Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Jar of kimchi
Jar of kimchi

My grandparents immigrated from Pusan, South Korea to Akron, Ohio in the early 70s. They had four daughters, and their eldest was my mother at 6 years old. It was really important to my grandma and grandpa that their children assimilate into American culture, and as a result my mother grew distant from her native culture. Although she can still understand basic Korean, she has forgotten how to speak, read, and write Korean. This has distanced her from Koreans as well as the Korean American community in the U.S. One part of Korean culture that my mother has held onto is Korean cuisine. In America, my grandmother continued to cook Korean food, and my mother learned to cook from her. Growing up, I ate lot's of Korean food at home and at my grandparents' house. My father is white, which has removed me even further from my Korean heritage. Nevertheless my favorite comfort foods include kimchi-jjigae, dduk guk, and bindaetteok. I regularly shop at the Korean grocery store and cook Korean dishes that my mother and grandmother have passed on to me. Cooking and eating Korean food is an important way for me to hang on to who I am and my family's history. I always have a jar of kimchi in my fridge.

Place(s): Korea,Ohio
Year: 1970

– Leah Lavigne

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant