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“The month of November is given for the unskippable dish Kimchi”
How’s life treating you with this new starting unique season, winter?
Let me share some culinary cultures of Korea.
Kimchi is one of the unavoidable parts of Korean cuisine on a random Korean menu in the routine dish of Koreans. Almost everyone enjoys kimchi dishes almost every day. The Kimchi version of the Ethiopian daily menu is “INJERA” which almost every Ethiopian enjoys every day, which is a spongy, flat bread baked from flour ground from the grain called “Teff” and mixed with fermented sourdough.
The month of November is given for the “Kimjang” which is the action of preparing a large amount of unskippable dish kimchi at once to enjoy in the winter season. It requires the gathering of families, and next-door dwellers to prepare “Kimjang”. Kimchi is energizing, tangy, sour, spicy, and quite vital for our health, and can have 300 varieties of Kimchi.
The process of making Kimchi starts with bringing cabbage. 15-30 heads of cabbage is enough for a family with four members to make Kimchi. If there are two families, then the Kimjang preparation needs 60 heads of cabbage, and the cooperation of people makes the burden to prepare a certain amount of Kimjang for the families less.
The reason Kimjang is prepared in November is due to the temperature, 0oC~4oC, which is suitable for making and preserving Kimchi. Kimchijang represents Koreans’ communal culture of sharing. Relatively we Ethiopians have a culture of sharing meals called “GURSHA”, which is the oldest tradition of feeding the person next to you while having a meal mostly together on a single wide plate, so the provider of “GURSHA” wrap “INJERA” up with the typical curries made sources and extend his hands to the other meal partner’s mouth so that the receiver of the “GURSHA” can enjoy the meal with love and affection extended from the provider.
UNESCO registered the culture of Kimjang on December 5, 2013, as an intangible cultural heritage. November 22, 2022, saw a Kimchi Day celebration across Korea including Hallym Universities’ Professor canteen, where various students including exchange students took part in a Kimjang to remark Kimchi. The reason for choosing Kimchi day on November 22 among the 30 days of November is that Kimchi is made by mixing more than 11 kinds of seafood and has more than 22 health benefits,(11/22). I shared the picture above of students performing the Kimjang activity. And pictures of “GURSHA” culture.
Have a great week to all of you!
Source: Information and photo source @uofhorang.korea, (Instagram page), hallym-exchange (Instagram handle) and Google.
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