CJ is a student at USC studying Business Administration. He is half Korean and half American, and he lives in Cerritos, California. He was in my Dance in Popular Culture GE last semester.
Proverb: 김치국부터 마시지 말라
Pronunciation: Kimchi-guk-buteo ma-si-ji mal-ra
Literal meaning: Don’t drink the kimchi soup first
“My mom used to say this to me a lot. You can say this when someone gets ahead of him or herself when planning for a project of future. It’s like when you eat a kimchi based dish, you won’t drink the kimchi sauce first right? ”
Because I did not grow up within a Korean household, I am not familiar with specific Korean dining practices such as the proper way to eat kimchi. That is why when I first heard the literal translation of the proverb I was confused. When my informant explained to me the context in which it was used, however, it gave me a better understanding of the origin of the saying. This proverb also emphasizes the importance of food practices in Korean culture.