White, Black, Green….Where Do I Pay?

In The Social Fabric on March 15, 2011 at 12:35 am

Well, it’s that day again.   For most of the world, Valentines day is either dreaded or hurried depending on love in life at the time.  But only once.

What is so special about living in Korea, is that it happens no less than 12 times a year.  That’s correct, a monthly reminder that you may or may not be successful in society’s eyes, in the ways of love.  Today is of course, White Day, the reciprocal version of Valentines when the men give the ladies candy.  Now I’m no great conventional romantic, but to me this is starting to take the fun out of things.

Like all great fabricated holidays, this one is the candy companies’ doing, trumping us traditionalists with not one but two days created to make a killing.  On the subway home tonight, I saw one young man after another with all sorts of ridiculous looking candy concoctions, from bouquet shaped mixes to a giant lollipop blowup toy.  Because they have to.  It’s no secret that Korean women can be demanding when it comes to the dating rules, and my assumption is it’s better to be safe than really, really sorry.

Which brings me to my earlier revelation.  I mentioned there are actually 12 dating gift days filled with love and obligation.  The 14th of every month is delegated with a gift which should be presented to your partner as a token of your creative, unique and unrehearsed affection.  Some examples include Candle Day, Music Day, and Movie Day.  On Music Day, each exchange mixed CD’s of music that has meaning and memory of the relationship.  Glad we made a day for that.

My most recent favourite discovery is Green Day, where couples are encouraged to seek nature together in romantic splendor, whilst singles drown their lonely sorrows in soju.  And no, the singles are by no means forgotten, for they are afforded their own day in this schedule of the heart.  April 14th is Black Day, a colour chosen no doubt for it’s symbolic significance, where singles eat Chinese Black Noodles called Jajangmyeon. Still not sure if this is a wear-your-heart-on-your-sleeve-in-the-hopes-of-finding-a-mate ploy, or just another way to put society into neat organized plots.

Whatever the motives, not all couples follow this demanding regimen of dating etiquette.  I, for one, do not need a diary on Diary Day, nor need to use Hug Day as an excuse.


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