Friday, May 18, 2007

Teacher's Day in Korea

Here in Korea 스승의 날, or Teachers Day, is a big deal. Students bring gifts to their teachers like carnations or other small gifts. At the university that I attend, my department has a formal gathering organized by the students. At the gathering the teachers are presented with gifts from the students, we have short speeches (maybe a minute or so) and maybe even a small perfomance (the last one I went to the undergrads in our department performed a music selection.)

Also, teachers here will go on to play a bigger role in their students lives. I've heard of professors making speeches at former student's weddings. Some of that happens back home, for sure, but I've heard a few stories like that here and virtually none from acquaintances and friends back home.

Anyway, the students at the college where I teach bought a big banner which says 교수님 사랑합니다! ("We love you, professors!") I snapped a picture of it earlier this week, but didn't have time to blog it until now. (It's a little blurry because it was inside the teacher's cafeteria which dimly lit with those horrible fluorescent lights, and I snapped it with my camera phone.)

Now I know some folks might fire back "oh well, we have teacher's day in the USA too!" Sorry, no, the history of what we have in the US is a spotty at best and it's due to culture differences too. It's nowhere near being a big deal in the US.

This week at work my Chinese officemate asked me if we had Teacher's Day in the US. I overstated it, but I said "no, in the States students shoot their teachers."

Sphere: Related Content