Santas learn to "ho, ho, ho" at South Korean school

Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:32am EST
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SEOUL (Reuters Life!) - Saying "Merry Christmas" with cheer, chuckling and ice skating are just some of the crash courses on offer at a South Korean amusement park which is training staff members to perfect their Santa technique.

With Christmas a month away, the Everland Park, about an hour's drive south of Seoul, is holding classes for employees to ensure visitors have as festive an experience as possible.

Christmas is one of the major holidays celebrated in South Korea, home to one of Asia's largest Christian populations.

"I believe that the students will successfully act as Santa Clauses of Everland after the mental and physical training at the Santa School," said Choi Mi-yeon, a Santa lecturer.

Instead of riding a sleigh, the male and female Santa students ride the roller coaster, are taught special dance moves and the best way to sing carols.

One staff member said the training would help him become a good Santa for the children visiting the park.

"Christmas is coming soon. So I decided to participate after thinking how I can give happiness to the children visiting here," said 31-year-old Ryu Jae-gwang.

(Reporting by Reuters Television, writing by Miral Fahmy, editing by Binda Goldsmith)

<p>Employees of Everland amusement park skate on ice wearing Santa Claus costumes at a Santa Academy class during a photo call at the amusement park, which is a part of the Samsung Group, in Yongin November 26, 2008. REUTERS/Sin Young-keun/Yonhap</p>