Jin Choe

Name

Jin Choe

Age

33

Location

Las Vegas, NV

Occupation

Restaurant Owner of BFG Chicken Strips

Own Words

I remember when I was teaching English in Korea, a lot of my students told me I wasn't Korean. At first I was a little offended and explained that I am Korean because my parents are Korean. But after I thought about what they said while sitting on the subway, I realized that they were right. I'm not Korean, culturally. Although I grew up with Korean values and had an understanding of some of the cultural things they did, I grew up celebrating the American Independence, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I don't remember celebrating any of the Korean holidays while I was growing up. Ah, I take it back, I do remember bowing down once a year to my parents and grandmas. But, since I didn't learn about it in school or hear it from my friends, I thought it was dumb since I didn't understand it. I thought it was nice that I got money for bowing. My Korean was so bad I said "세헤병 많이 받으세요" (I think I spelled that wrong) which means "Have a lot of sickness this year" instead of saying "새헤복 많이 받으세요" which means "Have a lot of blessing this year" to my grandma. Yeah... I didn't get a lot of money that year... But it's things like that, that get lost in translation and make life humorous. I've lived in Korea for 4 years and learned a lot. I grew up in America for 29 years and would never trade it for anything because I feel I have the best of both worlds. I'm able to understand the good and bad of both cultures and can make them my own, to be Korean-American. I'm really lucky to have been born and raised in America where there are so many different cultures mixed into one country. So what does it mean to be Korean-American? I can go out to an Irish Pub, have a Kilkenny, flirt with the waitress, make new friends, talk about who's going to win the next UFC matches, argue whether the AK or AR platform is better, sing some Bohemian Rhapsody, and take my shoes off before I enter my house at the end of the day. Find me on Facebook! (and no, I'm not a lush, I just thought the picture I uploaded was hilarious)

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