In the 21st global century, globalization is in a rapid progress as exchanges between countries in various fields such as politics, economy, and culture are increasing. Cultural content, especially dramas have made a big contribution to global cultural exchanges. Cultural exchanges including movies and dramas have been active as foreign dramas are shown in Korea, and dramas that were popular in Korea are shown overseas. Then, why are most people in Korea reluctant to watch foreign dramas when they can easily encounter them? There must be people who do not want to watch foreign dramas because it is hard to understand the differences in cultures and languages. In this article, I would like to introduce Korean cultures to foreign audience, and to provide Korean audience with an opportunity to approach foreign dramas with less burden by introducing<Kim’s Convenience>, a Canadian drama which consists of Korean and Canadian cultures at the same time. < Copyright © The Gachon Herald All rights reserved >
<Kim’s Convenience> is a drama broadcasted in Canada. It is a story about the daily life of a Korean family who immigrated to Toronto, Canada. The main characters are a patriarchal father, a mother who always worries about her children, and children who have troubles with their parents about their future careers, and the actors are all Korean-Canadians. The Korean cultures in <Kim’s Convenience> do not only create empathy in Korean audiences, but also contributes to increasing awareness of Korean cultures in Canada. In order to make a familiar approach to Korean audience, the Korean-Canadian actors in <Kim’s Convenience> act in “Konglish” tone although they can speak fluent English in reality. In addition, <Kim’s Convenience> introduces various types of Korean food such as braised ribs, rice rolls, kimchi, beef bone soup, bibimbap, and soft tofu stew. This is supported by the scene where Janet, the daughter of the Kim’s family, eats at a soft tofu restaurant with her friends and cousins. Janet’s cousin Na-young actively introduces Korean food and teaches her friends that it is almost compulsory to put eggs in soft tofu stew. Also, Janet’s father explains about Korean history mentioning the Independence Day of Korea and the period under Japanese occupation. There is a scene where he shows his patriotism. He finds a Toyota car illegally parked in front of his store and reports to the police whereas he would tolerate if it was a Hyundai car. These episodes mentioned above provide local viewers deep understanding of Korean cultures.
<Kim’s Convenience> has reached 930,000 viewers in three months, and it represents a high viewership as it is 2.5 percent of the whole population of Canada. <Kim’s Convenience> which gained a lot of attention from the public has comforted and have propped up many other Asian artists. Many previously broadcasted Asian culture-based dramas have included wrong information about Asian cultures or even discrimination against Asians. We can easily find movies and dramas referring Asians to “Yellows from Asia”, Chinese to “Ching chang chong”, and Koreans to “Kimchi”. Nevertheless, <Kim’s Convenience> succeeded to flourish by dealing with an exhilarating, humane story, describing stories of life that often happen in real Korean families. Therefore, it has established a foothold for other Asian culture-based pieces to be published.
Amid the growing number of movies and dramas including Asian cultures and actors, such as <Search> which was broadcasted last August with great success, I recommend Korean people to try and take a profound interest in foreign dramas through <Kim’s Convenience> that expresses Korean cultures based on an immigrant family from Korea to Canada.