American Fantasy

American Highschool, teenage, and college life movies are pretty popular in South Korea. Some parts of the movies are very culturally unfamiliar to Koreans – such as football, homecoming, prom, fraternities, and sororities. These cultural aspects become a part of an American Fantasy for some people as they are like a “world of the unknown” for many Koreans. I was also curious about the culture of the US for the same reason. So, I was very excited to experience such aspects of American culture during my exchange.

One of them was the Prom party of Drexel. It was quite an official party and most of the students were dressed in formal clothes – girls in dresses and boys in a tux. Finger foods were prepared – not to mention how good all the foods were – alongside drinks and music. The DJ was excellent with her choice of music, and everyone danced in the middle of the hall. The theme of the prom was a masquerade so they had masks prepared, and we could decorate our masks with sparkles and paints. I added a yellow little feather to mine. Prom was more formal than I expected. Nevertheless, it was interesting to me that a ‘school’ would throw a ‘party’ for the students.

Fraternity parties are more like what I have imagined about American parties. Korea doesn’t really have such a party culture except for some special occasions, and even those are not something like “frat parties.” I really enjoyed the spirit of the people at the party; all of them looked very happy and excited to be there, dancing and laughing. They had such energy for the nights (or days).

I think what makes such events awesome is the attitude of the people. They are open to others, and they care less about “how I would look to other people.” They simply enjoy the time, the people they are with, and themselves. Meeting new people, dancing with strangers, and laughing with unknown people are what makes them more energetic, I think. So I felt that American fantasy is maybe not simply about the event itself, but the cultural difference of how US people act in such given situations.

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