How would you feel if your country was mistaken as one of the world’s most secretive and, according to the news, dangerous? Unfortunately, this is the reality for South Koreans living in Denmark; as many Danish are unaware that their are two Koreas – a north and south.
With the help of a snack commonly sold on the streets of South Korea, a group of South Koreans in Copenhagen are trying to change this perception and educate Dane’s about the ‘nice’ Korea while giving back to the community they now call a second home.
It was the figurines adorning the food cart that caught my eye first. Two doll sized Psy’s, the South Korean rapper, were smiling at me, frozen in his Gangham Style tuxedo. Curious at why they were there, on a bicycle food cart on Copenhagen’s Strøget – and hoping I’d found some delicious Korean delicacy to sate my appetite after a week on hot dogs and gastronomic theatre food – I joined the small group of Danish sampling bite sized pieces of a pancake.
There was a slight sweetness to the piece of pancake, like honey, and the crunch of seeds. It was good, really good. I ordered the full-sized seed hoddeok eager for the full experience as I handed over 20DKK. As I waited, I took the chance to talk to the group about why they were selling South Korean pancakes on the streets of Copenhagen.
With inspiration drawn from suspended coffee – made famous in Naples, Italy and recently revived around the world – and with Project Yongdongpo – a project started by Emil Bredahl and Samuel Chun in Seoul, South Korea for the people in the Yongdongpo area, and aiming for international visitors living in the city to assist and aid homeless people by providing warm clothes, sometimes food, and other items – Project Delivering Happiness was created in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The principle is simple. Not many Dane’s know about South Korea or mistake it for their neighbour to the north. By introducing the pancakes to the people of Copenhagen it gives the Dane’s a chance to experience a bit of South Korean culture and open the door to discussion about the country and for the project participants to help educate the Dane’s that South Korea isn’t the place they hear about in the news.
Furthermore, for each seed hoddeok sold, 1 DKK will be ‘suspended’ and after 10 pancake’s are sold they will provide one, at 50% off, to Flippen, a coffeehouse providing free meals for Copenhagen’s homeless and drug addicted in Vesterbro. The suspended pancakes will be delivered to the cafe twice a month.
As I thanked Bruce and the team for my seed hoddeok, a simple dough filled with warm brown sugar, cinnamon, walnuts, and sunflower seeds, I couldn’t help but smile. Perhaps pancakes are the way to making the world a happier place in Copenhagen, at least, they’re trying.
Now it’s over to you:
What do YOU think about Project Delivering Happiness?
Have you taken part in the suspended coffee/food movement? Would you?
Project Delivering Happiness
Cost: 20DKK (approx. AUD$4.10/GBP£2.20 /€2.70)
1DKK will be suspended and go towards the pancakes delivered to Flippen.
Project Delivering Happiness is dishing out traditional South Korean seed hoddeok across Copenhagen’s city centre.
For the latest information on the project or to see where you can find them today follow the project on Facebook!
Photo credit: Photo of hoddeok on plate is by Project Delivering Happiness. All other photos are taken by Nicole on a Nokia Lumia 1020.