When will Texas recognize November 22 as Kimchi Day?

by Tony Chai | Chief Editor | Korea in Dallas

As the news of Washington D.C. joining three US states of California, Virginia and New York to designate Nov. 22 “Kimchi Day,” the question of “When will Texas designate November 22 ‘Kimchi Day’?”

According to the Korea Economic Daily, the council of the District of Columbia on Tuesday June 26th unanimously passed a resolution commemorating and promoting the consumption of Kimchi.

Steve Babick, Mayor of Carrollton, is tasting freshly made Kimchi at the 2019 Korean Festival in Carrollton, TX. (photo by Korea Times Media)

The resolution specified that South Korea is the country of origin of kimchi and recognized its excellence as a health food, alongside the history of the spicy side dish, according to the state-run Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp. (aT).

Last February, the State of New York became the third US state to designate the Nov. 22 Kimchi Day after California and Virginia.

South Korea launched its first Kimchi Day in 2020 to promote the consumption of the main side dish of Koreans.

South Korea has been making diplomatic efforts to have kimchi acknowledged as a traditional Korean food, in response to some Chinese media’s claim that it is a type of Chinese pickled vegetable.

So, when will Texas be next?

The answer heavily depends on how the Korean-American community of Dallas pushes for it.

Sungjoo Ryu, president of Korean Society of Dallas, feels the need to put together efforts to have November 22 designated as ‘Kimchi Day’ in Texas.

“Kimchi signifies Korea. It’s more than just Korean traditional food. The Korean Society of Dallas will discuss how to go about having November 22 designated as ‘Kimchi Day’ some time in the near future. Currently, we are so busy with the aftermath of the hair salon shooting on Royal Lane.” said Ryu.

According to the Korea Economic Daily’s report, exports of Kimchi to the US soared to a record high of $28.3 million last year, a tenfold jump from $2.8 million in 2011. The US is the second-biggest export market of kimchi after Japan.

H.K. Kim, president of the Greater Dallas Korean American Chamber of Commerce (GDKACC), has been active in promoting K-brands in the United States.
His organization has held multiple international expos relating to K-brands. One of GDKACC’s goals is to have November 22 as ‘Kimchi Day’ in Texas.

“Korean food has played a major role in spreading the wave of Korean culture not only in U.S. but worldwide. Korean food is also a great source of business for everyone. Korean Chamber will work with other Korean-American organizations in Dallas to have state of Texas recognize November 22 as Kimchi Day” Kim said.

Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp. President Kim Choon-jin (left) and Washington D.C. council member Anita Bonds (right)

According to Kim Choon-jin, president of Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp., the designation of Kimchi Day in the US will raise the status of K-food in the global food market and drive its exports higher.