I like kimchi more than potatoes.

Sarah Diggins,
Berlin, MA.

I’m almost entirely Irish by heritage (my dad’s side is 100%), but I never really clicked with the culture. I grew up loving Celtic music, looking at gorgeous landscapes of the Irish countryside, and hearing stories about my Irish cousins and ancestors from my grandparents. But when I went to live in Seoul for a summer, something about the Korean culture made me fall in love; the food, the music, the people, the cultural attitudes, and the everyday life all intrigued me by how drastically different they were from everything I’ve ever known. My family has been very supportive of me in this love, but at the same time I feel as though many of them consider it just a phase I’m going through…they don’t understand that the more I learn about Korea, the more I want to know. I feel as though I’m less ‘Irish’ than the other members of my family, despite the fact that the same Irish blood flows through my veins. Additionally, even though I am so infatuated with Korean culture, I will never fully be a part of the country and society – because of the significantly homogeneous society, my blonde hair and blue eyes made me stand out and be permanently marked as a foreigner, with all the stereotypes that come with the label. I’m kind of stuck in between the American-Irish culture with which I grew up and the Korean culture that I’ve grown to love, and I hope to forge my own path without forgetting my roots.


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