Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Korean Food Insecurities

This past Saturday, I went to a new Korean restaurant in our area (new for me anyway) and I enjoyed it a lot. There is no silverware at this one, so I got to laugh at my husband try to use the chopsticks. He’s not bad, but he’s not good either. I love Bee-Bim Bop (with the spicy paste) and at this one they add the egg to the top, which I loved.

I always mark it as a sign of a good ethnic restaurant when most of the patrons are of the same ethnic background, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that most of the people in the room were Korean. My son noticed right away and announced the fact to everyone in the room. Once I got past the fact that everyone was looking at us, I was pretty pleased that he is finally starting to see the differences that make us Korean.

We left the restaurant and we were already talking about going back. I’m very fond of Korean food and we rarely choose Korean when we go out. I realize that this is mostly my fault (because my husband loves it and would go anytime I asked). Mostly it has to do with my own insecurities. Korean restaurants have more complexity to their meal preparation (at least in our area) and I always feel like I should know how to do put everything together. It’s ridiculous, of course. This is something that is taught and not genetic, but a part of me is still too embarrassed to ask the questions. Definitely, this is something that I have to work through.

I suppose, to a lesser extent, this is the way some Korean adoptees feel about their lives. When I read posts by some Korean adoptees that express their frustration with having lost a part of their culture, I have been slightly baffled by the concept. Personally, I never felt that way so it’s hard for me to put myself in their position. Given a frame of reference, I thought about how I’d feel if my how life felt like that moment in the restaurant and I came up with a pretty disturbing picture. It’s definitely something for me to think about.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Hi, came across your blog. I'm a fellow Korean adoptee too. I found your description of insecurities of asking how Korean food is suppose to be eaten true for myself as well. Others that go with me to the resturants always look to me as the 'expert'. Although it's been an accumulation of knowledge over the years to learn the little bit I now know.