Enjoying a traditional Korean Breakfast - 56
Breakfast time in Korea and abroad
In Korea, a high percentage of people still eat a traditional Korean breakfast, although this is changing as people lead busier and more hectic lifestyles. It is also still quite common for one of the women in the household to prepare the rice the night before, or alternatively to get up early in order to prepare the traditional breakfast for the family. Younger couples who live away from their parents home and who are both working, sometimes lead a more contemporary lifestyle, preferring to eat cereal, or fruit or bread or eat at or on the way to work.
For the traditionalists, breakfast often consists of rice, jigae (kind of soup) and side dishes such as Kimchi. It is quite a contrast and also much healthier compared to a traditional British breakfast. Fried eggs, fried sausages, baked beans, toast and a few slices of bacon; finished off with a cup of tea or coffee. British person do not eat this every day, as the majority of people eat very healthily for breakfast, eating items such as cereal, yoghurts and fruit.
This kind of healthy breakfast is also common in the States, whilst the Americans unhealthy side leads them prone to eating things such as pancakes with syrup, bagels with large dollops of cream cheese or a big plate of fried food. America though, is also the innovator when it comes to healthy eating; a recent example of this being the new concept of coffee bars with fat free muffins and other healthy treats.
A truly Korean Breakfast
Koreans seem to have a great ability to be active in the mornings, something that always surprised us teachers as westerners. Take England or America – people would never study at 7am in the morning. People in America and England would only consider studying at an institute in the evening or on weekends, with these countries both often offering a variety of night courses, but I have never heard of morning courses.
As I write this, I actually wonder if this may be a great idea for the future and I wonder if I might regret one day writing this idea down to share with everyone. In many things, Koreans are forward thinkers, particularly when we look at things such as broadband, with 62.4% of the population considered Internet users. (Broadband is still only used by about 40% of British people using the Internet). Introducing the concept of early morning Korean style teaching may eventually catch on in other countries and maybe it is a great business idea and maybe Koreans are also right about the amazing effects of garlic.
Final thoughts on food in Korea
Westerners should be aware that the system for paying is quite different from their own countries. In Korea, if you invite someone or some people to lunch they will probably expect you to pay, as you invited them. It is common to pay for the people you invite and this even exist when it is to your own birthday party, as discussed earlier. It is important to be aware of this fact as a foreigner in Korea. As a Korean, you should also be aware when abroad, that if someone invites you out for lunch for example, when you are doing business abroad, it does not necessarily mean that they are offering to pay for you. Let me finish this discussion about food by telling you that the majority of my friends speak very positively of Korean food and Korean food is a positive experience for almost all visitors to Korea.