16 Culturally-Accurate Details From "Minari" That I Just Can’t Stop Thinking About

    If you know, you know.

    Minari is one of the most acclaimed movies to come out this year.

    Picture of entire Yi family, including Jacob, David, Soon-Ja, Monica, and Anne, standing outside their home.

    It's easy to see why. In addition to a perfect cast, the movie comes together beautifully with a soundtrack you'd want your own movie set to and thoughtful cultural details that fill every scene with nostalgia and meaning.

    Steven Yeun's character stands in a field while his family plays around him.

    Here's a rundown of all those rich details that made the movie so moving:

    And by the way, it's possible that a few or a lot of these cultural elements aren't exclusive to the Korean community. If you know of any I missed, leave them in the comments!

    1. Soon-Ja, Monica's mom, picks David's ear using a traditional Korean ear pick.

    David laying his head on Monica's right lap, having his left ear picked.

    2. David is forced to raise his hands as punishment for pranking his grandma.

    David looking at the living room floor while raising his two hands in the air.

    3. Soon-Ja sleeps on a hard rectangular pillow for better posture.

    Soon-Ja sleeping on her side, with her head lying on a hard, rectangular pillow.

    4. Along the same lines, Soon-Ja sleeps on the floor not because she's forced to, but because in Korean culture, a hard horizontal surface is preferred for better spinal alignment.

    David lying on his bed in the dark with his blanket over his face, while his grandma sleeps on the floor directly to his left.

    5. David is forced to drink a dark liquid called Hanyak, which is widely considered a cure-all for various illnesses.

    Monica squeezing the steeped Hanyak ingredients into a clear glass bowl.

    6. Through the movie, Jacob refers to Monica as "Ji-Yung's mom" (while Jacob is referred to as "Ji-Yung's dad"). In Korea, this is a common form of address among spouses and friends.

    Jacob and Monica talking in their master bedroom.

    7. When introduced at the chicken-sexing warehouse, Monica slightly bows to her new coworkers as a way to show respect.

    Monica bowing slightly forward, with her boss to her left and Jacob further to her left looking slightly apprehensive.

    8. At the chicken-sexing warehouse, Monica's friend and coworker claims that Koreans who moved to the countryside were escaping the church.

    Monica sitting down at her chicken-sexing job, conversing with her coworker. Text subtitles on image read, "To escape Korean church."

    9. The card game that Soon-Ja plays is called Hwatu and is very popular among the older generations.

    Soon-Ja, David's grandma, sitting down with Anne and David, playing Hwatu.

    10. Monica cries when Soon-Ja gifts her with a bag of myeolchi (dried anchovies), a key ingredient in several classic Korean dishes.

    Monica crying while clutching a bag of Myeolchi that her mom gifted her. Text reads: "You brought anchovies too?"

    11. In Jacob and Monica's first fight of the movie, Jacob asserts that he's the eldest son in his family and that since he's "taken care" of the family, his job is done. In Korean culture, being the eldest son comes with a heavy burden, one which is almost exclusively centered around providing for the family.

    Monica bathing David, who is sitting naked in the bathtub and clutching one of Monica's arms. Text reads, "I'll take care of us."

    12. Jacob uses metal chopsticks — the preferred type of chopsticks in Korea.

    Jacob eating Korean food at the dinner table using metal chopsticks. Text reads, "I'll think about it."

    13. Soon-Ja calls David "pretty boy" because "pretty" is a direct translation of the Korean word "yeppeun," a term of endearment for children.

    Soon-Ja holding on to a standing David's arms in their living room, making a kissy face.

    14. In one scene, you can see VHS tapes marked as "Korean Drama Series" stacked in a corner. As recently as the early 2000s, renting illegally copied VHS tapes of popular shows was the easiest way to keep up with South Korean entertainment.

    Messy stack of photo albums and VHS tapes on top of VHS player.

    15. When Soon-Ja tries to give Monica an envelope of cash, Monica resists, saying that she should give her money. It's common for a lot of Korean adult children to regularly gift their parents cash.

    Monica clutching envelope of cash and telling her mom, "Thank you so much."

    16. This dish is called kimbap and it is, hands down, the best road trip snack out there. I wouldn't be surprised if that's the parting gift the shop owner gave the Yi family.

    Anne looking at four trays of Korean kimbap.