Culture Capsule 1

Food Koreans eat on special days : Samgyetang and Miyeokguk

Do you konw what food korean eat on very hot summer days? They eat Samgyetang(삼계탕),
a piping hot dish. Samgyetang is a chicken that is filled with sticky rice, garlic, jujube and ginseng, and then boiled for a long time. According to the logic of overcoming heat with hot things, Koreans believe that in hot weather they should eat hot foods to maintain their health. For this reason you may be able to see long lines of customers outside Samgyetang restaurants on the hottest days of summer.

Another custom is that all new Korean mothers eat Miyeokguk(미역국), seaweed soup, after giving birth. Traditionally, after giving birth, white rice and Miyeokguk were prepared and the family performed a ritual to give thanks to the goddesses for na easy delivery and in hopes that the baby would have a long life. Koreans knew that Miyeok contained many good nutrients for new mothers. Nowadays, new mothers still eat Miyeokguk after giving birth. In fact, Koreans maintain a tradition of eating Miyeokguk on their birthdays throughout their whole lives because of its association with their birth and having a long life. However, students preparing for an important exam do not eat Miyeokguk near the exam date. Seaweed's slipperiness makes students think they may "slip" and fail their important exam.

** In your country, what kind of food do people eat on very hot days?
Is there a soecial food that people eat on their birthday?
-Write reference Korean Languge Education Center, Sogang University

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