Ewha P.I.E., a social club in Ewha aiming for cultural diversity, takes the lead in cultural interchange between regions within and beyond Korea. As an abbreviation for “Path of International Exchange: Through Embracement,” the club encourages students to promote culture exchanges from both ends. Korean students introduce Korean culture to foreign students and foreign students introduce their culture to Korean students. The latter is what sets Ewha P.I.E. apart from other cultural exchange clubs, exposing Korean students to diverse cultures as well.
Bae Jeong-hyeon and Bok Yoo-jin, the current representatives of the club, describe Ewha P.I.E’s primary purpose as to encourage members to enhance their cultural understanding, which may help them to become global leaders in the future.
The club currently consists of members from 11 countries in total including students from Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Malta, Mongolia, and Uzbekistan.
Daulet Adelya, a member from Kazakhstan, explained that she came across a blog post written by a foreign student from Ewha, which recommended the club to others.
P.I.E. Food Talk (Cultural Dining), Hometown Report, and A Walk into the World are some of the main programs by Ewha P.I.E. In P.I.E. Food Talk members cook and taste dishes of various countries.
“My group decided to taste Italian cuisine, specifically lasagna, and Vietnamese dessert, which became my favorite right away after tasting it,” Daulet said. “I built friendship with other students and met again soon after to try Korean cuisine, Samgepsal.”
“For this semester, I ate tom yam kung and pu phat phongcurry, which are Thai dishes, with a foreign member” said Lee A-young, another member of Ewha P.I.E. “I remember both of us coughing from the spice of tom yam kung!”
Lee explained that the members usually engage in conversations while waiting for the dishes. Through tasting different cuisines, she could learn about diverse cultures with an easy start, food.
Daulet shared her experience of participating in Hometown Report, a program in which foreign members introduce their countries to other members. This semester, Daulet introduced the similarities and differences between Korea and her home country, Kazakhstan. The members even had the opportunity to listen to some of the popular music of Daulet’s home country.
Daulet elaborated that at first, she thought it would be easy to present her home country. She found herself learning a lot more about it through the preparation process.
“During the process, I discovered the places in my home country that I did not even know,” Daulet said. “It was a fascinating experience to present my country to others from my own perspective.”
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the members participated in either offline activities in groups of four or online activities through Zoom this semester. Given the raised social distancing level, Ewha P.I.E. plans to focus on online meetings for the time being.
Despite such circumstances, members still recommend the club to other students.
“The uniqueness of the club lies in various activities that help not only on theory to gain background knowledge about cultures, but also on practices to learn them, thereby strengthening the connection between students,” Daulet said. “I recommend Ewha P.I.E. to freshmen and international students who came to Korea for the first time.”