Maricela Hernandez, wife of Chilean Consul to Seoul: Eduardo Silva Hernandez, wrote a thesis entitled, "South Korea’s Gastronomy,’’ the premise being one can understand a nation through its culinary culture.
She's quoted as saying, "Korean food culture shows people’s willingness to share with other people.’’ I discussed the significance of side dishes in a previous post. If you note the photos in my recent post, It's A Small World After All, our chopsticks are stuck into an array of communal dishes.
When my students were learning furniture-themed vocabulary, Neil admitted his entire family sleeps in a king sized bed located in the livingroom- that's a mother, father, and two brothers under one blanket. "Don't Mom and Dad ever want to be alone?" I asked him.
When I walk to the vending machine to get a can of aloe juice or iced tea, my students follow my clinking change, wanting a sip of teacher's drink.
A while back, two of the Korean teachers bought egg toast. They were unwrapping the sandwiches and asked if I had eaten dinner yet. I hadn't.
One tore off a piece of her sandwich and held it in my direction. "Here," she said. I refused politely, but she waved it in front of me, repeating "please, please." She was nearly red in the face and I didn't want to insult her further, so I agreed to take a bite.
Only then could the girls resume their dinner, knowing that I too was eating.
Friday, February 02, 2007