It is the day. The day when it's normal for a student to call the police in a hurry, gets on a police motorbike with a cop who rides it to the school. The day when everyday workmen go to work an hour late and the stock market opens late. The day when even the airplanes are forbidden to take off or land. It is the Suneung day, the day when South Korea's university entrance exam takes place. November 14th, 2019 was this year's D-day.
This year, students born in 2001 took the Suneung. Are there any 2001-liners in the K-pop scene who took the Suneung this year? Yes there are, and here they are!
● Kpop stars born in 2001 who took Sunueng for academic year 2020
Hyeongseop X Euiwoong Lee Euiwoong
Rocket Punch Suyun
Rocket Punch Yunkyoung
W PROJECT 4 Kim DongYun
W PROJECT 4 Joo ChangUk
● Korea's unique customs about "Suneung gifts"
It's been a custom for years now in Korea to give Yeot (Korean traditional confectionery) or Chapssal-tteok (a type of Korean rice cake), wishing for good luck. Such sticky snacks are popular choices for gifts for anyone taking the Suneung because in Korean langauge, people often say "붙는다" ("to stick") when talking about exams. The Korean word for "to stick" not only means "to pass" but also "to stick together and not tear apart". That's why people often give Yeot or Chapssal-tteok to their friends, family, or anyone taking the Suneung, wishing they would do really well on the exam and hopefully enter, or "stick" to their dream universities.
You have to be careful about the gifts on the Suneung day, though, because not all the gifts are considered "good" on this big day. Perhaps the best example is Miyeok-guk (beef seaweed soup). In Korea, if someone in your family is taking the Suneung, you make sure NOT to feed them Miyeok-guk because that is a big no-no. Why? Because seaweed is super slippery. It is pretty much the opposite of what all those sticky snacks represent. Seaweed simply doesn't have that "sticky" aspect, so people avoid it before big exams.
These days, there is a wide variety of "Suneung gifts" other than the more traditional ones. Below are some of the examples and what they each mean.
▶ Yeot, Chapssal-tteok - "Stick" to the exam!
* It basically means to freaking ace it!
▶ Fork - "Pick" the right answer, even when you don't know the answer
* This comes from how you "spear" your food with your fork when you eat. The Korean word for "to spear" is 찍다, which could also mean "to pick" or "to guess (as in guess the right answer)".
▶ Toilet paper roll - Good luck "blowing" the questions!
* LOL it looks hilariously weird in English translation, but here is what it means. In Korean, the word for "solve" as in "solve the problem" is 풀다, which can also mean "blow" as in "blow your nose". So it's basically wishing good luck with solving the questions.
▶ Mirror - "See" the exam well.
* The Korean word for "to see" is 보다, but the word 보다 could also mean "to take" as in "take the exam". So, it means to "take the exam well."
▶ Chocolate, Candy - When your sugar level is running low, refuel it and concentrate harder.
* Pretty self-explanatory.
▶ Analog watch/clock
* This is simply because you are not allowed to carry an electronic watch/clock when taking the Suneung.
● The "Forbidden Suneung Songs"
There are K-pop songs that people say you should never hear before the Suneung. These are the songs with catchy lyrics or melodies that can really screw you over, making it impossible to concentrate on studying for the exam or taking the actual exam. Here are some of the famous "Forbidden Suneung Songs".
▶ Produce 101 - PICK ME
▶ SS501 – U R MAN
▶ SHINee - Ring Ding Dong
▶ Red Velvet - Dumb Dumb
Check them out. The catchy melodies are going to be stuck in your head all day long.
● After the Suneung
Whether you did well or not, everyone feels a wave of emotions when the Suneung exam is officially over. Some students would laugh with their friends, basking in the fact that the nightmare is finally over, when someone put their head down on the desk and cry. You would also see a lot of parents standing outside the school building, waiting to give their kids the biggest hug in the world. And boy do they deserve it. After all, they have just taken an exam that could potentially change the rest of their lives. It’s quite a lot for high school students to handle, or for anyone to handle for that matter. If you ever see someone studying for this exam, how about giving them a piece of Yeot and a word of encouragement?