The fact that South Korean first lady, Kim Yoon-ok, served pajeon(savory Korean pancake) for Korean War veterans in Great Neck, NY last week while her husband sat in on G20 meetings absolutely delighted me to no end. Korean ajummas and their food can win over even the hardest heart and most narrow minded tongue. If you find yourself face to face with a Korean mother or grandmother chances are you are seconds away from being fed.
Which is why Kim Yoon-ok’s feeding of war veterans in the US last week seemed to me to be the most genuine stab at Korean hospitality and diplomacy that anyone could have tried during the G20.. Koreans love their food and the women love to feed anyone in sight. It is very common to be hiking and be fed, have an ajumma cook for you at a restaurant and if you finish your food, have more put in its place by a Korean woman.
I think offering country’s food is not a bad attempt at showing good faith. To me, Yoon-ok’s “culinary diplomacy” is one of the most touching political acts I have seen in a while. A true example of Korean hospitality.
See the NYT article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/23/dining/23kore.html