Celebratory Korean Soups

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Korean
Age: 21
Occupation: N/A
Residence: Los Angeles
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/30/13
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Korean

Like whenever it’s your birthday, it’s tradition that you eat seaweed soup. Or even on New Year’s, it’s tradition that you eat rice cake soup – miyukgukk.

Is this strictly a Korean thing or is it more Asiatic as a whole?

Wait, miyukgukk is the seaweed soup. Korean. The New Year’s soup is called” dukkgukk.”

Do you know why people believe in doing this?
Hmm… I’m not sure positively, but I’m guessing the seaweed soup is to bring you more health, and the rice cake soup is to bring hope for the next year to come healthy. A lot of the food we eat, we eat because it brings us health and youth. Most of the time
So these are widely done, right?

The birthday soups and New Year’s soup, yes.

 

This shows the Asiatic fixation on mortality and health. Koreans focus more on longevity, which the informant called the “mirror opposite” of the Chinese, who are just afraid of death. These are foods eaten for their specific health values, which is done in every culture, but tied to superstition.