More than one million foreign-born Koreans live in the United States today, and approximately 79,400 Korean immigrants live in the Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD metro areas. The largest numbers of Korean immigrants are found in Fairfax County, VA (30,100), Montgomery County, MD (12,400) and Howard County, MD (9,500).
Ji-hoon, now 35, came to the United States with his family when he was five. He learned English and finished school in the United States. His wife is Korean American and they have two young children who attend a local elementary school. Ji-hoon works as a Manager in a well-known South Korean chicken franchise. This interview highlights his retention of Korean cultural practices and traditions, especially food and maintaining co-ethnic friendships. Ji-hoon enjoys cooking American food for his children because they like it more than Korean food. He feels more connected with his Korean friends as he thinks that they have more in common culturally and experientially. Ji-hoon comments on some previous racist experiences that he had after arriving here, but he believes that he and his family would not consider moving back to Korea. They appreciate U.S. culture and values.