later post.
But, yes, Halloween is fairly new to Korea. Trick-or-Treating, specifically, was introduced mainly through ESL teachers because that's the simplest and probably most interesting thing to explain to a class of hyper-active kids. Most of the time, however, the Korean students (like many other students of that age) hear CANDY and things go a little mad:
Ok, so this might have been staged, but you get the idea. From what I've gleaned from other English teacher's in Korea, they cover the details of Trick-or-Treating pretty well with their students. What else do they tell their students, though? I loved Trick-or-Treating when I was younger, but it seems like there is so much more to Halloween than that.
There's haunted houses, corn mazes, pumpkins, ghost stories... It's All Hallow's Eve, people! You better be teaching them about the other traditions besides demanding candy from strangers. There's nothing more fascinating, to me, than the old traditions of this day and seeing how they evolved.
Just don't bore your students with complex details, though.
Korea has its own fair share of creepy stories, and they definitely know how to scare people. There are plenty of superstitions in their culture, pretty similar to many other Asian superstitions, and teacher's could spend some great class times swapping stories. It would be a great way to get your students to practice translation and speaking, though this is probably best for more advanced groups.
There are some pretty disturbing Korean horror movies, and then there are the ones that mix humor into them:
|Master's Sun (Kdrama about a woman who can see ghosts. She meets a man one day who keeps the ghosts away when she touches him.)|
|Chilling Romance/Spellbound (A film about a magician who meets a woman who can see ghosts and is haunted by her dead best friend. The woman pushes everyone out of her life because the ghost of her friend terrorizes anyone close to her.)|
Anyways, I'll leave with a Happy Halloween and this creepy Korean song: