Making Kimchi as an Expression of Protest

Making Kimchi as an Expression of Protest

Kimchi, the iconic Korean dish, holds a significant place in the history of Korea as a symbol of resistance against Japanese colonial rule in the early 20th century. Let's delve into how kimchi emerged as a powerful emblem of defiance during a tumultuous period.

Boycott of Japanese Goods

Under Japanese colonial rule, Koreans faced severe cultural suppression and economic exploitation. In response to this oppression, there was a widespread movement to boycott Japanese goods. Kimchi, being a traditional Korean dish, became a focal point of this resistance effort. By refusing to consume Japanese-produced food items and promoting the consumption of kimchi, Koreans were able to assert their cultural identity and resist the influence of their colonisers.

Preservation of Cultural Identity

During the colonial period, when access to essential ingredients was limited, the ability to produce kimchi became a form of self-reliance and defiance. By preserving and fermenting their own food, Koreans were able to maintain their culinary traditions and resist the cultural assimilation imposed by the Japanese authorities.

Unity and Solidarity

The collective act of refraining from purchasing Japanese goods and adapting traditional recipes fostered a sense of unity and solidarity among the Korean people. Kimchi, in this context, symbolised not just resistance but also the strength of community bonds. Kimchi holds a central place in Korean cuisine, became a symbol of resilience and a way to affirm their distinctiveness.

Korean Immigrants

As Koreans were displaced during WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, IMF and more, Korean cuisine followed. Kimchi is a nostalgic food that grounds us to our sense of identity, community and creativity. Born out of poverty, kimchi is not just a dish but a culture that has thrived as the people have.

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