Lindsay here. So we had our monthly Korean/foreigner dinner here last night in Gwangju. I’m not sure if we’ve ever written about it on the blog, so I figured now was a good time as ever.
In our first fall here (back in 2007!!) I wanted to put something together where foreigners could get together with Koreans once a month for a nice dinner downtown. Sometimes, it’s hard to meet Koreans who speak English and even harder to enter their famous “inner circle,” an idea we first read about in our Lonely Planet guidebook to Korea.
But I was lucky. I met a wonderful Korean girl named Hannah early in our stay in Korea and have been lucky enough to become close friends with her. Even more luckily, her family –at that time–lived in our neighborhood. And even as Hannah moved on from Gwangju, her mother who did not know a word of English took Whit and me in as her own. She would bring us a Tupperware of kimchi about once a week, calling to let us know in her limited English. “Lingee! Hannah oh-ma!! Kimchi?!?”
And since then, I’ve made a lot more wonderful Korean friends. But I wanted other people to experience the warmth of Koreans. So Hannah helped me get this monthly dinner idea started. And in no time at all, it was a success.
So for almost two years now, it’s met without fail. (We were gone once to America but our good friend Angie stepped in to host for the evening).
And last month, the local Gwangju News magazine and the English radio station in Gwangju interviewed me about it, which brought another new crowd to the event last night. Not only does it serve as a meeting ground for the foreigners and English-speaking Koreans, but also as a way for new teachers in Korea to meet some people and realize they’re not alone.
Last night was just another one of these wonderful nights. But it was an amazing group. You can see from the photos how much fun we have!