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  • 작성자 사진Noh Hyun-jin

[On Campus] The Long-Awaited School Festival: Play with Ajou!

No.160 / Oct 17, 2022

History of Ajou University’s festival

The Ajou University Festival has a long history since the founding of Ajou University in 1973. In the 1970s, Ajou University’s festival was held mainly to accommodate interdepartmental competition. Several sports events were held, and Gwanggyo Lake Park was also used as a venue for canoe competitions. In the 1980s, the sports events including canoe competitions continued, but the festival saw the addition of folk festivals, choir competitions, and marathons. In addition, in 1983, the cheering squad CENTAUR was established and they performed at the festival. Although the location of the main gate has been changed from the three-way intersection to the current location, the festival took place near a three-way intersection until 2011. As of 2018, the sale of alcohol at the festival has been banned, so students have started buying alcohol from outside.

2022 School festival overview

Due to COVID-19, the festival has not been held since 2019, however resumed this year. The name of 2022 school festival is WoncheonDaedongje: NorAjou. “Daedongje” means “the festival to unite everyone”. In Korea, almost all universities refer to their annual university festival as Daedongje. “NorAjou” is a combination of the word “Norajo”, which is a cute term for “play with me” in Korean, and the word “Ajou” from Ajou University. The festival was held for 3 days from Wednesday, September 28 to Friday, September 30.

Every day, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., daytime booths were open on the lawn in front of Seongho Hall. The student council prepared desserts and pamphlets, and the alumni association produced several school goods. Also, school institutions such as Job Plus Center operated booths. Of course, various clubs operated booths for their own activities. Additionally, a super-sized slide was installed in the Gaon Madang (which also called Teletubbies Garden) and students were delighted by it. Every day, from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m., nighttime booths, also called pubs, were open in the Gaon Madang. Various departments, clubs, and private businesses chose concepts to run their pub, and students from various departments enjoyed drinking together. Starting at 6 p.m. every day, student performances and performances by celebrities were held in the open-air theater. Invited celebrities were Dvwn, BIG Naughty, ZICO on Wednesday, Min Kyung-hoon on Thursday, Punch and IVE on Friday. People were allowed to enter by presenting identification and luggage confirmation to see performances.

During the three days of the festival, The Ajou Globe (The AG) interviewed face-to-face about how students feel.

Interview at the beginning of the festival (September 28, 29)

Lee Woo-yeol (1st grade, the Department of Digital Media)

A. I entered Ajou University in 2022 and it is my first time celebrating the annual festival. I’ve heard that the university’s festival is a lot of fun, so I’m looking forward to experiencing it firsthand, and I’m glad that there are a lot of opportunities to see celebrities perform.

Kim Wan-su (2nd grade, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering)

A. I entered Ajou University in 2019, and it’s my second time celebrating the annual festival. I did my military service during the severe COVID-19 period. So at least, I’ve experienced annual festival in 2019. I feel so sad for students who entered the university in 2020 or 2021 and didn’t get to enjoy the annual festival. I hope they enjoy the festival this year. I’m looking forward to Min Kyung-hoon’s performance the most!

Interview at the end of the festival (September 30)

Jude Akalaka Atugbokoh (the Department of Energy Studies from the Graduate School of International Studies (GSIS))

A. It’s been 1.5 months since I came to the university. It’s my first time enjoying the festival. It was great! On the second day, there was one guy that rapped, one of the students––I liked him. And today, the best part was the cheering squad (CENTAUR)! They made everyone have a great time because they were warming everybody up before the celebrities came. (Also, he said all celebrities’ performances were so good.) It was my first time exploring this Korean culture and Korean celebrities I didn’t know about before, and I really, really like them. Also, I enjoyed tents. I ate yogurt. All Koreans are so kind, and they are always really emotional; we loved it. They are always giving us candy and other gifts!


By Noh Hyun-jin, AG Reporter

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