California just became the first U.S. state to create a designated Kimchi Day!
On Tuesday, August 24, 2021, the California State Assembly unanimously passed a resolution to designate November 22 as Kimchi Day. Assemblyman Steven Choi led the resolution and said he proposed the bill to counter the idea that kimchi is a traditional Chinese food rather than a traditional Korean food. As California is the U.S. state with the largest number of Korean American residents, Assemblyman Choi stated that California intends to side with the South Korean government in regard to the origins of kimchi.
Last year, South Korea also designated November 22 as Kimchi Day. The chosen date is meant to represent the 11 major ingredients of kimchi (cabbages, radishes, salted fish, etc) and the 22 health benefits of eating kimchi, like lowered risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Following the passing of California’s resolution, the state is expected to host various promotional events related to kimchi, such as kimchi-making classes and a Kimchi Festival in Los Angeles.
In addition to specifying kimchi’s South Korean origins, the resolution passed by the state of California also stated that kimchi’s increased popularity corresponds to “higher awareness of Korean culture, including K-Pop, K-Beauty, K-Food, and K-Drama.”