The Korean Education Center in Los Angeles (KECLA) will offer Spring programs starting Saturday, February 7 and continuing for 16 weeks until Saturday, May 16.
The programs include classes for learning Korean dances, Taekwondo, Korean traditional instruments, and the Korean language. Also called Bbu-ri Education, from the Korean phrase meaning “roots,” the program can benefit both Korean Americans and non-Koreans who are interested in Korean culture.
During an interview with JSR, Brea Olinda High School sophomore Jinha Kim said, “I was born here and I [have] participated in a program similar to Bbu-ri Education… [that] definitely helped me a lot in learning Korean. I suggest that other Korean Americans participate in this kind of program to enhance their Korean skills.”
Not only does KECLA offer programs involving the Korean language, but it also offers special programs dedicated to the Korean performing arts. People who participate in these classes will be able to make harmonious sounds that many instruments cannot make by learning how to play traditional Korean stringed instruments including the haegeum, which is played with a bow, and the gayageum, a 12-stringed instrument that resembles a guzheng or a zither. In contrast to popular Western instruments such as the violin and piano, these instruments have been played for centuries by Korean ancestors and thus their sounds may better reflect the specific feelings and emotions of Koreans.
Donghoon Kim, a fourth grader at Brea Country Hills Elementary School, told JSR in an interview, “As soon as I heard about this program, the first thing that came up in my head was the name of this program, ‘Bbu-ri.’ I think it is significant for all of us to find our own roots, and as a Korean American I feel like my root is based on Korea. I am looking forward to participating in the program to help me find my exact roots.”
This program is designed particularly for Korean Americans who seek to learn more about their identities and for others who are interested in Korean culture. If you are interested in learning more and enrolling, visit kecla.org for more information. A link near the top labeled “English” is available for those who are not comfortable reading in Korean.