Saturday, 27 November 2010

School Festival 2010

The second of the two days of fun (and no work!) at my school was the School Festival. This was even more exciting than the sports day which had been day one of my school's extravaganza. It was a day of singing, dancing, silly games and even a Chinese acrobatic show that showcased the talents of our school's students and some of the teachers too. The festival opened with a performance of traditional Korean samul nori drumming by some of the students followed by the usual round of speeches by the Principal and other school worthies.

Students giving a samul nori performance at the opening of the school festival.

The school principal addresses the crowd.

With the opening niceties dispensed with, we moved onto the first entertainment of the day - the O and X game. This was basically an elimination game that was played outside on the school playing field and involved the competing students being asked true or false questions. They had to decide if they thought it was true (O) or false (X) and move to the appropriate side of the field for their answer. The last person left after the various rounds won some kind of prize. I actually had a part in this competition as on e of the rounds was a special English quiz. I has to get up on stage and ask them 3 true or false questions though I don't think they were hard enough as everyone went the right way for all 3! Oh well, never mind, perhaps being a quizmaster isn't my calling in life after all.

My 5 mins of infamy. I was actually quite nervous, worried perhaps that they wouldn't understand a word I said and I would look like a total fool.

Students playing the O and X game on the dirt playing field in front of the school. Teachers held up ropes after a set amount of time and if you were in the wrong box you were out.

These were the prizes on offer to the winners of the pop song contest and the other competitive events at the festival.

After I had done my 5 mins of work for the day I went for a wander around the school playing field to have a look at the stalls that had been set up all round the edges. Some stalls were being run by parents but most were run by students. A few of them were selling food and drinks whilst the majority were game stalls reminiscent of the kind of thing you might see at a village fête but with a distinctly Korean twist. You were supposed to buy tokens to play the games but I didn't realise and didn't have any money on me. Luckily, the novelty of having a Foreign English teacher play your games seemed to be enough for me to get quite a few freebies!

This was a hot food stall run by parents. It was selling curled fish paste on sticks (not my favourite!), Korean "pizza" (pancakes) and tteokbokki (spicy rice cake stew). They gave me some for free which was great as I was freezing and it was tasty and hot!

A student run food stall selling weird but strangely delicious rectangular shaped hot dog sausages.

These girls had made a lucky wheel game for their stall and they let me have a free go. I won a pair of small pink socks which was cool!

One stall I visited was selling anything - they just wanted you to try their "special" biscuits. The biscuits had wasabi as well as custard cream in the middle and were pretty damn hot but as I love wasabi I happily munched my way through a couple, all the while exclaiming about how delicious they were much to the disbelief of the students!

A student run face painting stall. Their face painting skills were a little hit and miss but that just added to the fun.

This lad wasn't selling anything. All he wanted was a hug! That's what he charged me for this photo - 1 hug! I'm sure teachers would never be able to that in the UK.

They're playing Chinese chess? This seemed to be a popular spectator sport too which isn't surprising given that there appears to be a whole TV channel dedicated to the board game Go on Korean TV.

This was by far my favourite game stall at the festival. It's basically a human sized version of the whack a mole game with students instead of moles and inflatable rubber rings instead of holes. Genius!

This game was so funny I had to stick an extra picture on here of it. This is a closer view of the hammer action. Th students were really going for it with the mallets but the "moles" weren't put off, and kept sticking their heads up through the rings for my punishment.

At this stall you got to throw water balloons at a few brave (and very cold) students. Note the towels stuffed under their chins in an attempt to stop them getting too wet.

This was probably the most dangerous stall at the festival. The object of the game was to burst the balloon in the open locker. Players were offered the choice of using sharp stones, scissors or screwdrivers which they then had to throw at the lockers in the hope of popping that balloon. Ricochets were scarily common!

A student takes aim with a pair of scissors. There are small sharp stones and other scary implements on the chair in front of him in case he finds that the scissors aren't cutting it.

Inside the school, there was a big display of the student's craft and artwork including a few posters warning of the dangrs of smoking and drink driving.

Yep, smokers really are a pain the neck, aren't they?

The stalls were all cleared away at the end of the morning and the afternoon was given over to the song contest. I must admit that I missed a lot of it as I hid inside where it was warm but I did catch a few bits, including a storming performance by an all teacher rock super-group, a few songs performed by students replete with full on K-Pop style dance moves and the only rap performance of the festival by a couple of students who rapped such charming English lyrics as "I'm a fucking soldier" and "Motherfuckers come on" whilst the Principal watched, nodding his head appreciatively (presumably with no idea what the words meant). The festival closed with a special performance by a Chinese acrobatic troupe who did some amazing tricks.

Some of the students show off their moves in the pop song contest.

Our resident rappers - they're "fuckin' soldiers" apparently - well I'm sure they will be in a few years when they have do to their national service!

The Chinese acrobats were amazing.

This female acrobat could even spring down flights of stairs slinky style without losing her composure thanks to her steel hula hoops.

Mind-bendingly flexible female acrobats.

The acrobat show finale.

It was a really fun couple of days and I was pretty sad when they were over, especially as I had to go back to doing some real work.


  1. The whack-a-mole thing is clever, but that balloon-locker game is the funniest thing I've heard all day.

  2. Glad you liked the game. Whack-a-mole ws my favorite because it was so inventive. The balloon in a locker game just scared the hell out of me - I was standing at the side taking a picture of it when some scissors ricocheted off a locker door and came spinning past me. That was enough to put me off that one!