- The First *AKARAKA* in Three Years March 30, 2023
Resurgence of the most anticipated event of the yearYONSEI UNIVERSITY has fervently cultivated school pride and passion for several years. Time-honored traditions maintain the institute’s larger-than-life spirit, and its campus culture transcends not only the school gates, but the country as well. Throughout the academic year, student clubs organize dynamic events that are visited by thousands—perhaps millions more online. These events include Mu-ak Dae-dong-je (Muak Festival) and the Yon-ko-jeon (Yonsei-Korea Games), but the iconic AKARAKA festival remains to be the most anticipated event by Yonseians.
AKARAKA began in 1986 as a school-wide cheering event for students. It is traditionally hosted in May—after the Mu-ak Dae-dong-je—and occurs outdoors at the Amphitheater. The origin of the word “AKARAKA” remains unclear. One of the most accepted theories is that it derives from a victory chant shouted by Roman generals before their emperor. Chants are also common in U.S. universities, and Horace Underwood was allegedly inspired by his alma mater Princeton University’s cheering slogan “rah-rah-rah.” Others believe that “AKARAKA” is the imitation of an eagle’s cawing while in flight, with the eagle being the official mascot of Yonsei.
The event is jointly organized by the Yonsei University Cheer Squad and the General Student Council. Contrary to popular belief, AKARAKA remains entirely student-led. It does not receive funding from the school, so the event is subsidized by sponsors, ticket profits, and merchandising. The lack of financial support justifies ticket fees when most Korean university festivals have free admissions. Acquiring tickets for AKARAKA is notoriously difficult as the demand far outweighs the supply. Ticket purchasing windows are divided into three categories: group, club, and individual. Group ticketing is the earliest stage where students are able to apply for tickets through their college or department. As its name suggests, club ticketing allows select student clubs to obtain tickets for their members, and individual ticketing is the final stage for students to apply solely on singular luck. Department seat allotments for the event are randomized, but students are allowed to change seats following the festival’s official inauguration.
This article was contributed by Yonsei University's student-led English monthly, The Yonsei Annals, written by its reporter Joo Da-hae. Read the full article at the Yonsei Annals' website: http://annals.yonsei.ac.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=10828