Cheon Ji In

SU’s Korean Drumming Team’s 6th annual performance planned at SU Schine Student Center
Cheon Ji In, Syracuse University’s Korean drumming team, is continuing its tradition of annual performance at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 1 in Schine Student Center Goldstein Auditorium. This is its 6th annual performance, which has been the most popular cultural music show on campus.
The tickets are sold at the box office in Schine Student Center, $3 with SU ID and $5 without SU ID. The performance consists of traditional Korean drumming shows and some fusion of modern elements with Korean drumming. This is a great opportunity to experience Korean culture and enjoy a fabulous cultural show with the performers and audience, altogether.
Poongmul? Cheon Ji In?
Poongmul, this is what drives people crazy. Have you ever seen bunch of people’s shoulders moving up and down or have you ever almost throw up because your heart starts palpitating violently? It is poongmul that is causing all these incorrigible symptoms.
Poongmul is a Korean word for Korean drumming and it has been getting recognition from all over the world recently. With its breathless, exhilarating and glamorous beats, it is not only attracting fans from neighboring countries of Korea but from international community. The accreditation of such growing popularity goes to Duksoo Kim, the founder of modernized form of poongmul, who has been touring many different countries to perform and to help people, regardless of race, gender, or any category, to enjoy and to harmonize with poongmul.
Syracuse University’s Cheon Ji In is set out to follow the steps of Duksoo Kim and fortunately, Syracuse happens to be its base. Cheon Ji In means heaven, earth, and human and this name derives from the mindset of the group’s founding members that is to become the people who shake heaven and earth. This Korean drumming team, or poongmul-pae (poongmul=Korean drumming, pae=team), was founded at Syracuse University in 1997 in the name of Shinbaram. However, due to some complications, Shinbaram was changed to the current name Cheon Ji In in 1999. Since then, Cheon Ji In has been actively participating in school wide and Syracuse community events.
Inside Cheon Ji In
Walk towards the SU Archbold Gym around 2 p.m. on Saturday. Before you even see the gym building, you will encounter a series of continuing small explosion in your ears. Follow the sound and now you are in the practice room of Cheon Ji In. Everybody is smiling, laughing, and moving their bodies as if they are somewhat possessed. Different race, gender, background, culture, and language do not exist because everybody is in harmony with poongmul and there is no one different.
If you did not know, Syracuse University has been ranked top when it comes to no integration of culture and diversity and this is not hard to realize if you walk around the school campus or visit one of the dining halls. This fact appreciates the value and the importance of Cheon Ji In even more because this is one of the few places where anybody and everybody can come without worries of being different and enjoy and play together.
Popularity among various ethnic and cultural groups is evident in the group itself. Although it is “Korean” drumming, Koreans are the minority in the group and the majority includes Chinese, Malaysians, Indonesians, and Caucasians. Also at the annual performance, the number of non-Korean attendants is far greater than the number of Korean attendants. An implication can be drawn then. Poongmul has the potential to become everybody’s common interest and aspiring event that can unite people.
Cheon Ji In Life
Cheon Ji In life can be simply divided into four parts. First, every member come together and practice poongmul on Saturdays for the most of Saturday afternoons. Second, they attend numerous school wide and community events as guest performers. Third, they practice minimum of 10 hours per week and exhaust themselves with poongmul for their annual performance. Lastly, they simply enjoy life and hang out together. People simply enjoy their lives all the time and the fact that they can let out all their stresses and worries to drums enable them to do better academically.
The alumni and current members were and still are the most hardworking elites of the school. Many of them are involved in other school organizations, both academic and social, and some members graduated top in their schools and majors. Not to say all non-poongmulians are not hardworking, but many elite students have claimed that poongmul is their hobby according to a newspaper article in South Korea.
Also, even though it may seem like a simple drumming team where nothing much happens other than banging in drums, there are always things going on that need to be taken care of. By taking responsibilities to teach, to learn, to lead, to reserve rooms for events, to make flyers for advertising and to care for each other, members learn many far greater lessons that cannot be taught in normal classrooms.
“I was interviewed by a company and they asked me what the most significant factor in my college years was. I had to no doubt and did not hesitate to answer that it is Cheon Ji In,” by a current senior who is hired by one of the top corporations in the U.S. Also, a last year’s graduate said, “When I finally got out of school and entered this completely different society, I was worried but experiences in Cheon Ji In helped me to understand people and to cooperate with them.”
This force that unites people and help people to grow up mentally and physically is not really easy to realize. However, everyone in Cheon Ji In is definite and absolute when they are asked about the significance of Cheon Ji In in their lives.
Cheon Ji In’s Contributions
As previously mentioned, Cheon Ji In has been active in both school wide and community events. Some of the events include the Home to the Dome, freshmen orientation program, Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner, Korean parade at Manhattan, New Year Celebration for adopted kids in Syracuse, Mayfest, and numerous other school and community events such as church picnic and Asia Night etc. The current conductor and the president of Cheon Ji In say “We want to perform for many people and events as possible but there are so many invitations that we cannot accept all of them. But we really try our best to perform as many times as possible.”
Furthermore, the annual performance is something that exhausts them out and burden all members with so much work especially during periods where tests and papers are due. However, Cheon Ji In members take pride and enjoy that exhaustion because they know the feeling of accomplishment after they play the ending good-bye beats at the performance. People celebrate, bounce around, and play drums endlessly with the audience at the end as if they finally reached heaven and finally done with all the worries and problems. This is why the current members stayed in the group and will stay for the rest of their college years.
Take the opportunity - become Cheon Ji In
Cheon Ji In wants invitations from anywhere. If you have never experienced poongmul, do not hesitate to do so. Check out the annual performance on March 1st or send an email and ask about more information on poongmul or performance dates. It is their wish that everybody in this world would unite and harmonize with poongmul and anyone is welcomed to join this fun and exciting journey with Cheon Ji In.

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