Our first Halloween in Korea was very fun. Alli and I taught lessons about the spooky holiday in our classrooms, had our 9th annual edition of “Fright Night” (a night where we serve food and drinks and watch a double feature of scary movies), went out to the clubs in Seoul dressed in costumes, and even had a couple of trick-or-treaters (my students) come to our apartment. But the highlight for me this Halloween was carving pumpkins in my after-school class.
I found that the Korean people know a little about Halloween. They know about candy, trick-or-treating, vampires, ghosts, Jack o’ Lanterns and things like that, but hardly any of them have ever actually experienced any of these things. My students in after-school had never carved a pumpkin, and so I thought that that should change. I was able to get some pumpkin carving kits sent here (thanks Mom & Dad!) but finding good pumpkins in Korea was a bit of a challenge. Most pumpkins are green, and the orange ones I could find were oddly shaped (flat). But after days of searching and asking around, Alli randomly found a good place in our town while shopping, and we were able to get three nice pumpkins.
I was ready to go but a day before class started, our lovable neighbor Ssu (if you read this blog regularly you should know him by now) caused a bit of a problem. We are very giving on our floor in the building, and he assumed when he saw my pumpkins outside that he could use them. So he ended up giving two of them to his mother! I was worried that we couldn’t find any more good pumpkins but Ssu replaced them the next day with big ones. Whewwww!!!
Now the day had come to carve the pumpkins. The girls were excited about this new experience. I showed a YouTube video of crazy pumpkin carvings and revealed their pumpkins. They cheered! We got right to work. I went over the procedure to open the pumpkin and how to clean it out. Then we drew some faces, cut them out and photographed their very first Jack o’ Lanterns. It was a very fun day in class, and my students still talk about it today. Thanks to everyone who helped make this happen. Happy Halloween!