Celebrating Cinco de Mayo in Korea
12 069 km. That’s the distance between Seoul, South Korea and Mexico City, Mexico. While the populations are very similar, the cities are like night and day from each other. So are the cultures. But that didn’t stop us from celebrating Cinco de Mayo!
I apologize for the lack of pictures, but I was having too much fun and was way too busy to take any. But I did manage to take lots of pictures of our pinata!
We made our pinata into a donkey, here’s a picture of the body in its beginning stages.
We put two balloons together, taped paper tubes for the legs and constructed a head out of cardboard. In order to make the middle less, well, balloony shaped, we put two more pieces of cardboard around it, but didn’t really tape it down. This might have added to the strength of it in the end, which made it last longer.
We used a flour and glue mixture for the paste, because we couldn’t find anything like plaster of paris or anything. We used 1 part flour to 5 parts water, mixed them together and boiled it for 3 minutes. After the first layer, we stopped boiling it and just used 1 part flour to 1 part water, and it worked just the same. But the first layer was thicker paper than newspaper, and that added a good strong base. We then left it to dry, and then continued to use newspaper for the rest of the layers. Ross added in a few pieces of magazine paper, which worked just as good. Overall, there were 5 layers of newspaper and stuff on it before we put the decorations on it.
For the decorations, we used Korean tissue paper, which is a little stronger than North American tissue paper, cut it into strips, then frayed the edge on one side, and taped it around the body. We wrapped the head like a present, and gave him a red headband.
Anyways, back to the party. We had awesome food, courtesy of just about everyone who came to the party, which included guacamole, salsa, tacos, chicken wings, kebabs, and strips of beef. It was an amazing spread, considering the lack of good things available in this country.
For those of us who live in Korea, we know that there are things here that can be difficult to find. Avocados, limes, brick cheese, good salsa (and I emphasize the ‘good’), sour cream, taco mix and hard taco shells are all things that you either have to search for or are completely non-existent in this country. If you are planning a Cinco de Mayo party, look for avocados and limes in big grocery stores like Home Plus and E-Mart. (Although I just happened to run across perfectly ripe avocados in our local Lotte Mart, but I think fate put those there for me…) You can get large vats of sour cream and salsa, as well as large bricks of cheese from Costco, but you have to be lucky enough to live close to one. There are websites, however, that can send you cheese and even refried beans on time if you time it right. These include NiceDeli and EZShopKorea. The taco mix will have to come home, unless you happen to make your way to Itaewon in Seoul (which, if you live in Seoul isn’t difficult, but when you live in Masan it’s hard). Hard taco shells are the worst to find, because they just simply don’t exist here, but you can find plenty of soft tortilla wraps, so at least you’ve got that.
Anyways, after the food we took the pinata to the park, for the extra room, and also in hopes that there would be some Koreans to watch. And there were plenty of people there to watch!
We had an awesome party, and I am so thankful for everyone who came!