Dear Josu Crew,
As we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month, I can't help but reflect on how much Asian culture has become increasingly mainstream in the United States.
I came to the US when I was three and grew up as an immigrant in Massachusetts. I’m sure my experience was similar to other AAPI immigrants - I was always the “Chinese” girl, despite my very Korean name Hae-Sin. After once being told my lunch was “smelly,” I never brought Korean food to school again. Every year, one of the soldiers in Acton’s annual Revolutionary War reenactment didn’t look like the others. And on and on. I spent my childhood trying to find ways NOT to be different.
Now, after years of feeling like Korean culture wasn’t valued or appreciated, I am thrilled to see Korean culture celebrated everywhere: Korean beauty, Korean pop (and not just BTS!), Korean films (zombie movies don’t get better than Train to Busan) and K-drama. Yes, Squid Game is awesome, but so are Extraordinary Attorney Woo, Chocolate, and The Glory - just to name a few. Just ask me if you want a list…. Did you see Netflix announced they are spending $2.5 BILLION on Korean dramas and films over the next four years!? Wow!
The most heartwarming part of this renaissance is, of course, the acceptance and love of Korean food - because food is the centerpiece of every culture.
For the first time, I thought others might appreciate and enjoy the salt we’ve been making for 75 years (that picture at the top? That's my dad, in one of the salt ponds his grandfather built). For the first time, I thought others might enjoy salt flavors inspired by Korean and Asian cuisines. For the first time, I felt “different” might actually be a good thing. That's exactly why we started Josu.
Thank you for supporting Josu. Thank you for celebrating what’s different.