Another cultural difference that I found was the school uniforms. In the movie, there were different settings in two different time periods—the 80s and the present day period. In the movie, the high school that the main protagonist went to back in the 80s did not have school uniforms. Students were allowed to wear whatever they wanted. However, in the modern day period, schools were shown with students wearing uniforms. I’ve also seen this in many other Korean movies and drama shows, students normally are seen wearing uniforms. Here in the United States, students who wore school uniforms were mostly went to private schools, which is a small minority of the school system. Many students went to public schools which most of the time do not have a required school uniform.
One other difference that I found interesting was the school festivals in Korean schools. In the movie, there was a scene where the school had a festival where each class were allowed to do something like sell, or entertain guests who came to the schools. Some classes were shown selling food that they made; some other classes were shown to have some games where customers and visitors played. And during the festival there was also a talent show where students and/or clubs were allowed to perform anything that prepared. In the movie, a marching band was shown performing on stage and afterwards a group of girls were preparing to get on to perform a dance number. I found it very exciting and fun for a whole school to have such event.
Lastly, a difference that I was really funny is lunch period. In the movie, students were shown rushing in the cafeteria trying to but food from a single store. It was chaotic and loud. You wouldn’t find this in American cafeterias. In most school cafeterias people formed lines. There were also many other stores and places where one could get food so not everybody will be rushing to one of the stores.
Although, I found these things different from the American school system, I am not entirely unfamiliar with it. Back when I went to school in the Philippines, we had a fairly similar school system; even the cafeteria scene reminded me of the lunches I had when I went to school there. In the Philippines us students were assigned to one class and the students in that class were the ones we stayed together with throughout the whole school year. Teachers were also the ones who traveled to our classroom. We did not leave the room unless it was for Physical Education class, Art class, Home Economics class, or Drafting class. We also wore school uniforms. Students could usually identify where another went to school based on their uniforms. Every student, whether you went to private or public school, wore school uniforms. Schools in the Philippines also had a lot of festivals throughout the whole year such as, cultural festivals and sports festivals. There would be weeks where classes would be cancelled so students could prepare for the festival.
Many of these differences, I wished were part of the American school system. As somebody who has personally experienced both the American school system and a school system that is similar to the Korean school system, I can honestly say that I missed and much preferred a homeroom class, school uniforms, and school festivals more.