While Choo Ja-hyun apologized for calling kimchi “pao cai”, Chinese media mocked, “Is it a world-class invention?”

Actress Choo Ja-hyun, who was recently criticized for labeling kimchi as “pao cai”, delivered her apology.

Through an official statement released by her agency BH Entertainment, Choo Ja-hyun bowed her head and apologized, “I’m sorry for causing worries to many people with this issue which a person who is carrying out activities in both Korea and China should be cautious about and pay attention to more than anyone else.”

She continued, “While thinking about things that I didn’t know, I looked up the correct expression of kimchi in Chinese in order to not repeat the same mistake”, adding, “Until recently, ‘pao cai’ was still accepted as a correct translation and expression of kimchi. However, I found out that kimchi was standardized as ‘shin chi’, according to the Guidelines for Translating and Labeling Foreign languages in Public terms, which was implemented in July last year by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism”.

Choo Ja-hyun calling kimchi “pao cai”

She added, “Thinking about how to use more accurate translation in the future, I asked for advice from many people around me”, adding, “Since the newly standardized term ‘shin chi’ has not yet been widely used, I was advised to prioritize informing others of this new translation.”

She said: “With this recent incident in mind, I will put in more effort toward educating myself on our traditional foods and toward spreading our traditions globally. There’s so much I still don’t know,” adding, “We will all strive harder to protect Korea’s traditional culture and authenticity.”

Choo Ja-hyun calling kimchi “pao cai”

Lastly, Choo Ja-hyun added, “Thank you for always paying attention and watching.”

Earlier, on the 17th, Choo Ja-hyun posted a video of eating ramen on ‘Chao Hongshu’, which is called the Chinese version of Instagram. The actress was seen eating a bowl of Korean-style ramen noodles with kimchi on the side. However, the captions in the clip labeled the kimchi as “pao cai” (泡菜), angering Korean netizens. Disagreements between Korean and Chinese netizens in recent years about the “origin” of Korean kimchi supposedly belonging to Chinese “pao cai” have sparked heated debate.

Choo Ja-hyun calling kimchi “pao cai”

Right after controversies over kimchi being translated as ‘pao cai’ broke out, Chinese media issued mocking articles. On March 21st, Global Times, a government-operated media, published an article titled, “A Korean professor complained again when a Korean celebrity working in China labeled kimchi as ‘paocai’”. It is because professor Seo Kyung-deok recently voiced his opinions on the kimchi issue and criticized Korean celebrities who are promoting in China. This professor also sent an e-mail to protest against Baidu for writing “Korean kimchi originated in China” in 2020. 

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