YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Area II officials want a little more local flavor in Yongsan Garrison’s mandatory newcomers brief.
To spice up classes starting next week, they will add traditional Korean songs, dances and foods.
“By introducing a part of Korean culture to newly assigned Area II soldiers and families, we can help bridge gaps between our countries,” said Kwon Min-sook, who volunteers as a coordinator and briefer at the Army Community Services center. “I wanted to do more to enhance Korean-American relations.”
The classes are required for all new Area II personnel, officials said.
Day one, which the area commander deemed mandatory for all personnel within 30 days of arriving in South Korea, focuses on providing “essential” information on Yongsan Garrison and the surrounding areas.
Day two, which includes a guided tour of Seoul, a free Korean lunch and an introduction to public transportation, is optional, officials said.
Beginning next week, the briefing will include a traditional fan dance and musical performances by the Yang Pyoung Cultural Performance Group. The group is largely composed of volunteer homemakers from Yang Pyoung, a village about an hour away from Yongsan, officials said.
“The women who will be performing are all from a rural community and most are farmers’ wives who want to share some culture and tradition with Americans,” Kwon said. “It’s their way of thanking the American soldier for his longtime commitment to Korea.”
Newcomer orientations are held on the second Tuesday and Wednesday of each month at the South Post Community Services Building between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
More information on the classes is available from unit first sergeants or by calling 738-7999.