Friday, January 31, 2014

새해 복 많이 받으세요, part 2

Welcome to 설날 (Seollal)! There’s a traditional game that they play in Korea every New Year. It’s called yut nori, or sometimes just yut. You have four little guys that you move around a game board and try to get them home, and you move them by throwing Korean dice. The dice aren’t the cubes with spots on them like we’re used to. They’re sticks, round on one side and flat on the other.

The game board is a square with six spaces to a side, and there are diagonal spaces, too, that you can use for a short cut. The object is to get all four of your guys home. It reminds me of Aggravation!, and old game we used to play at my Grandma’s house.

To play the game you throw four of the sticks, and how you move depends on how many of them land round side down (or flat side up). For example, if two of them land flat side up, you get to move two spaces. If only one lands flat side up, you get to move one space. If all four of them land flat side up, it’s called a yut, and you get to roll again. If all four of them land round side up, you get to move five spaces and go again, too!

We played the game at a ward family night, and it was a BLAST! Probably because I WON!!!  Who rocks the house!?

OK, maybe they let me win, ‘cause I’m a missionary, but still…

Another game they play, but I haven't seen it, is a thing kind of like a teeter totter. It's called neolttwigi. Only on this one, you stand on it, and the other person jumps on and tries to get you high up in the air. It looks a little scary, but fun!

The other New Year’s tradition is sebae. Kids dress in their hanboks and do a deep, honorific bow to their parents, who then give them money or candy or fruit. Actually, the kids sebae to as many people as they can – it’s a little like honorific trick or treating! A lot of times the treats are in these fancy bags that are really, really cool.

There’s also a traditional food called dduk (sounds like Donald). It’s a rice cake and it’s actually pretty good! There’s always a big meal somewhere – we’re going to the bishop’s house – and then people walk around the city wearing their traditional clothes. A couple of the elders and sisters also have hanboks, so we’re going to go walk around and maybe do some contacting. It’s going to be super cool! Chemi issayeo!

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