Students witnessed a wedding ceremony, a Tae Kwon Do demonstration and two commercials as part of the first annual Penn Korean Night on Friday night. More than 90 students attended the Korean Student Association-sponsored event, entitled "Reflections of Time," which was held in the University Museum's Harrison Auditorium. College sophomore Maria Kim, one of the show's directors, explained that since Korea has "been changing a lot recently," most of the show was meant to be a reflection back to the tradition and history of the country. Kim explained that the event was planned in order to "unite all of the Korean students on campus," as well as show the rest of campus some Korean culture. She added that the show's organizers "wanted to start a precedent" on campus by having the first Korean cultural show. But Kim said she and the other planners also wanted to "promote cultural awareness" within KSA, by moving the club toward a greater focus on culture, rather than social events. One of the first performances of the night was a reenactment of a traditional Korean wedding ceremony. By a show of hands, Co-Master of Ceremonies and Wharton senior David Choi discovered the relevance of this demonstration to the audience. He found that many of the members of the audience knew someone in their age group who was either engaged or married. College sophomore Sara Cho said that in order for a wedding to be performed according to Korean custom, "many traditional? events will have to be observed." She explained the significance of the various steps of the two-part wedding ceremony demonstration -- involving both the union of the bride and groom and the acceptance of the wedding by both sets of parents. Cho explained that the significance of Korean weddings -- as opposed to Western weddings -- lies in "symbolic gestures rather than vows." Another side of Korean tradition was demonstrated by 80 members of the Penn Tae Kwon Do Club. The group showed several sparring techniques and then two members of the group, wearing protective gear, performed a sparring demonstration. The group finished their part of the night by displaying a technique that they said helped with both confidence and technique -- the use of various moves to break more than 20 wooden boards. A high point of the night was a dramatic performance of Two Kins' Pumpkins, which Kim, who was the narrator of the play, said was "a very popular folktale skit in Korea." Members of the KSA board made up the majority of the cast of the play -- which told the story of Nolbu, "the ill-tempered and selfish older brother," and Hungbu, "the ever forgiving and kind younger brother," according the program for the event. The program's description of the play said it "has also come to be an embodiment of many of the values that Koreans hold dear, such as generosity, kindness, compassion and forgiveness." Three dances, including a "flower crown" dance, a three-drum dance and a modern dance to Korean pop music, were also performed. And College freshman Vivian Lee performed a piece on the kahyahgum, a 12-stringed instrument "that dates back to the sixth century," according to Choi. The audience further enjoyed the two humorous "commercials" provided by several brothers in the Lambda Phi Epsilon fraternity. After the performance, Engineering senior Steve Choi explained that the show "was the first time our Korean heritage was represented on campus." Wharton junior Greg Kim said he loved the show as a whole. "I was very proud of my Korean heritage after watching this," he added. College senior Joyce Koh added that as a senior, she felt "like a Korean mother." "I'm really proud of these kids for holding onto their heritage," she added. "We don't want our culture to be diluted."
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.