The informant (J) is the son of two Korean immigrants. He moved to a city on the west coast when he was two years old and grew up there, but he was born in Korea and spent many summers there with his family.
J: When you eat rice or something you’re not supposed to stab your fork or chopsticks into the rice because it’s the symbol of like…you’re killing someone.
Me: Like it resembles the motion of stabbing someone?
J: Or no like, it’s…an incense funeral thing. Cause at a funeral you have an incense candle thing that you stick into this bowl and it sticks out and you light it
Me: Why do you do that at funerals?
J: I think it’s just to like…honor the dead I guess.
Me: Where’d you learn about the chopstick thing and the incense?
J: Um… I think my parents probably just told me not to like…stick my chopsticks into my food like when I was younger. I went to Korean school when I was a kid too and I’m pretty sure they told us about funerals
Context: This was told to me while we were in the living room of the informant’s apartment.