Today is Chinese dragon boat (Duanwu) festival. Because of the time difference, I called my family in the morning and they asked me how to spend this festival. I told them I will buy some rice dumplings (Zongzi) this afternoon.
After a nap, I drove to Seoul oriental market located Campbell Ave. I looked all round the shop, I couldn’t find it. So I asked the boss (Korean) if they have rice dumplings, the boss murmured, “Rice dumplings??” One of the staff (American guy) answered, “Zongzi? For the dragon boat?”
“Yes, for the dragon boat day.” I said.
“We used to have it, but it is seasonal goods, we sold it out. Today is the dragon boat day?” asked by the staff.
“Some kinds of food with bamboo leave outside? We have bamboo leave sold here, you can buy some to make it yourself.” The boss said.
If today were yesterday, maybe I would make Zongzi myself. I had to leave this shop and drove to another Asian food and gift shop. I asked the staff where I can get the rice dumplings; they said they don’t know what it is. I explained that it is made of rice and with bamboo leave outside and should be eaten on Dragon boat festival which is on May 5th based on Chinese Lunar calendar. And I thought Korean should know this day and I told them. But she told that May 5th is the Children’s day in Korean! And she took me the book shelf and introduced some Chinese food books and let me find the English name for Zongzi. I tried to find the name from the books, but I failed. I had to look for it around the shop myself. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get it.
I knew she also couldn’t eat Zongzi this year. I was a little disappointed.
Following is the introduction of Zongzi that I copied from Wikipedia. Maybe I should learn it before I went to the market.
Zongzi (or zong) (Chinese: 粽子) is a traditional Chinese food, made of glutinous rice stuffed with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves. They are cooked by steaming or boiling. They are known in Japanese as chimaki. Laotians, Thais, and Cambodians (known as Nom Asom) also have similar traditional dishes. In the Western world, they are also known as rice dumplings or Chinese tamales. In Indonesia, they are known as bakcang or bacang (Chinese: 肉粽; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: bah-chàng), a loanword from Hokkien, a Chinese dialect that is commonly used among Indonesian-Chinese besides Mandarin. Along the same lines, zongzi are more popularly known as machang in the among the Chinese Filipinos.