Wednesday, March 24

Korean moving tradition

About two weeks after we moved in to our apartment, we decided to try to meet our neighbors. We live in a complex that is mostly Korean speaking (we moved to the Korea town section of Garden Grove), with some Vietnamese families in the mix too. We rode our bikes over to the local rice cake shop (yay for bikes and fun places to bike to!) and Colin asked about the special rice cakes that you give to your neighbors when you move in. She made them to order for us and we picked them up the next day. They had some other ones that looked just like the ones we needed, but she told us those wouldn't do, we had to get the special ones.

So, the Korean tradition is to take these rice cakes on one of your own dishes. (I was going to take them on paper plates, but Colin wouldn't have it! We had to do it the Korean way. He's more well-versed in Korean culture and also more of a by-the-book person than I am.) Then, the neighbor brings the plate back to you with something else on it. It turns out it is a great way to meet neighbors, because you go to their door and then they have to come to your door too.

Our plates with rice cakes (covered in red bean powder) and banana bread mini muffins.

Our immediate neighbors are Hispanic. They brought us these homemade tortas the next day. Some of the non Koreans just returned to give us the empty plate. We got a bag of organic apples, a plate of oranges and nectarines, and a jar of kimchi in return. I guess that in American culture, your neighbors are supposed to welcome you when you move in. This Korean tradition kind of makes that happen because the person that moved is supposed to take the initiative.


One Woman said...

I love this!! Those tortas look good, too. :)


Elaine said...

I told Manuel about this and he thought it was a dandy idea. The picture of tortas makes us drool....

Kristin said...

What a great idea! I like how it forces interaction between new neighbors. Giving each other something good to eat is a great way to start a relationship! ~K