At the beginning of the year one teacher decided to stand at the kimchi bucket to make sure every student takes a portion. Since then I have been looking at student’s plates to see how many load up on Ultimate Wellbing (Copyright Otto Silver, 2009). I estimate that about one in three students do not take kimchi with their lunch. Many of the students will even admit to not liking kimchi!
Why do I find this so interesting then? I estimate that to be about the same number for foreigners who will not eat kimchi. Most foreigners I have met who have been here for a reasonable amount of time will eat the stuff. Very rarely is it too spicy and like other fermented products you get “addicted” to the “disgusting” taste very quickly.
Why then do Koreans persist in stating that foreigners don’t like or can’t eat kimchi when, based on my not so scientific research, the numbers say Korean students are not exactly a bright light for kimchi consumption either. Why do new textbooks for use in schools persist in teaching this groundless stereotype?
Bundaegi on the other hand…