Social media users in China and South Korea are embroiled in another line, this time over a plethora of kimchi, a fermented cabbage dish, which most people identify as an essential part of the Korean diet.
However, in China, where state media has spewed an online backlash after receiving certification from the International Organization for the Standardization of a Fermented Cuisine of the Country. [ISO].
The Global Times newspaper said that the ISO position was “an international standard for the kimchi industry led by China”.
The very mention of the word kimchi gave rise to angry accusations among South Koreans that China was attempting to claim kimchi as its own, when in reality the award only covered pao cai – a type of spicy vegetable that Often found in Sichuan cuisine.
“Its total bullshit, what a thief who steals our culture!” A South Korean leader wrote on Never, a widely popular web portal.
Seoul resident Kim Seol-ha said: “I read a media story that China now says kimchi is theirs, and they are setting international standards for it. this is absurd. “
Some South Korean media said that Kimchi’s shamelessness was similar to China’s “bid for world domination”.
Kimchi contretemps is the latest online spot among social media users in China and South Korea. In October, KTS, the leader of the K-pop incident, faced criticism in China citing his country’s solidarity with the US from the Korean War – a conflict in which China fought with North Korea.
Last month, the popular girl band Blackpink was shown borrowing from a baby panda from China at a zoo in their native South Korea, alleging that they risked harming the animal’s health.
Even South Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture was moved to comment on the latest cultural confrontation, releasing a statement saying the ISO-approved standard “had nothing to do with Kimchi”.
The ministry stated, “It is wrong to report (winning ISO without distinguishing between Siouan to Pao Cai to Kimchi)”.
Chinese internet users said that they had every right to claim the dish as their own, since kimchi was so consumed in South Korea, where people eat an estimated 2 million tonnes a year – comes from China.
“Well, if you don’t meet the standard, you’re not a kimchi,” one wrote on Weibo, China’s Twitter version. Another said: “Even Kimchi is pronounced Chinese, what else is there to say.”
Like K-pop, kimchi has benefited from Hallyu There is a wave of interest in Korean culture and now fans from outside the South, where it comes in dozens of varieties and accompanies almost every meal.
UN appears to agree that Kimchi is South Korean, adding UNESCO kimjang – Communal act of making kimchi in 2013 in its Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
The body at the time stated that kimjung “is an essential part of Korean food, crossing class and regional differences. The collective practice of kimjung reinforces Korean identity and is an excellent opportunity to strengthen family cooperation”.