She's on a kimchi mission
August 7th, 2014
07:45 AM ET
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For Hannah Chung, at least one element of her parents' culture was something of an acquired taste.
Kimchi - a pungent blend of fermented vegetables and spices - is a staple of the Korean table, and is typically offered amid a series of banchan, or free side dishes that are meant to accompany and complement the main dish.

But for Chung, it was a dish that made her feel removed from the dominant culture, not included.

"I actually rebelled against my parents by refusing to eat kimchi sometimes, and I've actually found out that that's a super common experience among second-generation Koreans," she says.

"I got made fun of for all the foods I ate," Chung, a second-generation Korean-American, recalls. "I didn't want to invite my friends over to my house because my house smelled like kimchi and Korean food, and it was really embarrassing for me."

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Filed under: Cultural Identity • Culture • Korea • Korean

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. divalicias

    I grew up in Korea. Rice, kimchi, kimbap, bulgoki, yakimandu are all favorite childhood foods. When I go to Korean friends' houses, I love the smells in the kitchen. It's home food for me. Don't fear the kimchi!

    February 17, 2015 at 9:08 pm |
  2. Anh

    A pity. I find kimchi a very delicious and healthy dish, though I am not Korean. I don't feel that eating kimchi or any other countries' traditional food something to be embarrassed about. It's ridiculous we have to worry about others' opinions on what we choose to eat.

    January 19, 2015 at 10:48 am |
  3. doesntmatter

    shes slamm'in tho

    August 23, 2014 at 8:44 am |
  4. doesntmatter

    who cares, shes the gay

    August 23, 2014 at 8:43 am |
  5. doesntmatter

    Cara is gay

    August 16, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
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