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Cute Korean Lunch Box Food Makers!

November 16, 2011

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Ok, so a short while ago we did a video about Korean Lunch Boxes. They’re so cute, aren’t they? Anyhow, at the end of the video we had a bit of a brain fart and couldn’t for the life of us remember what they were called in Korean. They’re called Doshirak (which we knew but totally forgot) and we’ve bought lots of Doshirak before.

On an important (/unimportant) side note, we were told not to call them bento boxes, because that’s a Japanese word, and Korean people don’t use that word. Which is funny because just today for lunch at our local Korean restaurant they had on their menu, written in Korean, “bento”. Of course doshirak is also used, but it’s not like bento is some forbidden unfamiliar word.

On a side note, we’re getting a little annoyed with anonymous internet scolders who like to tell us that we’re saying things wrong and insulting Korea. For example, we also got scolded for calling Korean fish cake “odaeng” which is a Japanese word. Actually, our KOREAN friends taught us that word, and we’ve walked past restaurants called odaeng in big Korean writing, and all the food stalls that serve it, call it odaeng…sooooo….I guess all those people are writing it wrong. Is it really so bad to adopt a word from another culture? English loves to use other culture’s words! Wasbi, anime, latte, faux paus…um…chinchilla…THE POINT IS, chinchilla’s are the best. No wait, what was the point? Oh yes, stop being so sensitive and go pet a chinchilla. You’ll feel better.

Anyhow, when we showed you that video we had our WTF Care Package contest as well, in which we asked you what you would put in your box. We didn’t really talk about what is usually put in these boxes though. And today we’re not talking about it either! We’re talking about the cute things that can be put in there. Martina’s motto totally fits here: “if you’re going to buy something, it might as well be cute”. So instead of just putting in a formless mush of ham, cheese, kimchi, and rice, you can form them all with these formamabobs into something cute! YAY!!!

Martina's Doshirak

Martina's Doshirak. It's cute, right?

Here’s the Pirate Bear that Martina made. His name is Captain Jack Bearow and she only had five minutes so I’m sure she could have made something RAWESOME-ER if she didn’t feel so pressured. My guess: Captain Jack Bearow would have had a pirate ship made out of seaweed, somehow. Martina’s just that creative.

Now, we’ve never experienced anything like this before in our lives. We’ve only seen it in pictures on the internet and in mangas. Did any one of you have a mom who made cute lunch boxes for you with food messages in them? I’m wondering what the experience of opening one of these things up is like. Like, you take it to school, and you open up your lunch box to see a pirate bear and maybe a message of “I Love You” on it. Are you embarrassed or touched or what? Did your friends see it? Ahhh! I’m so curious. We really lacked that type of lunchbox art in Canada, and that’s not to say all Asian people go around making cute lunches, most of them actually have normal lunches, but at least they had the possibility to have a cute lunch. I doubt my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches could have been formed into a cartoon character.

Long story short, stuff like this is totally amazing, and we really hope you’re not embarrassed by it at all. We would have loved to have had lunch like this when we were kids! Actually, that’s not true. Martina would. I’d just probably eat it without even looking at the message…LIKE A MAN!

And lastly, here are our bloopers for the week. We’ve been dancing a lot to Roly Poly lately, and thought it’d be the perfect Doshirak shaking dance. A LIKE A LIKE A DIS! A LIKE A LIKE A DAT! A LIKE DIS LIKE DAT YEAH!

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Cute Korean Lunch Box Food Makers!

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  1. I too, have dreamed of my mother making me one of these. Oh bad A would that be to stroll up at lunch and open your box to reveal that adorable piece of art!? I think I’m gonna make one of these for lunch and go to school just to see the reaction I get.

    6 years ago
  2. I think it’s really unfair that you guys get scolded for using some words with Japanese origin. I mean, how the heck could you know? Koreans use the very same words everyday with no issues! I hope you don’t get too mad at them though. Ever since articles about this site and your vlogs have appeared in Korean media, many must have checked out your vlogs, and they probably consider you to be some sort of unofficial ambassador of Korean culture to the world, and they just have high expectations.

    Korea is a society, due to its incredibly turbulent modern history, that has a range of unspoken rules, faux pas, and idiosyncrasies that may seem puzzling to those who weren’t born and raised there, and unfortunately that’s a fact that the natives sometimes forget. The use of some adopted Japanese words is a prime example. Since they have been already incorporated in Korean vocabulary, people do use them. However, if one were to use such words in more official or public context (such as a newspaper article or broadcast media), that would be criticized, because there’s the desire to undo what Japan forced upon Korean people during the colonization. But things like that are obvious only to Koreans. I think that to attack outsiders for not knowing or observing such rules is ironically, insensitive.

    6 years ago
    • Adding on to this, English is such a hot mess of different languages.  It’s origins are in German, Dutch, French, Latin, Greek, and who knows what else.  Throw it in a bowl, mix it together and you’ve got English.  ALL of the words in English are derived from other languages.  Which explains why a native English speaker might be very surprised to find this is a sensitive issue elsewhere.  

      6 years ago
  3. Because many Koreans moved to Japan, especially when Korean kingdoms Baekjae and Koguryo (aka Korea) fell, and they have unified Japan (current Japanese emperors are descendants of Korean conquerors). Japanese language and culture has heavy Korean influence. Also the 1910-1945 period left Japanese influence in Korean society and customs. But you seem to suggest Koreans gave their children Japanese names voluntarily. In reality, Japanese used brutal method to wipe out Korean language and culture. Taking Japanese names was forced upon Koreans, many resisted and   were penalized for it. Many scholars were imprisoned and tortured for studying and teaching Korean language to Koreans. Even singers and entertainers were forbidden to perform in Korean language, but some brave entertainers found innovative excuses to continue performing in Korean language.

    6 years ago
  4. after reading your blog I now know why the local Korean restaurant is named “Dosirak- Korean Lunch Box.”
    derishious! HAHAHAHAHa!

    6 years ago
  5. Importing words from another language is a sign of linguistic vitality; it means you are enriching your language, people can communicate better with a wider range of subtle meanings. The stronger the language, the more it borrows. The only language that doesn’t borrow words is a dead language.

    6 years ago
  6. Seriously people?! Every language borrows words from other languages like this!!! Potluck (likely from potlach, aboriginal word), pajama/pyjamas, BAGELS, etc.

    6 years ago