Receiving something from another person reveals that person’s heart as they took the time to think about you. Gift-giving is important for both the giver and the receiver. In the past, Korea offered people a chance to join various baking workshops, but these days, the kinds of classes are various from making bags and rings to making perfumes. A one-day class has become popular among society, especially for those concerned about scheduling. The purpose of their participation in these one-day class is not only gift-giving but also hobby searching. The class is short; the entire project can be completed at the one-day class. SMT reporters, who are always up for trying new things, went to Yongmun Market to learn to bake. Did the inexperienced reporters succeed in baking cookies and macaron?
Just one day?
Modern people lead busy lives in a rapidly changing society. Sometimes it's hard to find a hobby to match their lifestyles and gives them the rest they need. However, people are pursuing a balance between work and life by investing in themselves despite their busy daily lives. One-day classes have become a huge hit. A one-day class means it only opens temporarily for that one day. Typically, the class lasts three to four hours, and at the end, participants will have learned a new hobby or experienced something new. Classes range from hands-on experiences such as baking, crafting, foreign languages, and wine tasting to the sharing of knowledge such as philosophy and literature. The cost of these one-day classes ranges from around 10,000 won to around 100,000 won. In the past, many people dared not attempt such activities due to time and cost. However, the one-day classes give them a chance to learn a new hobby in a single day as well as an escape from everyday life. Near Sookmyung Women's University, there is a café that provides one-day classes.
In 2018, at the Campustown Start-up Contest, three students were selected to design a regional development model that could revitalize Yongmun Market. Their project was established with support from Sookmyung. They opened an offline store called The Gong Bang. It means, “Hand-made Dessert Studio” and is a place for both teachers and students to gather and share their experiences. Even more impressive thing is that The Gong Bang is linked to other stores in Yongmun Market, so the desserts are made with fresher ingredients, providing success for the business and the market sellers. This café not only sells desserts but it also provides various kinds of one-day classes. To join the classes, a reservation is required. Reservations can be made directly on the shop’s website as well as on SnoWe, a Sookmyung webpage. Last October 31, the shop held the “The Gong Bang Halloween Cookie and Macaron Icing Design” class. To spend a more meaningful Halloween, SMT reporters registered for the class.
Adding color to daily life
The class consisted of four participants and lasted one hour. Before starting, SMT reporters received latex gloves and eight cups of white icing. The first step was to use food coloring to turn the white icing into eight different colors. Since everyone must use the same colors, it was necessary to compromise on the colors that the icing was made into. The teacher then put the icing into tight pockets and trimmed them so they would be easy to use. Next, the teacher gave us each dish containing cookies and macarons and helped us put the icing on them. It was hard to control the pressure needed on the tight pockets at first, but soon everyone was squeezing out individually beautiful shapes. Participants were also allowed to use a variety of glittering materials and cooking pans to make their icing decorations more elaborate. After doing the icing for about an hour, the cookies and macarons were stored in the refrigerator. Normally, they can be removed from the refrigerator after just 15 minutes, but beginners should wait 30 to 40 minutes for their products as they tend to make the icing quite thick. Waiting for the icing to harden, participants made boxes in which they would package their creations. Boxes were decorated with colorful stickers and the words “handmade”.
Attending the one-day class gave SMT reporters the chance to experience something new and think about themselves and society. Decorating cookies and macarons was a totally new experience. Reporters had only ever bought them at stores, so decorating 5 cookies and 5 macarons was quite challenging. The experience wasn’t about speed or perfection. The most important thing was to have a good time and enjoy the experience. As a student, SMT reporters had a lot of tasks to do, so the one-day class meant spending time without being chased. Also, since The Gong Bang is located inside the local market, it gave reporters the chance to look around society. After class, reporters firmly believed that the one-day class gave them the chance to experience new things and find themselves.
During the short 2-hour class, reporters talked freely with other participants and the instructor. Reporters asked the instructor, “Why did you open this one-day only class?” “It's for the prosperity of the Yongmun market economy,” replied the instructor. The instructor went on to say that The Gong Bang, as a government-backed operation is not in the business of earning a profit, “Almost all ingredients and materials needed for the workshop come from the Yongmun market. The market will continue to survive through co-prosperity from The Gong Bang.” In other words, in addition to giving pleasure to participants, The Gong Bang is also helping market sellers prosper.
Today differs from yesterday
As society develops, everything diversifies, but individually, life seems mundane. Now is the time to see out joy, away from studies at a desk or work in front of a laptop. Everyone needs time for fun that comes from a refresh experience different day. With the end of the year around the corner, why not make a few final memories with your friends, partners, or parents? Make today different from yesterday.
Lee Hwang Hayoung / Reporter
Oh Hwang Junhee / Reporter