Global South Korea: Los Angeles

Global South Korea: Los Angeles

Los Angeles is one of the most famous cities in the world. Between it being the centre of the United States’ film and TV industry, home of Hollywood; and much adored tourist attractions like Universal Studios, Disneyland, planetariums, museums, and more… it’s the city of dreams, where anyone can find something suitable for themselves. The weather is very mediterranean, with mild weather throughout the year, a lot of sun, and quite simply, a comfortable climate. All of this makes L.A. a very desirable place to visit — around 4 million people live in the city, and over 49 million people visit the country annually. 

Unsurprisingly, within this large number of people, reside many Koreans. L.A. is home to one of the biggest Koreatowns in the USA, due to the history between the two nations. Koreans have been immigrating to America since 1882, after the United States-Korea Treaty was signed, which ended Korea’s isolation policy. In 1965, as the Korean community and Korean businesses had vastly grown, the law restricting Asians from entering the United States was abolished. Finally, in 1980, a Koreatown was finally established in Los Angeles. Almost four decades later, Koreatown has grown massively, and there are hundreds of things to do related to your favorite nation! Here’s a guide to Korea-related things to do in the City of Angels. 

  • LA Korean Festival

The LA Korean Festival was established in 1974, a year after Koreatown was created. The purpose of the festival is to allow Korean-Americans to showcase their Korean roots and show to the rest of the world the beauty of Korean culture and traditions. The four-day festival is filled with the practice of Korean traditions, the exhibition of the many colors of Korea, dances, lights, fireworks, food, excitement and a promise of a good time. 

The festival has it all, catered for Koreans, people who are passionate about the Korean culture, and those who just want to have a good time. It encompasses a wide variety of activities, from scrumptious food trucks to all sorts of workshops, to helping you experience Korea with parades, Hanbok, and more. 

  • Restaurants

Have you ever craved Korean food, but the area you were in had no places to satisfy you? Well, that will not be an issue for you in L.A. The city is filled with Korean restaurants, and one is bound to be near you. Perhaps you are interested in trying out the celebrated Korean BBQ? Trying out Ahgassi Gopchang is a must, especially since they offer to cook for you if you don’t feel comfortable cooking your meat. If you fancy seafood, Soban is the place for you. Or perhaps, you want a place that truly focuses on one meat? In this case, Sung Ha Jang is the expert on duck, their recipes are perfected to be the best duck you will ever try. 

Alternatively, the world of Latin-Korean food is very predominant in L.A. as the two cultures have really come together. Don’t be surprised if you see Korean inspired taco trucks, which has Mexican food with Korean ingredients. 

  • Places To See

The Korean Friendship Bell was a gift by South Korea to America in 1976, to symbolize the friendship between the two countries. It is a scaled recreation of the Divine Bell of King Seongdeok the Great of Silla (which is kept at the National Museum of Gyeongju). The bell is over 17 tonnes and is made purely of copper and tin. It’s rung on the first Saturday of each month, thirteen times, at noon. It is also rung five times a year for ceremonial purposes: on New Year's eve, Korean-American Day (January 13th), American Independence Day (July 4th), Korean Liberation Day (August 15th) and Constitution Day (September 17th). 

Founded in 1991, the Korean-American National Museum’s mission is to tell the story of Americans with a Korean background and give them some recognition that was previously unheard of. It holds a large number of exhibitions every year and attempts to make it as entertaining and interesting for its wide audience. From the stunning architecture of the building to the impressive exhibitions, the museum is sure to leave you dumbfounded with the beautiful stories it has to offer. 

So, these are all the places you can visit in L.A.! There is so much to do and see, whether it’s related to Korea or not. The connection between Koreans and Americans is very tight, and that is very clear to see in L.A., where the cultures have truly integrated and mixed beautifully. Have you been to L.A.? What seems like the most interesting thing to do? Let us know in the comments below!

Written by Lucille Bamber