By Seon-Myung Yoo
Before the Kim-jang
Jin-Ok Hong, 51 years old, is scurrying through her house, vacuuming, wiping, washing the dishes, and doing the laundry. While the washing machine tosses and turns the laundry, Jin-Ok squats down in the bathroom to scrub the floor and walls extra carefully. Then, she prepares a simple lunch for herself before her siblings arrive for the annual kim-jang.
Kim-jang, is the process of making kimchi for the winter. Historically, Koreans have pickled their cabbages and radishes toward the end of the fall after harvest in preparation for the winter. The tradition is preserved into the modern contemporary Korea. The women of the family get together every year to go through the various stages of kimchi-making at a large scale.