Mason Korea Student Club Explores Chuncheon City

by Jadzia Jean

In a vibrant cultural excursion, members of Mason Korea’s Multicultural Exchange Club (MEC) recently embarked on a weekend trip to Chuncheon, the capital city of Gangwon Province. Their mission was to attend the Ethiopian Meskel Festival, a significant celebration within Ethiopian Christian culture that marks the discovery of the True Cross by the Roman Empress Helena.

Facilitated by the Mason Korea University Life office during the Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) break, the students, inspired by an Ethiopian board member in MEC, eagerly looked forward to experiencing the festival's cultural richness.

The expedition kicked off with an ITX train ride from Yongsan Station. While the primary objective was to attend the Meskel Festival, MEC members took advantage of their leisure hours to explore the suburban charm of Chuncheon.

"I never imagined witnessing a traditional Ethiopian festival, let alone in Korea," said Jadzia Jean, a member of MEC. The Meskel Festival featured traditional Ethiopian music, coffee, and a bold leap over the festival bonfire. Adjacent to the festival, the Korea Memorial Hall for Ethiopian Veterans in the Korean War provided historical context through a documentary screening.

The students also indulged in recreational activities, including a scenic cable car ride at Samaksan mountain where they broke out into impromptu karaoke sessions. They also rode bikes and ATVs at the Gangchon Rail Park, visited a traditional food market, and savored the famous Chuncheon dakgalbi (spicy stir-fried chicken).

"It was an amazing experience, especially being surrounded by like-minded people,” said Sherlin Amaya Medrano, President of MEC. “My favorite part was trying malatang (Chinese spicy hot pot that is currently trending in Korea) for the first time and playing games at our accommodations."

“I’m extremely glad I went on this trip and I’m grateful to Mason Korea’s University Life Office for organizing this entire venture, as it has completely enriched our understanding of diverse cultures and realities beyond the familiar Songdo campus," said Jadzia Jean.