The 4th Kimjang Cultural Festival of ROK-US Good Neighbors was successfully staged with more than 400 invited guests including foreigners participating in at "DAE-GA" in Neungnae-ri, Joan-myeon, Namyangju-si, Gyeonggi-do which is located some 40 km northeast of Seoul on November 24, 2017.
The event was jointly organized by the Asia Leaders Forum for Science chaired by Mr.Seong-Ryong Choi of Korea and the United States Marine Corps Forces of the ROK-US Combined Forces Command under Major General James W. Lukeman in accordance with USFK Regulation 360-4 "Good Neighbor Program," designed to help Koreans and Americans share their cultures with one another to strengthen the ever-increasing bond as neighbors.
Volunteers joined the Kimchi making procedures for more than five hours for package of 2,000 kg of the classic Korean fermented spicy cabbage which will be distributed to needy neighbors near the festival areas for charity.
Major General James W. Lukeman,on behalf of the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, expressed appreciation for this great opportunity to have Marines part of this event.
"Being so cold I am surprised on how many participants have shown up. I would like to give a round of applause to all those who have come out to join us," he said in his congratulatory speech.
"To all the nations I have been to, one common theme I have noticed was the significance of the cuisine," he said.
It shares a story of its history, traditions, and culture to all who enjoy the host nation's meal. he went on pointing out that Korea has been his favorite.
"I'm fascinated on how Korean food has evolved through centuries of social and political change to include complex interaction of the natural environment and different cultural trends," he said.
"One thing I do appreciate is the sense of community and family that you feel while eating a meal in Korea. From the side dishes to a hot stew, everyone shares not only the food but the company of each other," he said..
He then expressed hope that all efforts at the festival not only make delicious KIMCHI, but a lasting friendship between the United States Marine Corps, and the Republic of Korea.
"Thank you again for making the opportunity and the time to host us in such a great event," he added.
Kimchi, a staple in Korean cuisine, is made with salted cabbage doused in a spicy chilli paste, and flavoured with garlic, ginger, fish sauce and fermented seafood.
The first in series of annual Kimjang festival initiated in May 2011 in accordance with USFK Regulation 360-4 "Good Neighbor Program," and it has since contrilbuted in helping Koreans and Americans to strengthen the ever-increasing bond as neighbors.
South Koreans consumed about 1.95 million tonnes of kimchi in 2016, according to the World Institute of Kimchi.
In 2016, a pan-government taskforce was also formed to have Korean food designated on UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage list, as well as introducing universal recipes for bulgogi and other widely known dishes so foreign chiefs and consumers can more easily prepare Korean food.