Shopping at H-Mart
Today, we made our run to Korean Town to stock up on our Korean food and to escape into Korean land for a few hours. If I think back, I have always tried to shop at an H-Mart at least once a month no matter where I lived. There were times, when younger, my roommate (who was also first generation Korean) and I would drive to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania down South Street to an H-Mart. Considering that this was over two hours drive for us, it would always turn into a day trip. This was perfectly okay with us since we were able to capture a little sense of our childhood every time we went back.
This monthly ritual never left me. Relationships came and went but I made sure that my little trips into Korean land would continue to be a big part of my daily routines. I always figured that whomever I would meet or settled down with would have to learn to eat Korean food and hoped they would like it as much as I loved and appreciated it. I was very lucky! When I met my husband, he could not eat any spicy food nor had ever tried anything outside of basic American classics and fast food. After getting to know me and my love to explore new palates, he quickly came around and now loves Korean food almost as much as I do. As for our children, we never really discussed it but knew that if we continued with our traditions and continue to eat Korean food as part of our daily diet, they would just follow. And sure enough, they have never questioned it. This is not to say that they are not picky about what they liked or disliked but it is not foreign to them. And from introducing the food to them, it led to questions and answers towards who was Korean and who wasn't. And even to this day, my little ones see others that look like me and would say how they all look like another mommy.
These days, our children look forward to shopping in Korean Town and sitting down at our Traditional Korean table to cook Bulgogi or to make Kimbab. When friends come by, they are always amazed how our kids eat this strange food right up. I tell them that for them it is nothing out of the ordinary. For them, they have grown up with this food and know that they are Korean too.
*** This is for my brother in The Netherlands: I have a series of photos I took from our shopping trip today for everyone to get a glimpse of the food they sell. More like the junk food we like to buy and consume. Enjoy the photos!
5 years ago