I started this blog during a family and personal transition in late 2012 to chronicle a significant part of my life, feeding my kids. I cook mostly Korean food for them because of the feedback I got from them. Peace prevailed hearing all three of them quietly slurp their seaweed or rice cake soups and eating their washed kimchi with their training chopsticks without a complaint.
I don’t think this challenge of feeding my kids Korean food would be half as interesting if I were living in the United States where I come from.
My family and I currently live in Germany where there are approximately 31, 000 Koreans living. We live in a small city in the southwest where there aren’t many Koreans. As of this writing, I’ve met three here. [Update: one of them moved back to Korea.] This is all to say, Korean cuisine and ingredients are not so readily available.
UPDATE: My family and I moved in the summer of August 2014 to Essen in North Rhine Westphalia. The Korean food game has changed as this region is well populated with Koreans, having been a coal mining region (check out my German Way blog post to understand why this matters) and full of universities with strong music programs. In addition, educating my children as Koreans has changed since we are happily surrounded not only by Korean restaurants and grocery stores, but also Korean schools.
While I originally set out to blog mostly about Korean food, I also write about other key themes in my life. I am an expat mother and wife. Between my husband and me, we share three cultures in our home: Korean, American and German. Raising our kids mulitilingually and multiculturally plays a prominent role in the choices we make – what languages we speak to them, what books we read to them, what videos they watch, and what activities they participate in. While our kids are bilingual in English and German, the biggest challenge for us right now is teaching them Korean language and culture beyond Korean food.
I’ve recently completed a children’s book manuscript based on my oldest child’s experience trying to learn Korean at Korean School in San Diego, California. It’s my dream to get this published, develop a language learning program for kids based on it and work on a German language manuscript to help bring the multicultural dialogue to the 21st century here in Germany. You can check out my writer’s website, but the ideas behind these dreams can be found in this blog.
Please leave me a comment or send me an e-mail with any feedback or questions: expatkimchi (a) gmail.com. And while I am not blogging in German language, please feel free to write to me auf Deutsch if that is what you prefer.