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Korean culture - Essay Example

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The person interviewed was a Korean who is a middle school student. His adopted western name is " Dennis" but his Korean name is Cho. From the interview with him, it was easy to find out that Korean culture is rather unique. There are many elements in Korean culture that makes it interesting : food, rituals, institutions, artifacts ,symbols and attitudes…
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Korean culture
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Korean culture

Download file to see previous pages... Kimchi is very important for Koreans since it is time-honored practice to pickle vegetables such as cabbage, cucumber and eggplants in preparation for the winter season. Korea is known for its severe winters that obliterates agricultural produce.
The traditional cabbage kimchi was served to us which had a pungent smell to non-Koreans. The smell was comparable to vinegar and garlic being fermented for a long time. It was a bold move on my part to taste the kimchi. To ease my anxiety, Dennis explained that kimchi is considered as one of the world's healthiest foods since the pickled vegetables and ingredients such as chili and garlic has anti-cancer properties. He also mentioned that preparing kimchi is challenging since each family has their own secret recipe passed by mothers to their children; therefore, homemade kimchi may taste different from one that is prepared by a neighbor. The flavor depends on the spiciness of the herbs or the length of fermentation period. In comparison to my culture, preparing salad was just an ordinary task during mealtime. Moreover, it was amazing to know that Korea has even museums that feature kimchi. Never has pickled food been regarded highly by other societies.
Aside from kimchi and traditional Korean food, Dennis also loves to eat western food such as hamburgers and pizza. As a result, his liking for pizza as snack made him gain a few pounds. In addition to this, he particularly likes pizza that has lot of cheese and pepperoni in it. He also mentioned that pizza is one type of food that he can eat without necessarily being spicy. Indeed, young people from different parts of the world agree on a universal food: pizza. It is also surprising that he likes popcorn smothered with butter like any ordinary American teen-ager.
The second topic we discussed was about being a Korean in an American school. Dennis was frank in letting out his true feelings. He immediately felt sad when he related that he is somehow confused by his status. It seems that his being " Americanized" makes him lose respect for his traditions since he views them ( traditions) as rather tacky. On the other hand, he cannot be considered as very American since he is still a Korean after all. For one, he does not much American friends since they view Korean students as noisy and strange thereby avoiding his company. Obviously, even in this age of multiculturalism, being American is still the dominant culture. There are many immigrants from different cultures yet young immigrants like Dennis try hard to be assimilated into the dominant culture. Koreans who come here to study feel sometimes out of place since their practice such as filial devotion and deep religiosity are not easily acceptable Because of this, Dennis studies very hard so that he can be accepted. He has a belief that he would earn the respect of his peers when he becomes successful in academics. For one, his classmates sneer at the thought that he is very obedient to his parents. Also, his peers do not respect his beliefs in Confucianism. As for Dennis, he finds his American friends to be more liberated and can do whatever they want. They need not adhere to rules set by their parents
strictly and can decide for their own choice. On the contrary, Arab cultures also impose obedience to young people like Korean culture. Family is an important unit of society and parents are respected and honored.
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