Kimchi Refrigerator

Kimchi refrigerator
Kimchi refrigerator

I arrived to the United States around when I was five due to my parent's hope of providing us a better life and education. I remember my first few years in America being a struggle because adapting into the new school environment meant that I had to make friends, but with the language barrier, this was very difficult. I would spend hours crying in front of my laptop learning the language through digital flashcards and English shows. My mom also told me how I would come home every day and tell her that I was bullied because I was unable to speak the language. My father who found a job as a professor at Rutgers eventually had to return back to Korea where he continued his previous job for around 7 years as a result of the financial difficulties we encountered. This took an emotional toll on all our family because it meant to live most of our childhood without the presence of a father and my mother who had to take care of three children on her own. Furthermore, the process to receive a green card was very prolonged especially with endeavors of the Trump administration within the issues of immigration. The attached image shows a kimchi refrigerator at our house which is used to provide the idea environment for the fermentation of kimchi. Kimchi being a well-known and common staple food of Korea, is also a side dish I always grew up seeing on the dinner table. This demonstrates how important it is to recreate the environments that we had in our original hometown within the new country we immigrated in order to preserve and remind ourselves of our cultural background.

Place(s): Seoul, New Jersey
Year: 2010

– YP

Relationship:  Im/migrant who arrived as a child Im/migrant who arrived as a child