The annual Korean Festival hosted by BYU’s Korean Student Association brought BYU students of all cultures together with prizes, games, performances and food.
On Feb. 28, over 300 hundred students gathered in the Wilkinson Student Center Garden Court and ballroom for the annual Korean Festival. Each ticket-holder received six red pebbles that acted as tokens for the booths and food. Booths included face painting, book marks, hopscotch, calligraphy, Jaegi, and sampling traditional dishes.
One of the most popular games was Jaegi. Comparable to hacky sac or volleyball, players bounce the streamer or feather-covered ball as many times as they can on their feet. Some of the record setters were the most unexpected of athletes.
“She got 13 bounces,” said Joseph Jiang of his wife’s Jaegi record. “She’s eight months pregnant and she set the record for the entire night.”
Joseph was also the sticky rice-eating champion for the first round of the event.
The most popular attraction at the festival was the Korean beef, or bulgogi, served with sticky rice. The mild beef is traditionally served as a main dish, but can also be served as a side dish for large celebrations.
“It’s not too spicy, but really mild,” said Ye Sol Jung, a senior who helped serve Bulgogi. “A lot of people are surprised about how good it tasted since they’ve never tried authentic Korean food before.”
One of the main goals of the Festival and the Korean Student Association is to bring students and non-students of all cultures together.
“A lot of our friends came who are originally from China,” said Mia Jaegi, a senior from China. “I didn’t expect it to be so popular for people who aren’t originally from Asia.”
Many who attended the Korean festival who are not from Asian countries found themselves attracted to the culture because of previous LDS mission experience, a connection through friends and roommates or a general interest in history and the new fun that Korea has to offer.