North Koreans work in the late autumn to make kimchi.
In the late fall Kimjang (overwintering kimchi, or pickling it) season, the communal water supply became a big fuss because there were only two taps on one floor containing 22 households.
In North Korea, four to five hundred kilograms of Chinese cabbage and two hundred to three hundred kilograms of radish were distributed on a five-family basis, and the entire family was mobilized during the Kimjan period.
The Chinese cabbage and radish were unloaded in the front yard of the apartment, and the whole family arranged them in the hallway. Otherwise, the narrow corridors of briquettes piled high in each household became even narrower, as they added Kimjang ingredients. That is not all. Even a large jar occupies the corridor.
When they passed, they had to fend around, sometimes jumping over jars. Washing Kimjang ingredients was even more of a problem.
From four in the morning to seven in the morning, noon to two in the afternoon, and five in the afternoon to eight in the afternoon, the order of three shifts was used to wash Kimjang’s ingredients.
It was a terrible thing to wash all that Chinese cabbage at a given time.
Occasionally, it happened at 4 o’clock in the morning, and when my mother and I washed the Chinese cabbage, my hands became bitter and it became difficult to move my fingers.
When the women finished mixing Kimjang, their hands became sore and they cried all night. When Kimjang is over, you have to dig a hole in the front yard of the apartment to fill two or three large jars, apply a wooden board to make something like a box, put the jar, and lock it.
Just before Kim Il Sung’s birthday, this kimchi jar was dug out when the “sanitary culture business” became active and the crackdown became stricter. (Kim hyon-hui “as a woman”)