By Jessica Strange/reporter
More than 1,000 attendees gathered at South Campus for traditional Korean cuisine, music and even a chopstick challenge March 30 for Kimchi Kon.
The convention was organized by the Korean Interest Association as a way to celebrate Korean entertainment and culture with fellow enthusiasts. There were over two gallons of kimchi, a staple of Korean cuisine, to sample. It is a traditional Korean food made from fermented vegetables.
The convention displayed other Korean traditions like drum and dance performances by The Korean Association of Fort Worth. Attendees could also meet comedian Joon Lee and webtoon creator Jjolee, shovel spicy ramen into their mouths and practice Korean pop music, or K-pop, choreography in dance workshops.
Many TCC students interested in Korean culture came to Kimchi Kon but the event also attracted non-students. Daniel Aziz came to meet fellow K-pop fans.
“I just love the music and enjoy meeting other people who love it just as much,” Aziz said.
Vendors filled the SSTU dining hall promoting their anime comics, board games and fandom collectables. Although vendors were originally told they would be able to sell their products, they had to stop accepting any payments mid-way through the convention after being notified they were violating campus policy.
Vendor and illustrator Vivian Wong stuck around even after she couldn’t accept sales of her K-pop fan art.
“We still want to hang out at this convention and support it,” she said.
Later in the evening, Dallas-based event company Mansae Entertainment put on a concert for convention goers. Local and national Korean Hip Hop and R&B groups took over the stage.
Planning for Kimchi Kon started more than a year ago when KIA members Brittany Jones and Miriam Diaz were inspired by an anime convention put on by TCC’s Anime Club. They wanted to do something similar but with a Korean focus.
“At first, it started out as a joke and then it kind of snowballed into something real,” Jones said.
Even though the convention hit a few snags, Kimchi Kon still brought together many fans to celebrate Korean culture.