Cultural differences post! HOW RELEVANT.
People complain a lot (I could stop the sentence right there! and it would still work) about Valentine’s Day in the US. Every year I get the barrage of warring Facebook posts either over-sharing romantic details OR denouncing the commercialization of love OR incessantly bleating about ‘Singles Awareness Day.’ UGH COME ON. But we are not discussing that today.
No, today we learn about how Valentine’s works in Korea. Traditionally (DISCLAIMER: when I say ‘traditionally’ I mean ‘this is how it has been explained to me’ so for all I know this tradition only goes back like, five years or something) February 14 is the day on which a young lady offers a gift to her gentleman caller. This is not terribly different from what happens in the States: lots of candy, schmaltzy gifts, and dinner dates. Similarities! Enter la difference:
One month later, on March 14 (today! there are 25 minutes left) Koreans celebrate ‘White Day,’ where the fellas turn the tables and shower their respective paramours with gifts (again, typically, candy). This system works out rather nicely, I think. First, it lets girls set the standard for gift-giving at the get-go (note: TWO hard-g hyphenates there. alliterATION!) which takes a lot of pressure off on all sides, I think. Removes any need for a guy to play the ‘Oh-no-I-got-her-a-pen-and-she-got-me-my-dead-grandfather’s-pocket-watch’ guessing game that looks so very uncomfortable in all sitcoms I have ever seen! Also, it gives shy single people built-into-the-calendar opportunities to speak up and ask out the object of affection. So good lookin’ out on that one, Korean tradition.
A month after White Day is Black Day, where single people who celebrate neither Valentine’s nor White Day get together and eat noodles? Because the noodles, they are good for the crying in solitude? Or something?
Then there’s a fourth day for if you don’t even have any friends to eat noodles with on Black Day but that is too sad so we won’t talk about it.
Listen you guys. I do not have any problems with this system! I don’t. EXCEPT FOR THE ONE I AM ABOUT TO TELL YOU and it is this:
March 14th– 3.14– is Pi day. On Pi Day one should eat pie. That this coincides with White Day seems like a glorious, glorious gift. candy and love and pie! Love and pie belong together. I would argue that pie is the most affectionate of pastries. This combination, people, it is fate. Not that I know what a white Pie would be: meringue? Coconut cream? (I have begun to salivate in earnest)
Unless. You get no pie. no candy. Because then, do you know what you are? Single and pieless. And while being single is not sad of itself, when combined with pielessness (as with all things, when combined with pielessness) it becomes MONSTROUSLY DEPRESSING.
I DO NOT RESENT NOT GETTING CANDY AND I DO NOT RESENT BEING SINGLE BUT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE TO HAVE SOME PIE, IS WHAT I AM SAYING.
Happy White Pi[e]Day, everyone!