KMU Focus

‘Tea Ceremony and World Tea Culture’ Class of KMU

  • 18.06.07 / 박차현

Editor’s Note

Hello again to all our readers! It is already our last issue for this semester. Thank you for meeting Kookmin Review by subscribing to our newspaper. We will soon meet again with the start of this fall semester! For the last Editor’s note of this semester, Kookmin Review visited Myungwon folk house, which is located at the back gate of KMU, to look into ‘Tea Ceremony and World Tea Culture’ class.

Many Korean students of KMU could have heard about ‘Tea Ceremony’ (‘Da-rye’ in Korean) class before. The ‘Tea Ceremony and World Tea Culture’ class is an English class developed especially for international students. Both of these tea ceremony classes are so loved by Kookminians that it is very hard for students to register for these classes during the enrollment periods. Let’s see how and why these classes became a star among Kookminians through interview with Professor Yang-Seok Yoo and students from the class.

Soo-Min Kim
The Kookmin Review - 
Editor-In-Chief
sera20834@kookmin.ac.kr

 

 

- Interview with Professor Yoo -

Professor Yoo who is in charge of ‘Korean Tea Ceremony and World Tea Culture’ class shared the history and stories about the class with Kookmin Review.

 

How long ‘Korean Tea Ceremony’ class has been opened for students?

Prof. Yoo: This class has been continuing since 1982 when Myungwon Mee-hee Kim, who is the pioneer of the tea ceremony of Korea, donated Myungwon Folk Hose to Kookmin University. She wanted students of Kookmin University to learn traditional culture at the Folk House. In March 1982, ‘Tea Ceremony’ class started as an official lecture of KMU. It was the first class on tea ceremony among universities in Korea. So, this class has been opened to students for the last 37 years and it has such a long history. At that time, this class was for just Korean students. From 2011, as the number of international students in KMU started to increase, the ‘Korean Tea Ceremony and World Tea Culture’ class got opened for foreign students.

 

‘Korean Tea Ceremony’ class is so popular among both Korean and international students in KMU that it is always tough to register for this class. Is there any special thing that you are taking care of while doing the lecture?

Prof. Yoo: I think the interest of students, practical approach to learning, and letting students realize the value of what they learn are the most important things in teaching this class. It would be hard for both students and me if the content we handle in the class is way too complicated. We should go with practical and interesting topics, and students should also enjoy the learning process. Therefore, balancing between enjoyable learning approach and the value of what students learn in the class is the significant point that I try to maintain. If a student has learned about Chinese tea culture in this class, for example, he or she could use that knowledge to make a friend when they visit China by talking about Chinese tea and showing some understanding of Chinese customs.

 

It is so special that international students get chance to learn about Korean traditional tea ceremony in a class. Is there any specific thing you hope foreign students to learn and realize about at the end of this class?

Prof. Yoo: Firstly, for exchange students, it is common that they stay in Korea for just one semester and the time is not enough for them to systemically learn about our culture. Therefore, I hope they can get to learn and build a foundation about Korean culture and tradition through this ‘Korean Tea Ceremony and World Tea Culture’ class. Secondly, as this class is held at Myungwon folk house, it would be a good time to refresh just by coming out from normal lecture rooms. So, I hope students can relax and feel the Korean culture as if their own culture through the class. Plus, although it would be hard for foreign students to sit on the wooden floor of Myungwon folk house. I appreciate students for adapting to it. I would be very happy for students to think this class as a good chance to learn and experience new things. Plus, at the same time, they can apply what they learned in the class in real life in Korea and anywhere in the world!

 

 

- Interview with students from ‘Tea Ceremony and World Tea Culture’ class –

Zeyneb Sena Korkmaz & Merve Yarkin (Turkey)

 

Q: What was the most difficult thing in this class so far?

 

A: For us, it was quite difficult to memorize all the steps of making tea. We didn’t know there are so many steps in making just a cup of tea. However, it is also a process of learning other cultures so we enjoyed it!

 

Q: Any recommendations for students who haven’t take this class yet? A: We would like to recommend this class for friends who are going to come here from Turkey at next semester. Unlike other classes that are held at normal classes, tea ceremony class is held at Korean folk house, Han-ok, and we like it.

 

Q: Are you planning to tell or teach your friends/family about the stuffs you learned from this class?

 

A: Oh, we already did it! A lot of our friends back in Turkey are really interested in Korean culture and what we learn or do in here. So, we usually upload videos and pictures of things we have done daily for them. We surely uploaded and sent video we took at the class, and our friends saw it. They all said it seems cool to learn about actual tea ceremony in lecture.

 

 

Kamila Nuranova (Kazakhstan)

Q: Why did you choose to sign up for this class?

 

A: I wanted to know more about Korean culture through this class. Even though I loved to watch Korean dramas when I was in Kazakhstan, I did not know well or much about Korean culture. So, what I am learning in this class is truly new for me. Many Korean dramas that I had enjoyed to watch before did not include anything about Korean traditional culture and manner. By taking this class, I newly learned exact Korean manner and it is helping me a lot for my life in Korea.

 

Q: What do you think about the fact that the Tea Ceremony class is held at Han-ok (Folk House)?

 

A: It is interesting and the atmosphere is so good at the Han-ok. I think it is the best place for students who are so tired of their daily life to take a rest and relax. Also, because of the trees and flowers at the Myung-won folk house, it smells like I am in the middle of nature. Some weeks ago, the whole class walked around the Myung-won folk house and we saw a small fond with fish in there. And I remember the professor told us about the special meaning of the fish. I fully enjoyed the little walking around at Han-ok and it truly makes me relax.

 

Q: Any recommendations for students who haven’t take this class yet?

 

A: For the mid-term examination, we had to memorize and show how to make a cup of tea in the proper manner. While taking the test, I was so nervous that it was more difficult to do all the steps in a right way. However, assistant teachers and professor help us to do many practices before we take the test so you don’t have to worry about it. Also, if you take this class, you will be able to see Hanbok closely and might have a chance to wear it! Isn’t it so nice that you can wear that unique and beautiful Korean traditional clothes in class?

 

 

Axel Sixdenier (France)

Q: Why do you think this class is so popular among foreign students?

 

A: I think it is because this is a class that intensively focuses on the Korean culture and makes the students learn about life in this part of the globe instead of (for my major) regular business and theoretical lessons that are common all around the world.

 

Q: What was the most interesting thing in this lecture so far?

 

A: Actually, it was the midterm exam, I was absolutely not expecting it to be an actual examination of tea pouring. We had to make our best in order to serve tea like it should be done in Korea and be the most accurate and precise doing the exact steps like if we were in an art class. It was really strange and fun at the same time, I expected it to be a presentation or a questionnaire. It was a good surprise I preferred that kind of examination compared to the traditional ways.

 

Q. Any recommendations or comment for students who haven’t take this class yet?

 

A: This class is really fun and the professor is very passionate for teaching us about tea and Korean culture. In the end you will learn more about Korean past and way of life in this lesson than in any museum.

‘Tea Ceremony and World Tea Culture’ Class of KMU

Editor’s Note

Hello again to all our readers! It is already our last issue for this semester. Thank you for meeting Kookmin Review by subscribing to our newspaper. We will soon meet again with the start of this fall semester! For the last Editor’s note of this semester, Kookmin Review visited Myungwon folk house, which is located at the back gate of KMU, to look into ‘Tea Ceremony and World Tea Culture’ class.

Many Korean students of KMU could have heard about ‘Tea Ceremony’ (‘Da-rye’ in Korean) class before. The ‘Tea Ceremony and World Tea Culture’ class is an English class developed especially for international students. Both of these tea ceremony classes are so loved by Kookminians that it is very hard for students to register for these classes during the enrollment periods. Let’s see how and why these classes became a star among Kookminians through interview with Professor Yang-Seok Yoo and students from the class.

Soo-Min Kim
The Kookmin Review - 
Editor-In-Chief
sera20834@kookmin.ac.kr

 

 

- Interview with Professor Yoo -

Professor Yoo who is in charge of ‘Korean Tea Ceremony and World Tea Culture’ class shared the history and stories about the class with Kookmin Review.

 

How long ‘Korean Tea Ceremony’ class has been opened for students?

Prof. Yoo: This class has been continuing since 1982 when Myungwon Mee-hee Kim, who is the pioneer of the tea ceremony of Korea, donated Myungwon Folk Hose to Kookmin University. She wanted students of Kookmin University to learn traditional culture at the Folk House. In March 1982, ‘Tea Ceremony’ class started as an official lecture of KMU. It was the first class on tea ceremony among universities in Korea. So, this class has been opened to students for the last 37 years and it has such a long history. At that time, this class was for just Korean students. From 2011, as the number of international students in KMU started to increase, the ‘Korean Tea Ceremony and World Tea Culture’ class got opened for foreign students.

 

‘Korean Tea Ceremony’ class is so popular among both Korean and international students in KMU that it is always tough to register for this class. Is there any special thing that you are taking care of while doing the lecture?

Prof. Yoo: I think the interest of students, practical approach to learning, and letting students realize the value of what they learn are the most important things in teaching this class. It would be hard for both students and me if the content we handle in the class is way too complicated. We should go with practical and interesting topics, and students should also enjoy the learning process. Therefore, balancing between enjoyable learning approach and the value of what students learn in the class is the significant point that I try to maintain. If a student has learned about Chinese tea culture in this class, for example, he or she could use that knowledge to make a friend when they visit China by talking about Chinese tea and showing some understanding of Chinese customs.

 

It is so special that international students get chance to learn about Korean traditional tea ceremony in a class. Is there any specific thing you hope foreign students to learn and realize about at the end of this class?

Prof. Yoo: Firstly, for exchange students, it is common that they stay in Korea for just one semester and the time is not enough for them to systemically learn about our culture. Therefore, I hope they can get to learn and build a foundation about Korean culture and tradition through this ‘Korean Tea Ceremony and World Tea Culture’ class. Secondly, as this class is held at Myungwon folk house, it would be a good time to refresh just by coming out from normal lecture rooms. So, I hope students can relax and feel the Korean culture as if their own culture through the class. Plus, although it would be hard for foreign students to sit on the wooden floor of Myungwon folk house. I appreciate students for adapting to it. I would be very happy for students to think this class as a good chance to learn and experience new things. Plus, at the same time, they can apply what they learned in the class in real life in Korea and anywhere in the world!

 

 

- Interview with students from ‘Tea Ceremony and World Tea Culture’ class –

Zeyneb Sena Korkmaz & Merve Yarkin (Turkey)

 

Q: What was the most difficult thing in this class so far?

 

A: For us, it was quite difficult to memorize all the steps of making tea. We didn’t know there are so many steps in making just a cup of tea. However, it is also a process of learning other cultures so we enjoyed it!

 

Q: Any recommendations for students who haven’t take this class yet? A: We would like to recommend this class for friends who are going to come here from Turkey at next semester. Unlike other classes that are held at normal classes, tea ceremony class is held at Korean folk house, Han-ok, and we like it.

 

Q: Are you planning to tell or teach your friends/family about the stuffs you learned from this class?

 

A: Oh, we already did it! A lot of our friends back in Turkey are really interested in Korean culture and what we learn or do in here. So, we usually upload videos and pictures of things we have done daily for them. We surely uploaded and sent video we took at the class, and our friends saw it. They all said it seems cool to learn about actual tea ceremony in lecture.

 

 

Kamila Nuranova (Kazakhstan)

Q: Why did you choose to sign up for this class?

 

A: I wanted to know more about Korean culture through this class. Even though I loved to watch Korean dramas when I was in Kazakhstan, I did not know well or much about Korean culture. So, what I am learning in this class is truly new for me. Many Korean dramas that I had enjoyed to watch before did not include anything about Korean traditional culture and manner. By taking this class, I newly learned exact Korean manner and it is helping me a lot for my life in Korea.

 

Q: What do you think about the fact that the Tea Ceremony class is held at Han-ok (Folk House)?

 

A: It is interesting and the atmosphere is so good at the Han-ok. I think it is the best place for students who are so tired of their daily life to take a rest and relax. Also, because of the trees and flowers at the Myung-won folk house, it smells like I am in the middle of nature. Some weeks ago, the whole class walked around the Myung-won folk house and we saw a small fond with fish in there. And I remember the professor told us about the special meaning of the fish. I fully enjoyed the little walking around at Han-ok and it truly makes me relax.

 

Q: Any recommendations for students who haven’t take this class yet?

 

A: For the mid-term examination, we had to memorize and show how to make a cup of tea in the proper manner. While taking the test, I was so nervous that it was more difficult to do all the steps in a right way. However, assistant teachers and professor help us to do many practices before we take the test so you don’t have to worry about it. Also, if you take this class, you will be able to see Hanbok closely and might have a chance to wear it! Isn’t it so nice that you can wear that unique and beautiful Korean traditional clothes in class?

 

 

Axel Sixdenier (France)

Q: Why do you think this class is so popular among foreign students?

 

A: I think it is because this is a class that intensively focuses on the Korean culture and makes the students learn about life in this part of the globe instead of (for my major) regular business and theoretical lessons that are common all around the world.

 

Q: What was the most interesting thing in this lecture so far?

 

A: Actually, it was the midterm exam, I was absolutely not expecting it to be an actual examination of tea pouring. We had to make our best in order to serve tea like it should be done in Korea and be the most accurate and precise doing the exact steps like if we were in an art class. It was really strange and fun at the same time, I expected it to be a presentation or a questionnaire. It was a good surprise I preferred that kind of examination compared to the traditional ways.

 

Q. Any recommendations or comment for students who haven’t take this class yet?

 

A: This class is really fun and the professor is very passionate for teaching us about tea and Korean culture. In the end you will learn more about Korean past and way of life in this lesson than in any museum.

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