Interview with Joon Cha
This week, justArts&Culture spoke with Joon Cha ’20, the president of the Brandeis Korean Student Association, about the “Pojangmanch” street food tent that the club hosted on Nov. 1.
JustArts&Culture: Tell me a bit about your role in this event.
Joon Cha: As the president of KSA this year, my role was assigning tasks for other E-board members and making sure that all steps of the event were taken care of. Our digital media chair made the poster, which our publicity chairs then advertised on campus and on social media. Our event coordinators Angela Yan ’22 and Crystal Hariga ’21 planned the menus, decorations, presentations and games for the event. Although most tasks leading up to the event are role-centered, the shifts on the day of are irrelevant to the title of their position, such as cooking and decorating.
JAC: How long did it take to put together this event? What was the process of preparing so much food?
JC: We had about three weeks to plan for this event, which begins with choosing the menus and starting the advertisement for the event. All three menus were cooked by KSA E-board members (tteokbokki - Korean spicy rice cake, eomuk - fish cake soup, kimbab - dried seaweed rolls). It is not so easy to cook for a large audience. The struggle starts at H-Mart where we go to buy most of our ingredients, which fill up the whole car. On the day of the event, most of our members come straight to the ICC kitchen when their classes end. From 1:00 p.m. and until the start of the event at 7:00 p.m., we cook and cook.
JAC: This is KSA’s last event of the fall semester. What is something you are most proud of about your club in the past semester?
JC: KSA is a long-standing club, so we tend to repeat the same events every year. In our second event, Hyugeso (rest area on highways), we introduced an aspect of Korea that has not been touched upon previously. It was successful, or at least, the food was tasty. As a president, I am proud of all of our E-board members who devote a portion of their time to spread the Korean culture on campus. We will make several more appearances in November at BC3’s “Taste of East Asia,” VSA’s “Hotpot Night” and our “Hotteok” (sweet pancake) fundraiser. Next semester, we will come back with our annual culture show K-NITE, and end the year with four brand-new events that Brandeis has never seen before.
JAC: What’s your go-to dish at a Pojangmacha and why?
JC: It is getting cold, so my winter favorite around this time is bung-eoppang, which is a fish-shaped bun with red bean paste inside. For many Koreans, it would ring nostalgia.
JAC: Anything else you want to add or tell the readers?
JC: We appreciate every one of you who take interest in our events. We will continue to work hard to bring different aspects of Korea to Brandeis.
— Luke Liu