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Anth 1500 - Kimberly Interview Assignment

By:   •  December 14, 2018  •  Essay  •  1,625 Words (7 Pages)  •  88 Views

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Yong Lin Tan


Interview assignment

It was a sunny and just another ordinary day when I met Kimberly and have an interview with her. I went to Korean town for dry spa and while waiting for my friends, I have a short conversation with Kimberly. It was not planned nor expected for me to have such a deep conversation with Kimberly, a 60 years old Korean lady. While we were talking, I thought it would be great idea to have an interview with her and share her story in writing. Kimberly is very kind and she start slowly talk about her life story.

On Saturday, I went to Wi Spa for spa and overnight in Korean Town with my friend. I’d been to Wi Spa many times and I love the Korean cultures in Korean town. While I was in the hot tubs waiting for my friends, Kimberly approach to me and ask am I a Christian because I was wearing a silver cross necklace. I say I’m sorry but I’m not a Christian and the necklace is just a decoration jewelry. It was kind of awkward and I feel a little embarrassed when a stranger approach to me and start telling me the benefits of attending church and believing in Jesus when we’re both naked in the hot tubs. It was not a great opening to know Kimberly but she gave me a different view when we sit together in the cafeteria. She is very active and popular in the group. Kimberly notice that I’m a Chinese when I was speaking Chinese with my friends. She say she is very thankful for all the helps from the Chinese government for the all the years to North Korea. She is very glad to see the present President of China and North Korean reunited and be friendly again. Kimberly seems to go through a lot and I felt it will be interesting to interview and know more about her.

Kimberly was born in a poor family in North Korea and later escape to South Korea as a political refugee. I wanted to ask her how did she escape but I felt it might be too personal and don’t want to touch her scars. She says she is very lucky to immigrant to America and start a new life and have human rights and liberty. Kimberly lived in Seattle and have marriage with a white and gave birth to two sons. When she was forty, she was divorced and moved to LA china town with her two sons. She says life became very difficult for her when she cannot adapt to china town and felt isolated with the people around her.  Kimberly claimed she have depression disorder when she was working in the Chinese restaurant and felt isolated by the Chinese workers. She felt the Chinese are not accepting her because she is a Korean and she practice different religion. Kimberly felt very pressured and stressed living among a group of Buddhism and nobody understand her except Jesus.

She was having a very hard time adapting to the Chinese cultures and religion, therefore, she decides to move to Pasadena, a white community, where she believe to be more friendly and favor her religion. I asked her if everything goes better when she move to Pasadena. Kim say yes and she was treated very lovingly and generously when she first moved into Pasadena. She hadn’t been treated different from other people around her. The people in Church are very kind, and many people worked to encourage her in pursuing is new life in LA. Again, in the mean time she approaches me to join with her to Church and Jesus love all his people. I felt very happy about her having better lives when moved to a new neighborhood, but I’m also very curious of what is the difference between living in a white community and a Chinese community. Besides the difference religion practices, Pasadena and China town have very different regulations and rules. She say she love everything about old town Pasadena, except the strict regulations and policies that she have to submit when opening a business in Fair oaks. Kimberly still seems frustrated when talking about the long tedious process of getting her business license for her beauty store. She says it bothers her when she has to file paper works and report to the city every time when she wants to do something in her store. Kimberly asked me what do I like about Korea and Korean cultures. I told her I love Korean barbecues, music, pop stars, dramas, and Korean beauty. Kimberly laugh and say she favorite food was Korean ribs when she was young like me and when she still has teeth. And now, her favorite food is kimchi soondubu jjigae. I ask her what is “soondubu jjigae”, and she say its Korean tofu soups. Just for curiosity, I ask her why does Korean like kimchi so much. Kimchi is picked cabbage and other vegetable mixed with grounded, with dried red chili peppers. Kimberly gave me a very interesting answer, “Back then, many people in Korea were very poor. They can only afford eating kimchi and kimchi can last for long time when ferment. Once you use to eating kimchi, you start needing it with everything you eat. Eating kimchi becomes a culture eventually after times and generations”. I ask Kimberly does she listen to Korean music at home. She says she listen to Christian songs, and bible messages. She say she’s getting old and not use to the loud Korean pop music. Kimberly said America is like a big pot mixed with different ingredients to cook a dish. America provide opportunities for the immigrants to achieve and strike their dreams. She said she is glad that America is full of different ethnicity groups so that she as an immigrant can be part of the country as well. I asked her if she feels any tensions between different groups. Kimberly reply its common to have little tensions among the different ethnicity groups due to the different culture practices. But she also claimed that there’s no big tensions between the groups but only conflicts among the different living styles. At the end of the interview, I gave Kimberly a hug appreciating her for sharing her life story with me.


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