Event scheduled Oct. 11 at the Harrisburg Campus
Sept. 19, 2008
HARRISBURG - Turkey and stuffing may be common Thanksgiving fare, but not all Americans grow up in this tradition. Korean-Americans instead may crave song pyon (special rice cakes seasoned with pine needles).
Despite a different menu, Thanksgiving and the Korean holiday of Chusok are otherwise similar in their focus on heritage and gratitude for the harvest and gifts of the previous year.
Central Pennsylvanians with Korean connections who often miss family in Korea during this time can find fellowship during a community-wide Chusok celebration from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, at the Harrisburg Campus of HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College.
Music, performers, food, games and activities will be held at the Cooper Student Center for all to enjoy. The event is co-sponsored by Ta-ri, a new nonprofit organization focused on connecting the Korean-American community, and HACC’s Office of Multicultural Affairs. Admission is free, with donations gratefully accepted.
Ta-ri’s celebration fuses traditional Chusok activities with others designed to highlight local Korean-American culture and community. Main events include drum, dance and vocal performances, a hanbok fashion show and an informal chopstick competition.
Participants will be able to experience a rice-cake making activity and some Korea-related crafts (nominal charges may apply for some activities). Cultural items will be available, some for sale and some for free. Coloring and activity pages and prizes will be available for children.
While event organizers hope people enjoy the planned activities, “Our larger goal is that people go home having made a new friend,” says Ta-ri Executive Director Stacy Schroeder.
More than just a cultural celebration, this day is an opportunity for Korean-Americans nostalgic for distant family to gather and build new relationships. It is a chance for those seeking a deeper understanding of Korean culture to experience that as well.
            “We gather around the holidays as well as for other events, such as cooking classes and soon for book discussions,” says Schroeder.
“We also promote cultural and educational events planned by others. There is a wealth of talent and dedication in this community. There are also some very real needs. We want to help bring everyone together,” she added.
Ta-ri (bridge in Korean), a project of fiscal sponsor The Foundation for Enhancing Communities, posts news of area and regional events to a growing list of e-mail subscribers. For more information, e-mail info@ta-ri.org or go to www.ta-ri.org.
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