* Date : 2015-12-09
Korean Diaspora's Dining Table in China
Korean diaspora's food captivates China
Korean language is more commonly used than Chinese in Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture located in northeast part of China. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Japanese colonial era hit its peak in Korea and countless Koreans left home to settle down in Yanbian. Now, they are called "Korean Chinese."
Almost a century has passed, yet Korean Chinese people have preserved the food culture that was passed down from their parents. Their love for Korean food also captivated native Chinese people, and Yanbian even became one of the top 10 gourmet cities in China. Kimchi is known as the representative health food, and Korean side dish shops bustle with people.
Korean Chinese and Korean food expert Kim Sun-ok
Korean food expert Kim Sun-ok is also Korean Chinese. She learned how to make gochujang (chili paste) from her mother and grandmother, and she always reminded herself of her identity by eating doenjang jjigae (soybean paste stew). She actively publicizes Korean food, and her Korean food class at Yanbian University is a big hit.
Kim Ok-sun visits a Korean diaspora village in search of Korea's taste in China.
Jeongam Village preserves hometown food
Jeongam Village was established in 1938. During the Japanese colonial era, this area was a barren land. Japan decided to move Koreans to this area in hopes of cultivating the land and plundering its resources. That's when 80 families from Chungcheongbuk-do Province immigrated to Jeongam Village.They were faced with arduous labor, cold weather, and hunger, but they remembered their hometown food. They made a simplified version of kimchi to satisfy their cravings and they filled their hungry stomachs with corn noodles. They desperately clung on to their taste of home. Their dining table tells the story of their history.