The seasonal customs of Korea are the folk traditions of everyday life that have been repeated annually throughout the ages. As such, the residents of a particular community came to share a uniformity of everyday customs by living within the same natural environment and cultural setting. In this regard, seasonal customs are closely related to the rhythms of everyday life, and as the same customs are repeated at the same time every year, they accumulate and shape the common patterns in the people’s daily lives.
David Shaffer (한국명: 신동일) 교수는 한국에서 30여년 동안 살아오면서 보고 듣고 느낀 한국의 세시풍속과 한국에서의 생활 등을 바탕으로 한국의 ‘풍속’을 영문으로 집필했다. 본인이 경험했던 쥐불놀이와 대보름 강강수월래, 입춘에는 길조의 문구를 적고, 김치를 담그고, 복날에 삼계탕을 먹는 풍습 등 우리에게는 일상적이지만, 외국인들의 눈에는 낯선 모습들을 가감없이 그려내고 있다.
David E. Shaffer has lived and worked in Korea for many years. He is a professor of the English Language Department at Chosun University in Gwangju, South Korea, where he has taught since 1976.
Before relocating to Korea in the early 1970s, Dr. Shaffer lived in Pennsylvania, in the northeastern United States. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University and completed his graduate studies in English linguistics at Chosun University. In addition to teaching graduate and undergraduate courses, he has been active in English-teacher training and has authored several English-language instruction books, in addition to The Heavens, the Wind, the Stars and Poetry, a translation of the complete works of the poet Yun Dong-ju.
In the 1990s, Dr. Shaffer was especially active as a columnist for a number of Korean periodicals with nationwide readership. He has written on the English and Korean languages, as well as traditional and modern Korean culture. In 1993, he was the recipient of the Modern Korean Literature Translation award in poetry. Dr. Shaffer has also authored more than a dozen essays on Korea, including 『Sesi Customs』, which appears in the Encyclopedia of Modern Asia (2002), and a guide to learning Korean, Crackin’ the Corean Code (2005).
Dr. Shaffer is an active member of numerous academic associations in Korea, currently sitting on the executive boards of Asia TEFL and Korea TESOL (Korea Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages).