With a sleek design and a red back, any Korean could recognize these cards, the name of them is Hwatu. Although these cards were originally made in Japan, Hwatu became popular in South Korea. Every deck has 48 cards, comprised of 12 suits. Each suit has 4 cards and represents a month in the year. It is a tradition to play a game called Go-Stop with family during the holidays. There are different variations of games to play, and distinct cultures have their individual games. Despite the inexpensive cost, Hwatu holds sentimental value, and has created numerous amounts of memories that I have come to cherish. Whether it be casually playing with my family, or playing with visiting relatives, Hwatu will always put a smile on my face, knowing that I can have a fun time. This was first introduced to me when I was entering high school. I saw my mom and dad playing and it piqued my interest, so I begged them to let me learn how to play. As a result, I was able to immerse myself in my own roots, because I was able to play with many of my relatives. Furthermore, I was able to bond closely with my parents and relatives, playing almost everyday caused rivalry between us. Now, when I see the dust piling up on the cards, memories flood my mind and reminds me of the times where my family and I played together. Even though we don’t play as often, I still hold Hwatu close to my heart, as it connects me to my deep Korean roots.
– Andrew Sim