Korean Foods Abroad and Dak-Kalbi - 51
There seems to a small extent, to be a concern that Korea is becoming more Westernised as outside influences (particularly from America), continue to change the way Koreans live and think. The truth also maybe from what I have seen on my travels, that Korea is also gradually beginning to influence the rest of the world as much or even more than Korea is becoming Westernised. ‘Dak galbi’ restaurants, Samsung products, Korean motorcars, LG Air-Conditioning units (I saw one in Sicily, Italy last month) are becoming commonplace, as are Korean communities. In England nowadays, I come across Korean brands or products everyday. I use my Samsung on a daily basis – Today I will watch Chelsea on TV and see ‘Samsung’ plastered across the football shirts.
In terms of food, young Koreans are becoming largely influenced by the American take-away food. As Koreans travel abroad more and more these days, Korean restaurants are also opening up in different countries around the globe. It will hopefully mean that I can still get my favourite food Dak-Kalbi wherever I final settle down. Talking of the numbers of Koreans travelling abroad these days, it is interesting to look at the official tourism statistics for Korea for 2002.
We cansee that Korea “had 5.3 million foreign tourists, or 66 percent more than in 1992. On the other hand, 7.1 million Koreans made overseas trips in 2002, four times bigger than the figure a decade ago”. Koreans travelling abroad bring with them Western culture and ways of thinking back into Korean society, but many Koreans seem to be living abroad permanently and positively influencing other countries about Korean culture. Ireland is in a similar situation, with Irish communities all over the world. Wherever you go in the world you even find Irish pubs these days, even if there are no Irish people in that place. Many of my younger University aged students even complained that when they travelled Europe by inter-rail, there were too many other Koreans travelling.