Lotus Lantern Project
PVC Students Continue Tradition of Exploring Eastern Culture Through Hands-On Learning
홍익인간 or Hongik Ingan is how Korean’s express their philosophy of to live and act for the benefit of all mankind. This learning, along with the creation of Korea’s traditional lotus lanterns which celebrate Buddha’s birthday, were brought to PVC students the day prior to departing for spring recess.
Sixth grade students began the program by watching a video about Korean culture, including the lotus flower. “I didn’t know that the lotus flower basically dies each night and then reblooms the next morning,” said a student named Arianna. “I think that makes them pretty special.”
Since 2019, the Korean Spirit and Cultural Promotion Project has been working with PVC students to share the tenets of Korean culture and help them create their lanterns with different colors, each of which hold individual significance. In fact, in 2021, the work was done virtually. Applying the lotus petals requires multiple steps and patience, and students are guided through each layer.
Many students shared that they have siblings who made lanterns in previous years and that they are still displayed in their homes. Some students, like Liza and Justin, expressed interest in giving their lantern to their mother or grandmother, while the majority were excited to hang it in their own room. Julius even had the idea to add a glow stick to it so that the lantern would be illuminated.
“I think it’s really pretty,” said Aislin who, along with her friends, were carefully applying their fuchsia petals. “I think I may give this to my grandma when she visits this weekend.”
Teacher Jennifer Rescingo who created her own lantern while walking the room to help students explained that sixth grade students study the Eastern Hemisphere and that exposing them to cultures that are different from their own is incredibly important.
“The Korean culture is one that is incredibly accepting and giving, and I believe it’s very important for us to expose students to different ways of thinking,” said Ms. Rescigno. “The students are very eager to learn and I am proud to help share with them these messages of kindness, especially today.”