By Sharon Jang
|North Korean refugee Sharon Jang, right, poses with Casey Lartigue, co-founder of Freedom Speakers International. She will have an online cooking demonstration on June 26. Courtesy of Voices from the North|
I lived there for 21 years until I escaped in search of freedom. Later this year, I will be celebrating my 10th year of freedom in South Korea.
I am now living my second life.
If I try hard, then I can do what I want, and I can go where I want to go, unlike when I was in North Korea.
Even with freedom, however, there is one thing I can't do: I cannot visit my brother in North Korea, I cannot even have a meal with him.
When I really miss my brother, I cook North Korean food that we ate together and think about our times together. Very often as I cook that food, I recall memories with my brother, I have thought about opening my own restaurant featuring the food from my hometown. It could be a way to comfort other North Korean refugees. It could give them a chance to have good memories about their loved ones who are still in North Korea.
Another reason I have thought about opening a North Korean restaurant in South Korea is to be able to share food with South Koreans and anyone who is longing for the day of reunification and a chance to meet our relatives in North Korea.
I hope the day will come that my brother can eat food at my North Korean restaurant in South Korea. As we eat together, I can let him know that my missing him is the main reason that I established the restaurant.
Jang's remarks were edited by Casey Lartigue, editor of Voices from the North, and Lee Eun-koo, co-founder of Freedom Speakers International.