Last month, it was the season of university festivals in Korea. There is a certain image that reminds Koreans when we think of it, singers, and students selling foods, alcoholic beverages and so on. Yet, would this image about university festivals be common all around the world? With this curiosity, the Sookmyung Times (SMT) interviewed students from different countries and heard about their university festivals.
SMT Do universities in your country have festivals in which most students participate?
JENI In the USA, the biggest festival that the whole university participates in is opened during the American football season (August to November). The festival is on the day the university’s football team has a game, and it’s opened around the stadium. Since the games are on Saturday, no lectures are being cancelled. At the festival, people bring their own food, barbeque instruments, and booths, and park their cars and have a barbeque party before the game.
TULAY Universities in Turkey have festivals around end of May. This period is scheduled right before its exam period since Turkish students wish to get rid of stress before the exam. Festivals are held for 4 to 7 days and no lectures are cancelled since every day it starts mostly from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Not by teams of clubs or colleges but individually, students sell products they made and the gain goes to charity. The main purpose of the festival is to enjoy dancing and music.
MANLIANG Chinese universities have one festival that all the students participate in, which is the centennial anniversary day. Every member of the university participates obligatorily. It is held for about three days and all the classes are cancelled during the festival. Commonly, during the festival, at 7 a.m. all students and professors gather in the school yard and have a flag raising ceremony. The food is provided for free, and in the afternoon, there are fireworks, singers, and speeches from alumni.
JEONGYOON Korean universities have festivals around May. Regardless of the festival, lectures go along normally. The festival lasts about three days, from dusk to dawn. Students in units of clubs and colleges sell foods in daytime, and sell alcohol at night. Also, students’ and singers’ concerts are done.
SMT Korean students actively join other universities’ festivals. In your country, do students in other univ. and local residents participate in universities’ festivals?
JENI Football festivals are held locally. To watch games, it’s free for the university’s students but alumni or local residents must buy a ticket. However, lots of people participate also. Anyone who wishes can come and join tailgating, have parties, and support the team.
TULAY Other university students seldom join the festivals, since lots of other universities’ festivals overlap their exam period. Sometimes local residents pay money to see famous singers coming to a university.
MANLIANG If they want, anyone can participate, but there scarcely are. It’s because there are no spontaneous activities done by students and it is a festival to celebrate the university’s centennial anniversary.
SMT Korean university festivals’ main feature is inviting singers and selling alcohol. How is your country’s university festivals compared to this feature?
JENI Not always, but sometimes a singer is invited after the game and sings in the stadium. And there is no booth that sells alcohol. Because one has to be over 21 to drink alcohol, not all university students are allowed. So to drink, one must bring their own.
TULAY About two singers come each day, and we mostly have pop or metal style singers. However, we don’t commonly have booths that sell alcohol. Universities provide it for free. Yet, since most Turks are Islamic, not everyone drinks alcohol, so the university just places beer barrels in the yard for those who want it.
MANLIANG There are singers invited to celebrate the anniversary, but we don’t have selling booths. There is no alcohol in the festivals and no booths for students to sell anything