Seaweed Soup

Because I'm 1.5 generation and consider myself Korean-American, I'd consider my brother as the most representative of my cultural identity. I go back to Korea almost every year to visit the rest of my extended family, so I am very closely tied to my Korean identity. We moved to Arizona when I was 8, then moved to Northern Virginia a couple years later. My parents decided to move to the States because they didn't want to raise us in the Korean education system. Due to my dad's job, my mom had to move and raise us alone. None of us spoke any English when we first moved, and took a long time to settle in. We were too young and carefree to be uncomfortable with the change, but all my mom had to comfort her homesickness was food. This seaweed food was especially important to us; it not only is one of her favorite dishes, but also a traditional Korean birthday dish, which helped us keep in touch and still grow up with Korean traditions and culture despite the physical distance. Many of the 1.5 generation Koreans I've talked to have had the same experience with Korean food, where if there is one thing linking them back to Korea, it's the home cooked meals, often specific to Korean holidays and traditions.

Place(s): Virginia, Korea, Arizona
Year: 2004

– Cha Mi Kim

Relationship:  unknown unknown