K-NITE is one of the largest events that the Brandeis Korean Students Association holds every year. This year, KSA chose the theme of butterflies, or “Nabi,” to represent the hard yet beautiful transition that everyone has to go through in life, to say farewell to the graduating senior class, to wish the best for everyone going through hardships and to ultimately become a better version of themselves.

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DANCING FUN: Students performed Korean dances to help teach the students attending the event about Korean popular culture.

K-NITE kicked off with a unique E-board video, showing the audience several different skits that highlighted aspects of Korean culture with meticulously designed content, from Korean food culture to K-drama. One of the clips included featured reactions to an extremely spicy ramen taste test. Other clips included a “vlog” of a stereotype of Korean students’ “luxury life,” a K-drama scene of “Rich Mom & Poor Stepson,” directed and filmed by E-board members, another K-drama scene of “My Instant Pet Boyfriend & Me” and a lovely K-pop music video cover of “Blue-Velvet debut.” Each skit featured an aspect of Korean culture, popular with young Koreans and people from all over the world. The two K-drama scenes captured a K-drama fan’s heart — especially “Rich Mom & Poor Stepson.” It featured the most frequently repeated scene in family ethics dramas, which often take place in K-drama chaebol (extremely wealthy families). The exaggerated styles of acting brought laughter from many in the audience.  

The activity was a fusion of K-pop and traditional Korean culture. Students, including KSA members and volunteer dancers, performed several group dances that represented K-pop culture and ignited the atmosphere right away. The dances, “Fancy” and “Yes or Yes,” from popular K-pop girls idol group Twice, energized the audience with their brisk melodies and lively dance moves. “Idol” and “Kill This Love,” from the world-famous K-pop groups BTS and Black Pink, struck the audience with powerful moves and strong rhythm. Audience members swayed glow sticks to the rhythm and responded positively to the event. Applause thundered through Levin Ballroom at the conclusion of each act. 

KSA also designed stages of soft Korean pop music between the dances. Songs such as “Nose, Eyes, Lips” and “Stay With Me” are very popular among Asian audiences. Many in the audience started to sing along with the performers on stage. Another song, “Shabang, Shabang,” by Korean trot song singer Park Hyun-bin, gave the performance an air of happiness with its repetitive two-beat rhythm. Dances representing traditional Korean culture combined the element of Talchum, a type of traditional Korean dance performance with masks, to the rhythmic modern music.

Between performances, there were bits in which two audience members were invited on stage to participate in a quick quiz on Korean culture or KSA. Those who won received cute LINE Friends regalia, which is a series of popular cartoon characters. It was an opportunity for the audience to learn trivia about Korean culture, such as who was the founder of the Korean language (the answer is King Sejong).

KSA decorated a dreamy scene at Levin Ballroom. One hundred paper butterflies were hung from two corners of the room. The stage was decorated with hand-carved paper flowers and painted signs. Even the tables were sprinkled with small pieces of paper with metallic shine and lit by transparent glass jars that had flowers inside and were strung with lights. 

K-NITE was a cultural feast, not only for Korean students and K-drama fans, but also for the whole student population, including people who had not been previously exposed to Korean culture. The KSA put tremendous effort into arranging the performances and setting up the stage. To better immerse the audience in the activity, KSA even projected lyrics of songs on the screen during performances. I could really feel the love KSA members have and I sincerely hope that their wish for this event will come true: that everyone can fly into their futures like butterflies.