Freshmen welcoming ritual
*Updated photos, because the "Freshmen welcoming ceremony" for Engineering building was held today!
Perhaps one of the weirdest things I've ever seen in the Korean university is the "Freshmen welcoming ritual", held at the beginning of the new spring semester. It was held at the ground floor outside my lab building around 5-6pm.
I was first attracted by the loud banging of traditional cymbals and drums outside the lab window. The musicians were students dressed up in traditional colorful Korean garb. Last week I saw another welcoming ritual where one of the students even dressed up in full ancient gear complete with hat and a sword at his side... so geng.
The ceremony seemed to be a Taoist ritual, with a real pig's head (wow..), candles and fruits at the altar. Some paper money was rolled into a stick and stuck into the pig's nostrils for prosperity. Usually a professor and student representative would say some opening words, then kowtow in front of the pig's head altar. A pig is used because Koreans see the pig as a symbol of good luck and prosperity. If they dream about a pig at night, means they will have really good luck the next day.
Anyway, the whole thing was some sort of blessing ritual for the freshmen and students to achieve good results in their university life. The student representatives would dress up very smartly in suit and tie, and a gang walking together looked like those HK mafia/ Japanese yakuza from the movies.... haha. After the students kowtowed in front of the altar, they would throw out coins and some snacks to the attendees for good luck.
There was also a festival to promote the university's clubs and societies on Tuesday, held on the school field. There were many stalls and booths setup around the field and there was a big stage in the middle. We could get a piece of paper and get 15 stamps from the stalls and booths by playing some simple games like "A says Do, B says Re, A says Mi and so on", beat the hands following A's rhythm, or some macho games like punching the Taekwondo board in half, or even get free beer, pizza, chicken and waffles. At night there were some song performances and it was quite happening.
The 2 pictures above were captured by the university front gate where the dance club members were doing K-pop dance to recruit new members.
And finally, spring is already here!!! *^^*