The Memory of Making Delicious Kimchi on the Day of the First Snow of the Season

On November 26 when there was the first snowfall of the season as the temperature went below 0⁰C, there were busy people setting up tables and putting salted cabbages on them from early morning in the square of Joongang Park in Bundang, Gyeonggi-do, Korea.

It was to prepare for the “13th Kimchi-Making Festival to Share Mother’s Love” held by the Intl. WeLoveU Foundation. The 3,000 salted cabbages were spread over the tables in the square, which made the square look like a cabbage field. Most of them were harvested a few days before the event as the members themselves sowed the seeds in summer and took good care of them despite the drought. Next to the cabbages, there were containers of seasonings made with fresh vegetables and seafood of high quality grown in Korea.

The WeLoveU Foundation’s “Kimchi-making event to share Mother’s love” is an event to make kimchi and deliver it to our unfortunate neighbors who have no idea how they are going to live during the cold winter. It is already the 13th time to hold this event. Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah and the board members and about 300 members from Chungbuk and Gyeonggi regions participated in this event with one mind to share love.

Just as kimchi makes deeper taste as it ripens, the members’ talent of making kimchi has been excelling more and more. Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah held the hands of each and every member who came for the event despite the cold weather, and she said, “Kimchi becomes crunchier and tastes better when it is made in a cold day. As our members make kimchi wholeheartedly with love, the senior citizens (who live alone) will enjoy it.”

The members who participated in the kimchi-making event to share Mother’s love every year tasted kimchi and said, “The kimchi tastes even better this year.” A woman from Colombia said, “I like Korean culture to help neighbors by making kimchi, and I’m so happy to be able to participate in it. I love seafood, and I can taste seafood in the kimchi. I never knew that kimchi is this delicious.”

The citizens who happened to come to the park tasted kimchi and said, “It’s not too salty, but tastes so fresh. It is the best kimchi in the world.” A resident in her 60s who watched the event from the early morning said, “This kimchi tastes so good. You’ve been working hard since this morning,” and also asked the members how she could join the event.

8,000kg of kimchi was made this morning. 10kg of kimchi was put in each container, and it was delivered with a sincere letter to 800 families in Seoul and Gyeonggi-do in the afternoon. The officials of the town offices and the community service centers expressed their gratitude and said, “We believe that it wasn’t easy to make kimchi in this weather, but it will give much strength to the senior citizens living alone and single-parent families who need this kimchi.

Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah, who made kimchi with the members all morning, visited neighbors in Taepyeong-dong in Seongnam City in the afternoon with the kimchi, rice, and daily necessities. She said, “The members made the kimchi wholeheartedly, and it’s delicious. The WeLoveU members are your family, so cheer up!” With this warm message, she checked each family’s hardship and supported them with heating cost and medical expenses. The neighbors expressed their gratitude, saying, “I think this winter is going to be a warm winter for us.” A single mom in her 40s, and an old lady in her 70s who lives alone, an old lady in her 60s who takes care of her daughter who has cancer and her young granddaughter . . . Everybody was filled with happy laughter.

On the way back after visiting all neighbors, the light snow became thick. It was a thick snow as white as the pure heart of the members and the bright smiles of our neighbors.