Bouncing up and down and fidgeting, KaDence Brown speaks with a smile about how much she loves and admires South Korea’s culture. However, that wasn’t always the case.
“I wasn’t interested in anything to do with the Asian countries really,” said Brown, a freshman majoring in general studies.
Then, Brown met her best friend who lived in South Korea for three years. Brown wanted to learn more about the country and culture to connect more with her friend. Once Brown started learning about the culture of South Korea, she fell in love.
The main aspect that caught Brown’s attention was their respect for each other. She said it’s nothing like the United States. Here, you can go up to a stranger and say “What’s up, dude?” and that would be alright. Brown said Koreans would find that disrespectful.
“Anytime somebody is older than you, you immediately have to be extremely formal to them,” Brown said. “You always have to use formal language, or it‘s disrespectful.”
Brown loves the language and is working to be fluent in it. Right now, she does not know many words, but she can say, “My name is KaDence” or “nanun KaDenceibnida.”
Brown also discovered a love for Korean food. Her favorite Korean dish is called Tteokbokki, a spicy rice cake.
“Their food is to die for,” Brown said. “I’m obsessed with their food.”
It is difficult for her to get any Korean food in Rexburg because the closest Asian food market is in Salt Lake City, which is too far for her to travel.
Since Brown has been a fan of the Korean culture, she has been asked many times, ‘Why Korea?’ As she has thought on this question, she has realized why Korea and not other countries.
“A lot of people ask me why Korea and not one of the other Asian countries,” Brown said. “I don’t know what it is. I guess, in my mind, I never visited any of the other Asian countries, and from what I’ve seen and read in the news, Korea is a little bit more laid back.”