Dragon Boat Festival (or Duanwu Festival) occurs on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese calendar. In 2010 this day falls on June 16. According to the custom the celebrations includes eating zongzi, drinking realgar wine, and racing dragon boats.
Recently, a forum post titled “Korean beauty student teaches you how to eat zongzi” stirred up a storm on the Internet. One girl claimed to be a Korean student studying in a Language University in Beijing, accused Chinese people do not know the etiquette of eating zongzi and posted a lot of pictures to teach Chinese people how to eat zongzi step by step. Once the post spread, debate over Dragon Boat Festival echo through the Internet. So called “Simida zongzi gate”, this post once again sparked off the dispute on Dragon Boat Festival between China and Korea.
Hi, I am a Korean student studying in Beijing Language University. Now lived in Beijing for 3 years, there are so many different kind of food here, I really like Beijing.
Duanwu Festival (Dragon Boat Festival) is almost here, I believe many people in Beijing especially love to eat zongzi, I also love to eat zongzi.
Even thought in my hometown Seoul during Dragon Boat Festival, we hardly eat zongzi anymore, I still kept the traditions our ancestors passed down. I respect the elders very much and I am awe of the ancestors.
But I noticed Beijingese people eating zongzi is like eating rice and pickles, showing no respect to ancestor Qu Yan (屈原). (Maybe Beijingese people already see Qu Yan as our ancestor, smirk)
Many people eat zongzi while drinking beer, I have never seen this kind of sentiment in our Korea before (Let me imitate Beijingese people, smirk)
Some read newspaper and magazine at the same time, sitting on the couch and starting eating already, really are not particular about it.
Some people who like playing games and chatting online eat zongzi while typing, chatting and beaming with joy, so unsanitary.
And some pretty girls especially love to eat zongzi, even before putting on clothes, and already start eating while lying on boyfriend’s legs.
I am most surprised that, my roommate right after a shower, covered with a bathrobe, with a zongzi in her mouth, eating while humming a tune.
Dragon Boat Festival is a traditional holiday that our Great Koreans pay serious attentions to. In order to commemorate our ancestor Qu Yuan, we also already applied for protection of heritage.
Since childhood, my family taught us festival etiquettes, eating zongzi must learn the etiquette passed down form ancestors, first must clean hands and prepare to tidy up appearance.
Then, put on makeup, cleanup appearance and put up hair. In our hometown no one eats zongzi with their hair down.
After makeup, we must change into Hanbok and clean our hands one more time. Must wear the Hanbok, one time when I was young, I was punished by my dad for eating zongzi without wearing Hanbok.
After completing all the preparation etiquettes, then we start eating zongzi.
When eating zongzi, first peal the wrapper. While eating only peal parts of the wrapper. We would never peal all the wrapper before start eating.
Also, eat slowly with small bites, because the ancestors were afraid of us chocking, smirk, actually the real reason is to keep a civilized eating habit.
After eating, keep the zongzi wrappers, do not throw them away like trash. Put them into appropriate container and air-dry them, finally throw them into the river.
Now the Dragon Boat Festival in our hometown, mainly has other memorial ceremonies, entertainment events, dancing, singing etc. Due to the overly complicated etiquettes, not many people eat zongzi, but we still kept the etiquettes of eating zongzi.
Even though zongzi is delicious, we can not eat too much of it, otherwise it will be hard to digest. Especially pretty Chinese girls who love to be beautiful, eat too much will make you fat.
Ok, everyone already learned. I am Pei Zhengxi (裴正熙) from Seoul [simida], bye bye.
According to China.com.cn, this is not the first time dispute on Dragon Boat Festival between China and South Korea led to great public opinion and concerns. In 2008, because South Korea registered Dragon Boat Festival as their intangible cultural heritage which triggered widespread debate. Two years later, “Simida zongzi gate” incident once again hurt Chinese people’s national sentiment on the issue of this traditional festival.[From Qiaobao] This controversial post was quickly picked up by various forums and greatly angered the Chinese netizens. Some Chinese Internet users pointed out that Dragon Boat Festival is a traditional Chinese festival, after China successfully applied Dragon Boat Festival onto the World Heritage List, without a question, it already told the world that Dragon Boat Festival belongs to China. And zongzi is the traditional food for the festival which has two thousand years of history, so Koreans have no place to say these things. This argument was supported by many netizens, however some netizens said that although the Dragon Boat Festival is a traditional Chinese festival, in terms of how best to inherit and carry the traditional culture forward, Korea obviously is ahead of us.
As for the dispute triggered by zongzi, folklore expert Wang Zhisong said, “The Korean Dragon Boat Festival is actually not the same as China’s Dragon Boat Festival. Dragon Boat Festival is originated in China, that is indisputable fact, and zongzi is the traditional food of the festival. In China, zongzi first appeared in the Spring and Autumn Period. There were mainly two kinds of zongzi back then, zongzi wrapped with water bamboo leaves into horn-shaped package millet is called “Jiaoshu” (角黍); rice loaded into bamboo and then sealed and cooked is called “Jianzong” (筒粽). In Jin dynasty, zongzi became a national custom, and the phrase “midsummer Dragon Boat Festival, cooking Jiaoshu” which was clearly documented in a book of Jin dynasty “Feng Tu Ji” (“风土记”). In tang Dynasty, eating zongzi during Dragon Boat Festival became a even more common folk practice. Now, zongzi become the food people love. As for the way of eating zongzi, I think except in a formal occasion, following the dining etiquette, there are no need for other restrictions. Because the culture tradition is not just for show, what is more important is to pay attention to the meaning of the festival and identify with the national tradition.”
As for the controversy caused by “Simida zongzi gate”, Wang thinks that as our fast-paced modern life accelerates, people have limited time and energy and the traditional festivals are more commercialized, resulting people paying less attention to the more traditional festivals such as Dragon Boat Festival. He stressed that currently there are many companies are serious about spreading traditional culture and history.
Background information on the term Simida from fifty five:
Korean and Japanese affectations ::
思密达 (sīmìdá, also 斯米达) is a Chinese transliteration of a Korean honorific (하십니다) that is used as a sentence-ending particle in net-speak. It invaded Tianya’s Entertainment Gossip boards in 2008, to the point that people made posts asking people to please knock it off, and it’s spread across the net since then. There’s an undercurrent of anti-Korean sentiment to its use in some contexts (online jokester Chun Baba has the line “Everything belongs to Korea simida” 什么都是韩国的思密达), but it’s also used generally as a mark of sarcasm, or even simply a cute affectation that flies over the heads of many ordinary netizens. What’s particularly amusing about the mystery surrounding 思密达 is that when it shows up in the title of a web page (which pushes it to the top of search engine results), it’s most likely being used as the transliteration of Smecta, a diarrhea remedy for young children, so casual netizens who run across the term in forums remain in the dark, unless they take advantage of one of the many Ask sites, where the term is defined quite widely. There’s something similar going on for the Japanese sentence ending particle です, which has been taken into Chinese as 的说, most likely through soaps imported from Taiwan. It’s much less tied to Japan than “simida” is to Korea, and is mainly used as a cutesy, exclamatory sentence ending word. There’s a contentious Baidu Postbar devoted to the term where enthusiasts and denigrators fight it out through the use of other contemporary memes. And then there’s the meta-commentary: “The word desu was invented by the Koreans simida” (“的说”这个词是寒国人发明的思密达).