[LECTURE] 2014 October lecture: Kimjang in Korea작성일   2014-10-08

Kimjang (Making and Sharing Kimchi) in Korea: Food, Gender, and Communities

Lecturer: Sangmee Pak

Professor, Cultural Anthropology, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies


Kimjang, and more broadly Kimchi-making, is an important part of Korean identity. Its significance is often thought comparable to Korea's writing system, Hangeul, or the national flag. Kimjang is a good opportunity for strengthening family solidarity in modern Korean society. Making and sharing Kimchi, in particular, the collective practice of Kimjang, reaffirms Korean identity.

Kimjang is also an important reminder for many Koreans that human communities need to live in harmony with nature. Kimjang clearly represents human creativity and ingenuity in learning knowledge on nature and living in accordance with its rhythms. In other words, Koreans learn to live with, rather than conquer, nature. Recipes and methods for making Kimchi are diverse from region to region, from family to family.

As an essential part of winter preparation, Kimjang is an occasion for many Koreans to realize and practice the spirit of sharing. In every Kimjang season, local communities, volunteer associations and other groups organize large-scale Kimjang events, where often thousands of people participate in mass Kimchi-making. All the Kimchi made during these events are donated to people in need. The custom of sharing Kimchi made in these collective festivities boosts cohesive solidarity among members of Korean society.


Sangmee Bak has been teaching cultural anthropology in the Division of International Studies at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS) since 1997. Before she joined HUFS, professor Bak had been an assistant professor in the anthropology department at Queens College of the City University of New York. Professor Bak received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Seoul National University, and both her Master’s degree and Ph. D. in anthropology from Harvard University. Her doctoral dissertation was on Professional Women’s Work, Family, and Kinship at a Television Station in Taipei, Taiwan. Professor Bak has been working on gender, food, cultural heritage, and globalization in Korea and other East Asian Societies. She is currently serving as a member of Cultural Heritage Committee (World Heritage/Folklore).





Education room (1st floor), Seoul Museum of History

55 Saemunan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul


Date and Time

October 6th, 2014 (Mon)

11:30 A.M. to 13:00 P.M





Lunch Fee (optional)

10,000 won(Sandwich & drink) if you’d like to have one.

* Reservation for lunch is required.

* Donation receipt can be issued.

* Wire transfer to KEB a/c#631-000503-181 (YÉOL) or at the venue in cash


Contact (Registration required)


T: 02-745-5878

F: 02-736-5878