As a GCF spouse, there are gatherings and get-togethers that are centrally organised and that give you an insight into some aspects of Korean Culture. The activities take place on the last Thursday of each month and this year have included: Rice cake making (I missed this class) Lamp making and calligraphy.
Various experts in their fields are brought to the G-Tower (23rd floor no less) and spend their morning teaching as many family members as can attend.
The lamp making class was made idiot proof for all of us – the actual structure of the lamp was already made and wired, so all we had to do was decorate it.
The process involved pasting the lamp with an eco-friendly glue, which was made of flour and water and then covering it in the various layers of printed paper. Whilst it looks messy as you go through the layers, the order of doing meant that you get to cover any mistakes or unevenly applied paper with the next layer. Two hours later, voila – one home-made lamp.
Now all that remains is to get Raj to bring my lamp back from the office…
The Calligraphy class was hard. In Korea, Calligraphy means “beautiful writing” and when the experts do it, beauty abounds.
The problem arises when someone such as myself, i.e. not a single artistic bone in my body, takes up a brush. First, you have to keep your arm parallel to the ground and your brush needs to be vertical. You have to get just the right amount of ink on the brush, or the lines will be too thick, as the paper acts like blotting paper and suck in all the extra ink.
I practised for ages on the paper and once I got the hang of it, I tried on the fan and any ‘skill’ I had gained were quickly lost. Still, I ended up with a workable fan and two usable bookmarks, and a whole host of Korean vocabulary to add to my notebook!
Now to wait for April’s class…