Seoulmates Game Night: Sharing Love for Korean Culture

Seoulmates Game Night meeting at the Graham Center | Sophia Baltodano, PantherNOW

Sophia Baltodano | Contributing Writer

Love, language learning and cultural appreciation went hand-in-hand at Seoulmates Game Night hosted by the Korean Culture Club.

The recent “Seoulmates Game Night” on Thursday, Feb. 15 at the Graham Center marked a special event, delving into how Koreans celebrate Valentine’s Day. 

Traditional Korean variety show games, such as “Shouting in Silence,” “Drawing Relay,” and the traditional Korean game “Ddakji,” took center stage.  The choice of a game show format for this event was deliberate. 

According to sophomore communications major and club president Amelia Villas Aienros, it provides an excellent platform for members to come together, fostering a sense of community. 

“At events, people can be shy, but with game night, there are teams where people can work together, make friends, and build a community,” Aienros said.

One of the standout activities during the game night involved a board adorned with heart-shaped sticky notes paying homage to Namsan Tower, or Seoul Tower, where couples traditionally place love locks. 

Paying homage to that romantic tradition, participants wrote their own notes and stuck them on the board.

Participants write messages in the spirit of Valentine’s Day | Sophia Baltodano, PantherNOW

Founded in 2013, the club has grown from a small group sharing K-drama and K-pop interests to a vibrant community embracing all aspects of Korean culture and heritage.

“Korean Culture Club is a space where individuals can share their enthusiasm for Korean culture,” Aienros said. 

Aienros joined during her sophomore year in 2021 after her professor introduced her to the club, looking for a place to share her interests in the language and culture, Aneiros gradually immersed herself in the community, serving as vice president the next year and now the President, as a senior.

The club’s primary goal is to share the less popular aspects of Korean culture and showcase the richness of Korean traditions, from cuisine and hanboks to calligraphy and classical music. 

“People mostly know about K-dramas and K-pop, so we want to share more about Korean culture, not just what is mainstream,” she said.

Namsan Tower at FIU | Sophia Baltodano, PantherNOW

Throughout the academic year, the KCC organizes a myriad of events, aligning with various Korean celebrations. 

They host the Chuseok banquet, celebrating Korean Thanksgiving around the end of September, the Korean Festival, and the Korean Lunar New Year Lantern Festival Gala in the fall as well as a grand Korean New Year Festival usually done in the Spring.

What makes the Korean Culture Club stand out is its commitment to collaboration with other Asian clubs as well. 

The KCC partners with clubs such as the Japan Club, the Korean Language Empowerment Club, and the Asian Student Union. 

Areebah Hameed, a new member of the club, shared some of what she likes about Korean culture and heritage. 

“My favorite aspect of Korean culture is the food.” said Hameed. 

Having experienced Korea firsthand last summer when visiting, another new member, Emma Gonzalez said she developed her own appreciation for the flavorful cuisine. 

This love for the culinary arts aligns with the club’s mission to educate its members on all aspects of Korean culture.

As the Korean Culture Club at FIU continues to evolve, its commitment to providing a comprehensive understanding of Korean culture remains unwavering. 

Beyond the glitz of K-pop, K-dramas, and K-Beauty, the club’s events, like the “Seoulmates Game Night,” are a testament to their dedication to sharing the diversity of Korean culture with the FIU community.

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