Appa (father in Korean) or Mr. Kim is the main character in Kim’s Convenience. It is his store and his family at the centre of the drama. Many of us draw connection with him directly. We see ourselves in his shoes as men and fathers. Other see him as the father or grandfather in our families or the proprietor in the local family store.

On Father’s Day, ;et’s looks at the father figure of Appa in Kim’s Convenience.

  1.  Appa is a Strong Father Figure

Like many families, Appa is a strong father figure. This is the traditional role in many homes of  the older style. No equal opportunity here! The father leads. In many Asian homes, the father rules the home by providing decisions and direction. From the Confucian ethic – there is father over mother, ruler over people, parents over child, etc.

Appa runs the store and runs his family (or tries to). Many families appreciate a strong father figure. With this, there is stability.

How is your home? Is the father the main mover? Or does he appear to lead and the mother actually lead. You have heard – the father is the head but the mother is the neck that turns the head. Or is there a good discussion and mutual decisions make? Just a note – as this is what you see modelled in the home, it is the expectation you bring into your marriage and family.

While you may complain, appreciate your strong father on Father’s Day.

  1. Appa is the Provider of the Family

With running Kim’s Convenience, Appa provides for his family. He works tirelessly to meet the needs for the family. Note the litany of items he provides for Janet including the camera and music lessons.

I always appreciate the immigrant father. I sure wouldn’t move to another country with a different language and culture. And that, for the sake of my children or future children. So many immigrant families have sacrificed a lot for their children. Of course, they remind you of that often. Hmm, I did immigrate from the U.S. to Canada. At least the main language was English (with a few Eh’s) and I did study 2 years of French growing up in California).

We should be thankful for fathers (and mothers) who provide for the family. They do indeed work hard so that we have the opportunities and things we have.

On this Father’s Day we should show appreciation (not just say it).

  1. Appa means well but doesn’t come across well

Appa is awkward. He puts his foot in his mouth often. He is apt to embarrass Janet and other members of the family. How many of us have bemoaned that our parents never told us that they love us? How many of our parents understand us?

If we give them the benefit of the doubt, we can realize that they mean well and want the best for us. They love us but won’t say it. They show it, often in subtle and indirect ways.

It is interesting that Korean’s don’t have Father’s Day and Mother’s Day but Parent’s Day. My Korean friend give me this insight. Most Koreans in North American and other Western places have adopted this family recognition.

Still looking for a Father’s Day gift? I came across and interesting post about a Korean Father’s Day gift

The question and answer provided excellent insight: “The Korean [author of askakorean] is convinced that Korean men — particularly in late 50s or above — are the hardest people in the world to buy gifts for. In fact, it is somewhat sad when you consider why. Older Korean men, generally speaking, have worked in poverty all their lives. They did not have the money to develop a finer taste on anything, nor did they have the time to cultivate a meaningful hobby. Korea’s traditional gift-giving culture be damned — the very idea of gift-giving can be antithetical to these men, particularly when the gift is being given to them.”

The gist of the article is to ask the mother what the father needs, not wants 😉  .


The article concludes: “But there is something that Korean fathers do want — their children’s love and respect. No matter what you end up buying, do not let the material thing to be the substitute for your expression of love and respect. Make sure the gift is accompanied by a heartfelt card that you wrote. Korean fathers may not show their reaction outwardly, but they will surely smile in the inside.”

My Korean-American friend in the U.S. who is a Kim’s Convenience fan gives this reflection: “My Dad is Appa: stubborn and direct with his family, but full of love that eventually makes it way to the surface for them to see. I am Appa too, for exactly the same reason.” @eybyon

Appa of Kim’s Convenience has shared quite a bit about his Appa and his parenting. I’m sure we see much of this reflected in Season 1 of Kim’s Convenience. We look forward to more in Season 2 Am I on target, Paul @bitterasiandude ?

Happy Father’s Day to all!!! #okseeyou