8:00 a.m. in Ewha campus. Last night’s empty arrays of green tents and white plastic stands and chairs are now filled with bustling crowds of student club members who participate in 2016 Daedong Festival. Students busily deliver ice packs to keep beverages cool and wait for banks to open to prepare coins for change. Huge posters with hand-written club names with menus and prices are securely taped around the stands and on top of the tents.
9:30 a.m. “Come to taste our specially made wine ade at 2016 Daedong Festival!” Three days’ sale of Daedong Festival begins with shoutings of club members to attract customers.
Following a long line of students around a booth near the lawn next to the main entrance stands the booth of student association of Korean Painting. As one of the popular item of the festival, folding fans decorated by students are attracting customers.
“We purchase folding fans in bulk from Insa-dong,” said Chung Dal-he, a member of student association of Korean Painting. “Then we distribute them to students majoring in Korean Painting with a limit of 10 fans per person. Although it is not an obligation for students to draw something on the fans, they willingly take part in the project.”
Part of the revenues are given to the students who volunteered for the drawing work. The rest are put into the student association budget to be used for students’ welfare and promotion of the department.
Right next to the folding fan booth stands another popular booth of Ewha Campus Leader selling their famous t-shirts. Annually selling t-shirts that read “I am your future boss, not your future wife,” the student ambassadors target Ewha students as consumers, recalling Ewha’s spirit of independence with the message.
This year, campus leaders prepared 150 t-shirts, eco-bags, and small mirrors. Preventing early sold-out of the items, they limited daily sales of t-shirts and eco-bags to 55 each in the first two days.
“As we usually focus on campus tours to high school students and greeting guests from outside the campus, Daedong festival is time for us to introduce and promote ourselves to Ewha students,” explained Cheon Hyeon-jin, captain of the Campus Leader. “So keeping the booth open for the entire festival is important to us.”
The revenue earned from the sales are partly donated in the end of the year. Last year, they donated to “Save the Children.”
Some booths uniquely expressed their clubs’ identities into the items. Wild Bird Watching Club Saerang displayed hand mirrors and stickers with hand-drawn birds of various species with each of the members’ name attached. The unique part of it was that the members’ bird-names were printed on the items.
“Miss guillemot, Miss pochard, Miss sheldrake, Miss Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker,” said a member of Saerang. “Some of the members are given bird names and we put them on the items to show who drew each bird.”
Saerang members are planning to buy illustrated bird books and binoculars for their observation activities with the revenue from the sale.
Under the blazing heat all day, sellers of the fans, t-shirts, food, and beverages did not seem to be exhausted, rather exhilarated.
“It is the first festival for our freshmen members,” said Lee Yoon-ji, leader of Winee, a student club that studies wine through various tasting seminars and events. “I am excited for this experience of holding booths with them as the moments of being sellers and preparing for this whole event will definitely grant them invaluable memories.”
Despite fatigue and troubles during the whole process of the sales, the annual May festival means integration within the clubs and also with the Ewha students just like the meaning of Daedong: Unify as a whole.