Being home to one of the biggest Korean communities in the nation, Virginia had its first-ever Kimchi Day on November 22, through the Korean American Women’s Association.
Held at the Good Shepherd Evangelical Church in Springfield, the festivity was materialized especially for this motive: acknowledge kimchi as a nonnative dish in Virginia which is specially imported for the increasing number of Korean American citizens in the country. It also reflects how the state has embraced diversity.
During the celebration, roughly 150 people of different colors converged to make their own kimchi, following the traditional and neat process of kimchi preparation.
Originally, families and acquaintances converge to happily prepare the ingredients, store them in jars, and place them underground for fermentation producing a savory, piquant, and sugary kimchi. This is done every November, a month after harvesting cabbage.
On the other hand, it was officially moved to be celebrated in January through Irene Shin (D), the foremost Korean American servant in the House of Delegates, who acquired two-way support for her proposition.
For Koreans, kimchi is beyond being a cuisine. It narrates Korea’s past, its folks’ tenacity, and its landscape which Koreans are more than proud of. Kimchi is a celebration of family and blessings.
Northern Virginia and Annandale seem to be “Korea Towns” as Korean establishments like diners, worship places, food markets, bakeries, and beauty shops in Hangul inscriptions are all over. The state and Korea have found strong connections with each other that Fairfax County Economic Development Authority can even be found in the latter’s capital.
A Korean American mentioned how Kimchi Day appreciates the essence of exporting not only the product but of Korean culture; a manifestation of how the US whole-heartedly accepted acculturation.