Transitions commence new adventures. Make 'em last…
It was essentially the same once-a-year City of Wolgot Traditional Dance & Thanksgiving Festival that I attended with my principal last year, but this time, it felt like I was much more welcomed and treated less like an outsider thanks to my tenure and pretty good standing teaching at Wolgot Elementary School. Immediately upon my arrival accompanied with my principal, I was happily greeted by many of my students who would later participate in the festival, in addition to many parents and townspeople that recognized me and whom I’ve steadily gotten to know. After loading up on free beef, rice, noodles, fresh kim chi, and of course, makkoili, the festival commenced when many began giving offerings and bowing down the pig’s head, of which, I’m still not sure of its exact significance.
Once all offerings were given, it was time for the music and dance to commence for the remainder of the afternoon.
When dancing ceased, it was time to eat once again, but not before we all had the opportunity to slam some rice.
The wood table that I had put a huge crack in the year before was brought out and a bucket of wet rice was dropped on top of it. Within a few short moments while standing closeby, one of my student’s parents grabbed my arm and handed me the heavy plastic sledgehammer. After informing him that it was me that had put the huge crack in the table last year, he either didn’t care or didn’t understand me as I was immediately thrusted next to the table surrounded by a circle of eager townspeople waiting for me to give the rice a pounding. I was a bit hesitant at first, but that’s when my principal said something like “hit it hard,” which I then quickly translated to being given a green-light to swing as hard as I could, which I eventually did.
CRACK! No, the table didn’t split in half as I honestly briefly imagined it would before striking the rice, but the same crack I made last year was made much wider and deeper. Perhaps next year I will be given the glory of busting the table with one more solid powerhouse shot. However, I don’t think that would make very many people happy, well, perhaps my principal who sincerely laughed and smiled after my thunderous whack.