PIEF: Traditional School Celebration

Finding a sense of community is one of the most important parts of feeling at home. In our home countries we know how to do that based on habits and cultural rules. We have the usual places we go and the usual things we do. As we move around from town to town we can usually recreate these experiences since we all share a culture and a language. However, when we move abroad all this changes. It becomes harder to find those centralized experiences that bring us together with others. This is why PIEF and their events are such an important part of our community here in Pyeongtaek. They give us a place to gather and build community.

Two weeks ago they launched their latest gathering called the “Traditional School Celebration” and we went to check it out. We don’t have kids and we’ve seen just about all the cultural things there are in Korea so we weren’t exactly sure what we would get out of it, but doing all the things is what we signed up to do when we started this blog and then the app. So exhausted from our busy schedules and, honestly – less than enthusiastic – we set off.

As usually, we enjoyed ourselves far more than we thought we would. Was it the coolest thing we have ever done in Korea? Nope. Was it packed full of experiences that changed our lives? Absolutely not. “So why did you love it?”, you might find yourself asking. We loved it because it was beautiful and community focused. We loved hanging out with our friends and watching kids play. We loved seeing local martial arts folks demonstrate their skills. We enjoyed making things in the tents and talking even more with our friends. We loved being outside. We loved slowing down and taking time to just be present in our community. We loved the fact it wasn’t too much, it was just enough and we didn’t have to run all over damnation to do it. We loved that this was just a super chill Saturday event that didn’t leave us exhausted. Parking was easy, the events are in a confined space, you can bring a picnic, and you can just relax and be entertained. If we had kids we would totally bring them here on Saturdays to run amok while we chat with our friends. This is what we need more of in our lives.

Those Spiderman socks.

It’s also just a very cool opportunity to have an up-close and personal look at how people in our area used to live. In Pyeongtaek there are only two traditional Korean schools that still exist. One is in a rural area kind of near Songtan, and the other just happens to be in the middle of Paengseong near Camp Humphreys (where this event is held). These schools are no longer used for regular classes, but instead host Confusion rituals throughout the year. So this is a pretty unique chance to be close the history. It’s a very unique opportunity PIEF has opened up for our community and I, personally, am very grateful for the experience.

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This event isn’t about hype, it’s about a wonderful healthy way to get out of the house and go meet people. Please, grab your kids, your friends, your date and just go spend a few hours here hanging out. Meet people. Start conversations. Make some friends. It’s the perfect place for it.

WAZE PIN/ID: Buyong Elementary School

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