When my mom made celebration noodle,
She would fry Kimchi in oil.
She would boil broth with anchovy and seaweed.
With an appetizing sound she would chop pumpkins and onions.
She brought thin white dried noodle from the shelf.
Then she would spread it in the water
In thin white threads
Beautiful like Hansam.
In a bowl of noodle,
We would see a rainbow on a white snow
After finishing the noodle
An affection from your mom will be in your heart, the body will soon warmth.
1. What piece did you choose to imitate?
I chose to imitate Noodles in Broth by Hong Junju.
2. Why did you choose this piece?
I chose a beautiful poem Noodles in Broth by Hong Junju because I was fascinated by the atmosphere of this poem. I especially loved the last line, “A smile would come to the lips, the body would relax.” This line embodies the affection and care that was carried in the food. As an international student who leaves apart from hometown and family, I this poem reminded me of happy memories I spent with my families sharing food. Also, it was interesting to read the specific instruction how to make noodles in broth, so by imitating this poem, I also wanted to both share my mom’s love in my favorite Korean noodle, which is called Jan-chi noodle also known as celebration noodle, and her recipe of making the noodle.
3. What did you learn about the culture of the original author through imitating his or her style?
While I was reading the poem, I did not notice that the author is introducing a noodle that is simple to make. However, the noodle conveys the significant meaning of love. This contrast between simplicity and complication emphasized in this poem was interesting. The meaning of the food and emotions delivered via food is even highlighted and stressed with this contrast. Therefore, I also wanted to write about the noodle with a simple recipe to emphasize the love of my mom.
4. What did you learn about your own culture while writing?
Similar to the culture of the poet or the speaker of this poem, my culture also emphasizes collectivism and sharing. Especially in our family, the gathering is a significant part of our culture. I have three siblings, and they are all currently studying abroad in the United States, so we can only gather as a whole family during winter break and summer break. Therefore, though there is a lot of Korean food in the United States, our longing for the taste of mom’s food always exist in our heart. During breaks, we always try to eat breakfast together, and my mom will always cook for us.
5. Is There cultural DNA embedded in the piece you read and in your piece? How does this DNA manifest in the texts?
The general tone of this poem is nostalgic. While I was imitating the poem, I felt his love of food and the emotions carried through the bowl of noodle. The speaker in this poem thinks the food is more than a tool to survive but is a memory and culture. Also, the speaker had two bowls of noodles in a row, which can be interpreted as a great compliment to the chef Cui, who made the noodle for the speaker. In China, asking for more meal and wanting to serve more for the guest is a symbol for caring and love, so having two bowls reflects the affection of the chef and the speaker to each other.