The Korea Herald


Congresswoman redoubles calls for support to designate Nov. 22 as 'Kimchi Day'

By Yonhap

Published : Dec. 7, 2023 - 09:56

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Rep. Young Kim speaks during a House session in Washington on Wednesday. (Livestream of the session on the House website) Rep. Young Kim speaks during a House session in Washington on Wednesday. (Livestream of the session on the House website)

A US congresswoman renewed calls Wednesday for support to designate Nov. 22 as "Kimchi Day," named after a Korean traditional side dish, stressing that kimchi has now become a "culinary icon" reflective of South Korea's rising cultural influence.

Rep. Young Kim, a Korean American lawmaker, made the call during a House session as she has submitted a resolution on the fermented dish with backing from more than a dozen other lawmakers.

"I rise in support of Kimchi Day. Kimchi is a staple Korean 'banchan' or side dish consisting of fermented cabbage or other vegetables," Kim said.

"What was once limited to Korean families' tables is now a culinary icon that reflects the growing Korean cultural influence in the United States since the first Korean immigrants arrived more than a century ago," she added.

She also mentioned four Korean-American lawmakers, including Reps. Andy Kim and Michelle Steel, as she appreciated their role in introducing the resolution on Kimchi Day.

"We're very proud to have four Korean Americans serving in Congress," she said. "They have been instrumental in working with me in a bipartisan way to introduce this Korean Kimchi Day resolution to make Nov. 22 as Kimchi Day."

She ended her speech with a sentence in Korean that called on people to love kimchi.

Later in the day, an event was held on Capitol Hill to promote kimchi.

At the event, Kim said kimchi is not only one of the most loved side dishes for Koreans but also carries "deep historical and cultural significance."

"I hope that more people will grow aware of our Korean food, kimchi especially, and appreciate the significance and historical origins of kimchi," she said.

A Korean group dedicated to promoting kimchi has declared Nov. 22 as Kimchi Day. Since 2020, Korea has observed the day as a statutory anniversary.

According to Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Trade Corp., South Korea's exports of kimchi products to the US last year were tallied at $29 million. As of October, kimchi exports to the US this year were recorded at $33 million. (Yonhap)