Week 14: Kimchi is Life!

Gwangju Travel Blog

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Making kimchi.

Wednesday morning a group of foreigners and Koreans alike met outside the Gwangju International Center to hop on the bus to the Kimchi festival.  We had reserve seating at the opening ceremony but after a few minutes of being able to see only the backs of the photographers crowded around the stage I got up and started exploring the grounds with Audrey, a fellow ESL teacher from Detroit.  As we were walking around we were approached by a tv reporter who interviewed us about our impressions of the Kimchi Festival and filmed us sampling freshly made Kimchi. Apparently our little segment was aired on KBS news that night.  During the interview my job was to stand there, smile, and nod while Audrey spoke :)

After watching the ribbon cutting ceremony featuring the Mayor of Gwangju and all of the other VIPs in front of the Gwangju Folk Museum Audrey and I were ushered into the brand new Kimchi exhibit.

The sun was a little strong at the opening ceremony...this guy had a "bright" idea :)
  For almost ten minutes we had to pose with other foreigners while photographers took our pics for the newspaper.  An older gentleman who was our interpreter "taught" us about the process of making kimchi while we pretended to be enthralled.  He wouldn't let us leave, he was definitely enjoying being in the spotlight! 

The exhibit was so crowded that we weren't able to proceed more than 10 feet past the entrance so we headed back out to the kimchi making tents.  All of the foreigners in our group donner aprons and bandanas so we could take part in the kimchi making process.  We partnered up with korean women who were making kimchi so quickly it looked like their lives depended on it.  I hastily tried to copy my partner's technique by scooping out a big squishy handful of kochujang (red pepper paste) and rubbing it all over a head of cabbage.

Say "Kimchi!"
  It was fun at first but after the first 6 cabbages the task was a bit arduous...and then came the horde of photographers again.  They loved watching the foreigners make kimchi.  At one point the mayor stood between me and Audrey while the photogs had Audrey feed him a piece of her kimchi.  Later they had all of us feed eachother.  After 5 minutes of chomping on huge chunks of kimchi my face was smeared with red pepper paste.  What makes it even better is that one of my students came into class the next night with a picture of me from the local paper.  I was posing with my kimchi and you could definitely see kimchi seasoning all around my lips.  It was quite an experience!

jstrang_05 says:
I hate Kimchi.
Posted on: Jul 05, 2008
mickey123 says:
Korean people has these time is (made-Kimchi) season! i'll made soon Kim-chi at home with my mom.
Posted on: Oct 30, 2007
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Making kimchi.
Making kimchi.
The sun was a little strong at the…
The sun was a little strong at th…
Say Kimchi!
Say "Kimchi!"
5 types of Kimchi.
5 types of Kimchi.
Traditional attire.
Traditional attire.
Kimchi pots.
Kimchi pots.
Gwangju
photo by: jegs76