I had a great time talking about Korea and the New Year to the kids in Lu's Preschool Class, last week. I brought a Hanbok and a boys Jeogori (jacket) for the kids to try on. I read to the class, New Clothes for New Year's Day by Hyun-joo Bae and The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi. I also taught the kids how to say hello and friend in Korean.
Last year Lu wore her Hanbok to school and was very proud of "looking different." This year she did not want to wear her Hanbok. I respected her wishes, only after trying to talk her into it unsuccessfully. I did recognized her desire to blend in having been there myself. I just wasn't expecting it to come so quickly.
I brought the Hanbok with me to the talk. When I pulled it out of the bag, all the kids oohed and ahhed over it. I asked who wanted to try it on. By the time every hand shot up Lu had officially changed her mind.
It is ironic that it took the classes unanimous acceptance for Lu to be free to be different.
She left school feeling very proud of her Korean roots.
Somehow, I felt that I had accomplished much more than I intended.