“I think it was important to do this for my family, to show them that I care about my heritage, and you should, too,” he says.
The he in the above quote by Jon Gosselin from an episode (“Korean Dinner“) that aired when Jon and Kate were still Jon and Kate Plus Eight, not Jon and Kate plus a whole lotta messiness and ugliness.
The irony of his statement is still hard for me to shake. Let me give you some context. Or rather, read this article for context. During a night when Jon wants to teach his children about their Korean heritage, he makes them a Korean dinner with bulgogi as the main course. But the night that is meant to be a wonderfully educational night into their Korean background is marred by Jon’s fumbling in teaching about it (their Korean background) and Kate’s ignorance and taboo-ish behavior.
I have memories of sitting through this episode myself and being confused as to what Korean heritage Jon was teaching brood of eight about. I’m Korean, spent 9 years of my childhood there in fact, but I must have lived in a different Korea than the one Jon knows about.
While I halfheartedly salute Jon and Kate for trying to teach their kids about their Korean side, I hang my head in disbelief at the butchering of a culture I hold so dear to my heart. And it pains me to know that these kids may grow up thinking being Korean is shopping at a market that smells yucky, eating ruined mochi and wearing chopsticks in their hair.
What’s clear to me is that you can’t “teach your kids about their heritage” in one meal — or one episode of J&K +8. That said, if YOU had a meal with all 8 Gosselin kids, what would you want to impart on them?