At the end of the month there is always a birthday celebration for all the kids with birthdays that month at the school. We have a feast of cake and fruit and some traditional Korean foods; chapchae, dok and dokbokki. I really like chapchae, which is like these clear noodles with veggies and greens. It tastes a bit like a lo mein noodle. Then dok isn’t that bad either. It is apparently rice all smashed up and sticky with brown sugar and maybe cinnamon inside. They come in green, white and pink so the kids all wanted one of each color. Then there is dokbokki, which I was a little disappointed with because it looked a lot better than it tasted. It looks a little like solid penne noodles with red sauce, but I guess these are made out of smashed rice too. The kids have a very mild version, but usually it is made very spicy. The Korean teach brought me some of the real version, but when I came across the fishcakes I just got a bit grossed out. I didn’t realize these were made out of rice until I asked Ellen so for a while I thought I was eating squid and when I think about it I just can’t handle it so fishy.
The kids dress is traditional hanbok and everyone sings and then the kids blow out candles on the cake. Then each birthday kid goes up with like an escort of the opposite sex for pictures. I’m not sure what they are given to hold, but they each do it. Unfortunately, no one in my class has a birthday until June, so we didn’t really participate in the actual celebration. All the kids brought in small gifts, but the ceremony was done in Korean so I’m not sure what was done with the gifts.
*******Well, thanks to Jennifer, who told me the gift they give is a puzzle. All the Korean teachers have each kid draw a picture of themselves and they laminate it and make it into a puzzle of their class. Then each kid can put it back together. They are also they are given 김 kim which is seaweed. The seaweed is said to keep you healthy and when women are pregnant they eat bowls of seaweed soup to restore their energy and health. You also eat seaweed soup on your birthday.
Rainbow class hamming it up for the camera.
These two are making origami stars. I'm impressed.
Melisa, John and Richard
John and Neoking
Melisa, John, Richard and Angelina
Kelley and Emily
Annie and Tomas
Seriously adorable - Shawn
This is the cute little Italian restaurant that Ellen and I went to for dinner.