'Best Week' combines Korean culture, cuisine in annual dinner

Korean culture was celebrated in the Union Ballroom on Saturday, April 12, as the Korean American Student Association put on a dinner and a show that parodied VH1's Best Week Ever.

For just six dollars, students and college-community members enjoyed a Korean dinner while watching traditional dances and skits about Korean culture. Some of the segments included traditional fan dances, Tae Kwon Do and mock skits like "Real World Geneseo."

The night started out with traditional Korean dishes. KASA served kimbap, which looks like sushi and contains vegetables, meat and rice wrapped in seaweed. Other dishes incorporated beef or chicken in special sauces, such as japchae, which is a clear noodle mixed with vegetables. Many other dishes and desserts were served.

The Union Ballroom was packed; additional tables had to be set up to accommodate all the people that showed up. The event took a lot of work to put together but turned into a successful evening.

"We combined some traditions and best moments in the past century," said Daniel Yoon, a sophomore and member of KASA's e-board. "We wanted to break a lot of stereotypes that people might have about Korea and our culture. For example, we incorporate kimchi a lot because there are a lot of stereotypes about it."

A focus of the evening was the celebration of Korean culture and traditions.

"For example, the whole incorporation of kimchi," said junior Helen Kim, also a member of KASA e-board. "It is a big part of our culture, like burgers to Americans." Kim urged students to try unfamiliar foods. "Kimchi is fermented cabbage and if you do not know what it is it may seem unappetizing, but people should give it a chance."

"We had a lot less time to plan this event," said Yoon, "and it took a lot of effort, but it turned out really well."

Lots of people came to this event to enjoy the food and learn more about the culture.

"I came here because I wanted to support other cultures and organizations on campus because I'm in Shakti," said junior Haleema Murtaza. "I am very excited about seeing the dances and skits and trying the food, too."

Many Korean women at the event wore traditional Korean dress, including participants in the fan dance.

"It consists of two skirts, a top and a hat," said freshman Minji Lee. "It is a traditional dance and outfit that has been done for a very long time now. Women only dress up like this for special occasions and festivals."

The dinner gave students the opportunity to acquaint themselves better with Korean culture.

"I don't know too much about the culture," said sophomore Brendan Hayes. "I came here with my friends to learn more about it."