Korean Culture/Arts

Articles related to Korean culture and the arts.

Free College Planning Seminar

The Korean American Center will be hosting a free college planning seminar for parents and students going into 9th to 12th grades on Saturday, May, 27, 2015.  The objective of this 90 minute seminar is to share as much information to help parents and students maximize the chances and finding the best opportunities in college. This program is full of secrets, tips, and advice on how to make students stand out.

Seating is limited. Please RSVP to reserve your spot here.

WHEN: Saturday, May 27, 2017 1:00PM

WHERE: Korean American Center
18 Truman St, Suite 208
Irvine, CA 92620

오렌지 카운티 한미 문화 센터는 오는 가을학기부터 9학년에서 12학년이 되는 학생들과 학부모들을 위한 무료 대학 입시 준비 세미나를 열려고 합니다. 90분간 진행되는 이 세미나는 가능한 많은 정보를 공유하여 학생들과 학부모들이 대학 진학에 있어서 최고의 기회와 최적의 조건을 찾는데 도움이 될 것입니다. 이 프로그램은 학생들이 어떻게 하면 두드러질 수 있는지에 대한 조언과 팁, 그리고 알려지지 않은 것들에 대해 알려줄 것입니다.

자리가 제한되어 있으니 미리 예약하시길 바랍니다.

Professional Korean American Network (PKAN)

The Professional Korean American Network (PKAN) was established to provide opportunities for Korean Americans in Orange County across all disciplines, industries and career levels who are looking to connect and collaborate with other Korean Americans for business networking, professional development, and foster leadership skills.

Through a combination of professional mixers, social meetings, and civic initiatives, the goal of PKAN is to build a strong network of Korean American professionals and help create business leaders within the community.

We are currently looking for committee members who are looking to engage with the Korean American community in a meaningful way. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Esther Cho at: esther@KoreanAmericanCenter.org

Stay updated on PKAN by adding yourself to our interest list.

Keep track of upcoming events through our events page or through our facebook page.

Youth Summer Korean Immersion Program

한국어    Registration Now Closed  for Summer 2017 Youth Korean Language Immersion Program for Middle & High School Students. 

The Korean American Center will host a Youth Korean immersion program for middle and high school students at various skill levels. No experience required. The program is designed to build comprehensive language skills and improve students’ knowledge of Korean through fun and engaging classroom immersion. Through 21st century teaching and learning, students will learn real world application of Korean language. Instruction will be provided on all four language skills (speaking, writing, reading and listening); with an emphasis on increasing students’ speaking and listening comprehension abilities.


The program will be designed for learners going into the 8th through 12 grades in the fall of 2017.  These students possess varying degrees of language proficiency from novice to intermediate, will gain literacy; expand their reading skills and comprehension, and increase their speaking and listening skills. Class size will be limited. 

This program will run for 3 weeks (Jun 19, 2017 – July 7, 2017), Monday through Friday from 1:30PM – 4:30PM. No class on July 4th.

Price:  $425 + $10 Material Fee. (25% off of 2nd child).

This program will focus on students being able to:

  1. experience Korean language immersion in the classroom
  2. communicate in Korean in real-world circumstances,
  3. use vocabulary learned from real-world contexts,
  4. understand impact traditional culture and values has on the language.
  5. foster an appreciation of their Korean cultural heritage and instill a sense of pride in their dual heritage.

Class size will be limited to only a small number of students. 


미주 한인 2, 3세 중학교와 고등학교 학생들을 위한 2017 KAC 여름 한국어 교실

한미 문화원센터 (KAC) 다가오는 2017년 여름, 한인 2, 3세 중학교와 고등학교 학생들을 위한 한국어 심화 교실을 열려고 한다. KAC 한국어 수업은 포괄적인 언어 능력을 기르고 학생들의 한국어에 대한 지식을 집중력있게 쌓을 수 있도록 고안되었다. 이 프로그램은 언어 학습을 위한 세계 용이성 기준에 맞춰져 있으며, 자신의 말하기, 듣기, 읽기, 쓰기 능력을 기르고 싶어하는 초급부터 중급 정도의 한국어 실력을 가진 한인 2, 3세 고등학생들을 위한 교실이다. 학생 모집 인원은 제한적임.

이 프로그램은 3 주간(2017년 6월 19일부터 2017년 7월 7일까지) 진행될 것이며, 월요일부터 금요일, 오후 1시30분부터 오후 4시 30분까지 진행된다.

이 프로그램은 다음과 같은 부분에 초점을 두고 있다.

  1. 교실에서의 한국어 집중 강화 교실 경험
  2. 실생활에서 한국어를 통한 의사소통
  3. 실제 상황에서 일어나는 문맥을 통한 어휘 습득
  4. 전통 문화와 가치가 언어이 미치는 영향을 이해
  5. 한국 문화 유산에 대한 이해를 고취시키고, 이중 정체성에 대한 자부심을 불어넣기

한국어 559-906-9684
영어 949-535-3338


President’s Volunteer Service Award

The Korean American Center is proud to be an official Certifying Organization for the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA)This nationally recognized award celebrates the impact that individuals can make in bettering our communities and our world. As a Certifying Organization, the Korean American Center will review, verify and deliver one of this nation’s highest honors.  

The President’s Volunteer Service Award was created through executive order by President George W. Bush in 2003 to recognize the important role volunteers play in building a strong America and to encourage a culture of volunteer service and civic participation. The program continued to grow under President Barack Obama.

We only certify for students in our Korean American Young Leaders (KAYL) program. Students can volunteer for  a wide range of other project and services outside of KAYL, but they must be in our KAYL program and have performed.  

In the spirit of being student led, CALLS FROM PARENTS WILL NOT ACCEPTED.

We encourage all volunteers to create an account and begin tracking your service hours.

  1. Log your hours by creating a profile on the President’s Volunteer Service Award website
  2. Identify Korean American Center as your institution by adding ROS (Record of Service) Key: OTH-6873 to your profile.
  3. Keep track of your hours by downloading this Log form
  4. ONLY hours entire in the PVSA website will be certified.
  5. We certify all hours only twice per year – once on July 31st and the other on December 31st.

Once your forms and logs are completed, the Korean American Center will certify your hours and order your award.  Additionally, the President’s Volunteer Service Award recipients will be recognized during our annual gala ceremony.


Hours are measured over a 12-month period and awards are designated based on cumulative hours. The awards are offered in multiple levels and are designed to recognize each milestone of your service achievement. Levels include bronze, silver, gold and the highest honor, the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for those who contribute more than 4,000 hours of service in their lifetime.

[supsystic-tables id=’9′]

Your recognition inspires others to take positive action to change the world!

Learn more at http://www.presidentialserviceaward.gov

Adult Volunteer Opportunities: Here

ATTENTION HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS: All youth volunteer opportunities will be through our KAYL program. Please sign up at KAYL (Korean American Young Leaders).

Winter 2017 Adult Korean Language Class Registration

Winter Session Begins: January 7, 2017 – March 17, 2017
Each class session is 90 minutes. 

REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED:  Please add your name to our Interest List and we will inform you as soon as our schedule for Spring Session is released. 

Registration Information:  We can only accept a limited number of students per class. Once the maximum number has been reach, registration will be closed. You may then choose to be added to the wait-list for next session. The past several semesters, we have completely filled our Korean Fundamentals and Level 1 classes.

Registration Form:  All new and returning students must complete an application form each semester. Registration is not considered complete until payment has been made. 

Winter 2017 Schedule and Fees:  For the past several sessions, our Korean Fundamentals and Level 1 classes have reached maximum capacity. It is highly advised to register as soon as possible to secure your spot. Prices do not include book or $10 material fee. 

[supsystic-tables id=”7″]

*Please Note: The only difference between Section A and B are the DAYS and TIMES. The content is exactly the same for each level. 

Each class needs a minimum of 3 students to remain open. If minimum registration is not met, classes may be cancelled. Enroll now to ensure your class remains open. 

**Supplemental Korean Practice lab is every Thursdays from 7:00 – 8:45 PM at Heritage Park Community Center in Irvine. This is an instructor led practice class and a great opportunity to reinforced the class lessons through additional practice. There is no extra charge to attend for registered students. All levels are welcomed.

Class Descriptions and Sample Lessons can be found on HERE

PLACEMENT TEST (OPTIONAL):   For those students or those with no experience or background in Korean will automatically be placed in Korean Fundamentals. In addition, students with a Korean heritage background who cannot read Hangul will also be asked to start with Korean Fundamentals.  Students interested in Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 will have the opportunity to take an optional online proficiency test to ensure they are placed in the appropriate class. 

BOOKS: We have selected books we believe to be the most practical and useful books for studying Korean. You may either purchase the books directly through KAC or you may purchase on your own. If you happen to purchase on your own, please be sure to purchase the correct edition as we are using the latest editions of all the books. Please note that these books may change based on

  • Classes: Korean Fundamentals, Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3: Fun & Fast Korean 1 by Darakwon Publishing – 1st Edition (4th printing March 2015) ISBN: 978-89-5995-829-0 (KAC Price: $25)
  • Classes: Level 4 and Level 5: Fun & Fast Korean 2 by Darakwon Publishing – 1st Edition (3rd printing February 2016) ISBN: 978-89-5995-717-0 (KAC Price: $25)

TERMS (Please read before registering): 

  • Registration is not complete until payment is received. Early bird discounts apply only towards completed registrations. 
  • Fees are non-refundable (except in the case of class cancellation by KAC). Please do not register if you are unsure. 
  • Fees are non-transferable to another semester. No Credits will be given for missed classes. Since we are a volunteer run organization, we do not have the administrative capacity to handle these requests. 
  • Fees do not include books. Books can either be purchased on your own or through KAC. We only accept cash and checks only for book purchases. 
  • Fees may be tax deductible, talk to your financial advisor for details.
  • Checks can be made out to: “Korean American Center
  • Credit card payments are accepted after registration form is complete. To pay by credit card, you will be prompted to the page after you complete the registration form. 
  • Payment on this page is for Korean classes ONLY (Click here to purchase Private Lesson packages)
  • Fees must be paid prior to the beginning of class. Registration is not considered complete unless fees are fully paid.  

Korean Population in Orange County

Orange County is home to the second largest Korean population in the United States. Koreans also represent the second largest Asian community in Orange County. Despite these facts, the population is often either overshadowed by the larger Korean population in neighboring Los Angeles County.

The following is an interactive break-down of the Korean American population in Orange County.  This is based on the most recent data from the 2012 American Community Survey 1-Year (ACS S021) Estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that there are 104,117 Korean-Americans in Orange County, who are either solely Korean or in combination with another race. 

Data provided by the Orange County Registrar of Voters.

Korean Population in Orange County


Letter To Our Korean Parents: Black Lives Matter

The American Dream Cannot exist only for our children. 
아메리칸 드림은 저희들만을 위해 존재 할 수는 없어요.

A group of Asian American volunteers wrote an open letter to immigrant parents explaining their support for Black Lives Matter. Asian Americans have translated the letter into a number of native languages, including Korean. This is an important first step in starting conversations across generations about the issues that the United States is facing right now. Korean American Center applauds this project, and is proud to have participated. This took a tremendous amount of crowdsourced, volunteer-based labor from hundreds of people across the country. Below is the letter in both Korean and English

사랑하는 우리 부모님과 친척 여러분,

꼭 드리고 싶은 말씀이 있어요.

어려서부터 흑인들과 함께 자라지 않으신 분들께는 흑인들이 아직 어색하고 낯설게 느껴질 수도 있다는걸 알아요. 하지만 그들은 저의 학교 친구로서, 또 직장 동료로서, 그리고 제 가족으로서 제 삶의 정말 중요한 부분을 차지하고 있어요. 그런데 요즘 저는 이들의 안전이 걱정되고 불안해요.

올 한 해만 미국 경찰에 의해 살해당한 사람이 벌써 500명을 넘어서고 있어요. 그 중 흑인 사망자가 25%를 차지하는데, 흑인들이 미국 인구의 13%밖에 차지하지 않는다는 점을 고려하면 25%는 정말 높은 수치에요. 지난 7월 5일, 루이지애나 주에서는 두 명의 백인 경찰이 길거리에서 CD를 팔던 알톤 스털링(Alton Sterling)이라는 흑인 남성을 살해했어요. 그 바로 다음 날, 미네소타 주에서는 경찰이 통상적인 교통 검문 중에 필랜도 캐스틸(Philando Castile)이라는 흑인 남성을 쏴 죽였어요. 그의 여자친구와 4살배기 딸이 보는 바로 앞에서요.이 사건 외에도 정말 많은 상황에서 무고한 시민들의 삶을 빼앗은 경찰들은 어떠한 처벌도 받지 않고 있어요.

이것이 바로 저희들의 흑인 친구들이 매일 겪어나가야 하는 끔찍한 현실이죠.

흑인들이 직면하는 위험에 대해 듣는 이 순간에도, 우리 한국인들은 본능적으로 그들과 다르다고 생각할 수도 있어요. 그들의 고통에 공감하기보다는 그들의 현실을 외면하려고 하죠. 흑인이 경찰의 총에 맞았다는 소식을 들었을 때, 그 흑인이 무엇인가 잘못했기 때문이라고 생각하실수도 있어요. 흑인들이 폭력배나 범죄자로 그려지는 대중매체를 많이 접하셨을 수도 있으니까요. 우리는 미국에 빈손으로 와서 차별 속에서도 더 나은 삶을 만들어나가려 노력하며 사는데, ‘왜 흑인들은 그러지 못할까’라는 생각을 하실 수도 있어요.

그렇지만 제 생각은 조금 달라요.

물론, 미국이라는 나라에서 아시아계 사람들도 차별받는다는 것은 사실이에요. 때때로 사람들은 우리의 영어 발음을 듣고 무례하게 굴 때도 있고, 또는 아시아계 사람들은 리더쉽이 없다고 해서 승진시키지 않기도 해요. 심지어 우리 중 일부를 테러범이라고 부르기도 해요. 하지만 그래도 길거리를 걸어다니는 저희를 보고, 사람들이 “위험한 범죄자”라고 생각하지는 않죠. 단지 아시아계 사람이라는 이유만으로 경찰들이 우리 가족들을 총으로 쏘지도 않고요.

하지만 저희 흑인 친구들의 경험은 우리의 경험과 달라요. 많은 흑인들은 몇 세기 전 강제적으로 아메리카 대륙에 노예 신분으로 끌려왔었고 몇 세기 동안 흑인 공동체, 가족들, 개인들은 노예제도의 이익을 위해 착취 당해왔어요. 노예제도가 폐지된 이후에도 흑인들은 집을 소유할 권리나 투표권을 얻지 못했고, 결국에는 미국 정부나 공립기관의 도움없이 스스로 자신들의 삶을 다시 개척해나가야 했으며 그들은 오늘날까지 계속 이어지는 폭력의 위협 아래에서 살아가고 있어요.

흑인 인권운동가들은 자신들의 권리를 위해 싸우면서 그들만이 아닌, 우리 한국인을 포함한 모든 이들을 위한 기회들을 얻기 위해 운동을 추진해왔어요. 수많은 흑인 인권운동가들은 인종차별에 맞서 오랫동안 싸우던 도중 폭행을 당하고, 수감되고, 억울하게 목숨을 잃기도 했어요. 그리고 그 투쟁의 결과로 그나마 인종차별을 금지하는 제도들이 생기기 시작했고 결과적으로 흑인 인권운동가들이 힘들게 쟁취해 낸 ‘피부색 때문에 차별받지 않을 권리’를 미국에 살고 있는 우리의 많은 친구들과 친척들이 누리게 된거죠. 그럼에도 불구하고 우리 사회는 여전히 불공평하고 우리는 한국 이민자로써 겪는 차별은 부당하다고 느끼면서도 흑인들처럼 우리와 모습이 다른 사람들에 대한 편견은 버리지 못하고 있어요.

누군가가 집으로 걸어가다 법과 질서를 수호해야 하는 경찰관에 의해 총격을 당하면 – 설상 그 총격을 가한 경찰관이 동양인이라 하더라도 – 이것은 법률에 의한 평등성과 공정성을 희망하는 우리 모두에게 대한 공격이에요.

이런 이유로 인해 저는 “Black Lives Matter” (“흑인 생명도 소중하다”) 운동을 지지하고 있어요. 이 운동을 지지한다는 건 저와 같은 동네에서 살아가는 사람들, 또는 제 가족 일원들이 미국 흑인들의 인간성을 폄하하는 발언이나 행동을 할 때 거리낌없이 지적하고 바로 잡는 것이에요. 이런 말씀을 드리는 건 이 이슈가 우리 사이를 갈라 놓지 않기를 바라기 때문이에요. 경찰의 폭력으로 인해 사랑하는 사람을 떠나보낸 부모님들 그리고 그 아이들의 분노와 슬픔에 공감하시려고 노력해 주시길 부탁드려요. 더불어 저의 분노와 슬픔도 공감해 주시고, 제가 저의 의견을 피력하고 시위에 참여하기로 할 때 제 결정을 지지해주시길 부탁드려요. 친구분들께도 이 메시지를 전달해주시고 공감을 표하실 수 있도록 권유해주세요.

저희들을 위해 험한 여정을 통해 미국으로 이주하셨고, 결코 이민자에게 너그럽지 못했던 이 나라에서 수십 년간 견뎌 오셨다는 사실을 너무도 자랑스럽고 감사하게 생각해요. 직접 겪어온 힘든 일들을 저희가 겪지 않았으면 하는 바램으로써, 저희가 “아메리칸 드림”을 이룰 수 있도록 편견이 가득한 이 땅에서 고생하셨다는 걸 너무나도 잘 알아요.

하지만 이것만큼은 고려해 주시길 바라요: 아메리칸 드림은 저희들만을 위해 존재할 수는 없어요. 우리는 모두 같은 배에 탄 처지이고, 우리의 친구와 이웃들 그리고 사랑하는 이들 모두가 안전할 때까지 우리 또한 안전하다고 느낄 수 없어요. 우리가 이루고자 하는 아메리칸 드림은 모든 이들이 경찰의 폭행에 대한 두려움 없이 살아갈 수 있는 미래에요.

사랑하는 자녀들, 조카, 손주 올림


Mom, Dad, Uncle, Auntie, Grandfather, Grandmother:

We need to talk.

You may not have grown up around people who are Black, but I have. Black people are a fundamental part of my life: they are my friends, my classmates and teammates, my roommates, my family. Today, I’m scared for them.

This year, the American police have already killed more than 500 people. Of those, 25% have been Black, even though Black people make up only 13% of the population. Earlier this week in Louisiana, two White police officers killed a Black man named Alton Sterling while he sold CDs on the street. The very next day in Minnesota, a police officer shot and killed a Black man named Philando Castile in his car during a traffic stop while his girlfriend and her four-year-old daughter looked on. Overwhelmingly, the police do not face any consequences for ending these lives.

This is a terrifying reality that some of my closest friends live with every day.

Even as we hear about the dangers Black Americans face, our instinct is sometimes to point at all the ways we are different from them. To shield ourselves from their reality instead of empathizing. When a policeman shoots a Black person, you might think it’s the victim’s fault because you see so many images of them in the media as thugs and criminals. After all, you might say, we managed to come to America with nothing and build good lives for ourselves despite discrimination, so why can’t they?

I want to share with you how I see things.

It’s true that we face discrimination for being Asian in this country. Sometimes people are rude to us about our accents, or withhold promotions because they don’t think of us as “leadership material.” Some of us are told we’re terrorists. But for the most part, nobody thinks “dangerous criminal” when we are walking down the street. The police do not gun down our children and parents for simply existing.

This is not the case for our Black friends. Many Black people were brought to America as slaves against their will. For centuries, their communities, families, and bodies were ripped apart for profit. Even after slavery, they had to build back their lives by themselves, with no institutional support — not allowed to vote or own homes, and constantly under threat of violence that continues to this day.

In fighting for their own rights, Black activists have led the movement for opportunities not just for themselves, but for us as well. Black people have been beaten, jailed, even killed fighting for many of the rights that Asian Americans enjoy today. We owe them so much in return. We are all fighting against the same unfair system that prefers we compete against each other.

When someone is walking home and gets shot by a sworn protector of the peace — even if that officer’s last name is Liang — that is an assault on all of us, and on all of our hopes for equality and fairness under the law.

For all of these reasons, I support the Black Lives Matter movement. Part of that support means speaking up when I see people in my community — or even my own family — say or do things that diminish the humanity of Black Americans in this country. I am telling you this out of love, because I don’t want this issue to divide us. I’m asking that you try to empathize with the anger and grief of the fathers, mothers, and children who have lost their loved ones to police violence. To empathize with my anger and grief, and support me if I choose to be vocal, to protest. To share this letter with your friends, and encourage them to be empathetic, too.

As your child, I am proud and eternally grateful that you made the long, hard journey to this country, that you’ve lived decades in a place that has not always been kind to you. You’ve never wished your struggles upon me. Instead, you’ve suffered through a prejudiced America, to bring me closer to the American Dream.

But I hope you can consider this: the American Dream cannot exist for only your children. We are all in this together, and we cannot feel safe until ALL our friends, loved ones, and neighbors are safe. The American Dream that we seek is a place where all Americans can live without fear of police violence. This is the future that I want — and one that I hope you want, too.

With love and hope,

Your children

Letters For Black Lives