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Culinary Flavours of South Korea Showcase its Rich History and Culture

From the staple Bibimbap, a sticky-rice bowl served with a lot of vegetables, and Japchae, or stir-fried glass noodles

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Culinary, Flavours, South Korea
Chef Ho Min Myung, a South Korean chef visiting India, lists the missing names on India's South Korean platters. Pixabay

Like most cuisines, the culinary flavours of South Korea showcase its rich history and culture. But, foodies in India often find themselves short of options when it comes to this cuisine which is much less popular than its Japanese and Chinese counterparts.

Chef Ho Min Myung, a South Korean chef visiting India, lists the missing names on India’s South Korean platters.

From the staple Bibimbap, a sticky-rice bowl served with a lot of vegetables, and Japchae, or stir-fried glass noodles, to the more complex chicken dish Dakgangjeong or tofu stew Sundubu-jjigae — options are aplenty for South Korean cuisine lovers, but lack popular following here.

For anyone who has got their hands on the food of this East Asian country, they would recall a decent number of vegetable-based side-dishes that are served with the main dish. What makes this food so unique and organic?

Culinary, Flavours, South Korea
Like most cuisines, the culinary flavours of South Korea showcase its rich history and culture. Pixabay

“Since the ancient times, South Koreans are used to eating grains and vegetables. We have plenty of resources from forest because the country has more than 70 per cent of its land as mountains, and field and rice farming has been active.

“We have four distinct seasons and various seasonal ingredients are used depending on its seasonal taste and nutrition. Usually, South Koreans have rice, Kimchi and side dishes for a meal,” Chef Myung told IANS.

The chef says the cuisine makes a healthy diet as it uses a large amount of greens.

“Although it’s a trend in South Korea to be a vegetarian due to awareness about healthy food, meat is never missed on an important occasion. However, the cuisine has various vegetarian dishes apart from meat dishes with various reasons, such as topographical features, tradition and growth of a healthy diet trend.”

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Namul, Japchae, Kimchi and fermented sauces of South Korea contain the original tastes of vegetables for the global vegetarians.

Furthermore, South Korean table manners also give a glimpse into their culture.

“The first thing is respect to elders. Young people would not lift their spoon to start a meal until the oldest hold their spoon and start eating.

“Also, you are requested to eat each and every dish on the table equally to show respect to the one who cooked and the one who eats with you,” the chef, who was on his first India visit, said.

Culinary, Flavours, South Korea
But, foodies in India often find themselves short of options when it comes to this cuisine which is much less popular than its Japanese and Chinese counterparts. Pixabay

Asked if he has got a chance to taste Indian food, Chef Myung said he tasted curry and naan, “yet the spiciness of Indian cuisine with ‘masalas’ is intriguing and attractive as it is different from Korean spicy”.

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Myung, along with two other Korean chefs, is currently curating a Korean Food Fest at the Chaobella Restaurant at Greater Noida’s Crowne Plaza till August 11. (IANS)

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Exhibition Marking 100 Years of First Display of Korean Anti-Colonial Resistance to Open in Delhi

Notably, the entire Korean Peninsula was under Japanese occupation for 35 years from 1910-1945 because the Korean War (1950-53) separated it into North and South

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Exhibition, South Korea, India
The exhibition "100th Anniversary of the March 1st Independence Movement: One Shiny Day", commemorating the spirit of the March 1st Movement - pioneering display of anti-colonial sentiment against its coloniser Japan - will open at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA). Pixabay

As part of South Korea-India cultural exchange, an exhibition marking 100 years of the first display of Korean anti-colonial resistance will open in Delhi, and a show on Mahatma Gandhi’s Dandi March will travel to a South Korean museum next year.

The exhibition “100th Anniversary of the March 1st Independence Movement: One Shiny Day”, commemorating the spirit of the March 1st Movement – pioneering display of anti-colonial sentiment against its coloniser Japan – will open at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) on August 14 and will continue till September 29.

Notably, the entire Korean Peninsula was under Japanese occupation for 35 years from 1910-1945 because the Korean War (1950-53) separated it into North and South.

On March 1, 1919, the movement was joined by people from different walks of life regardless of their region, status and wealth, hinting at the people’s will for independence at home and abroad.

Exhibition, South Korea, India
As part of South Korea-India cultural exchange, an exhibition marking 100 years of the first display of Korean anti-colonial resistance will open in Delhi, and a show on Mahatma Gandhi’s Dandi March will travel to a South Korean museum next year. Pixabay

The upcoming show will display art inspired by the North-South divide, the Korean War refugees, downfall of Korean imperialists, and the first freedom struggle and people’s solidarity.

“The exhibition will display the artworks of 12 artists teams: KWON Hayoun, KIM BoMin, KIM Woojo, BAE Sungmi, SHON Sunghyun, AHN Eun-me, AHN Changhong, LEE Sanghyun, LEE Woosung, JEONG Jae-wan and JO Dongwhan + JO Haejun,” the Korean Cultural Centre India said in a statement to IANS.

The exhibition will also celebrate 15th August, which is the Independence Day of both India and Korea – North and South.

“The exhibition presents the underlying theme of the sorrow and restoration of South Korea that has similar modern history to India. I hope the artworks promote mutual understanding and shared values of both people of India and Korea,” Shin Bong-kil, South Korea’s Ambassador to India, said.

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To deepen the Korea-India friendship through shared culture, NGMA’s in-house curated exhibition on Gandhi’s ‘Salt March’ in Dandi, will open next year at Daegu Art Museum in Daegu, South Korea.

The show of sculptures, paintings, sketches and art installations, will signify the non-violent independence movements of both Indian and Korean people.

The multimedia exhibition “Dandi Yatraa” is part of the year-long celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhi and can be currently viewed at NGMA here. (IANS)