My kindergarteners wanted to say something to all of you:
Happy Valentine’s Day! 행복한 발렌타인 데이!
Valentine’s Day in Korea is a fun cultural experience– I say this because it is a holiday that is celebrated in both the west and the east. It presents a good opportunity to consider one’s own holiday cultural practices with those of another.
It seems that in both America and S. Korea, chocolate and candies are enjoyed and couples flock en masse to restaurants and ice cream shops to express their devotion and love. The cultural differences are fun– In the west, gifts and chocolates are exchanged by both parties. Also, it seems that there are a lot more cards, red & pink colors, heart-shaped doilies, flowers, and glitter. In Korea (and Japan), girls and women give [large] amounts of chocolate to boys and men as a display of love and affection.
A month later, on March 14th (referred to as “White Day”), men reciprocate by presenting non-chocolate sweets to women, such as cookies, marshmallows, jewelry, and white lingerie.
On April 14th, “Black Day,” Koreans who didn’t receive any gifts or chocolates on either Valentine’s Day or White Day go to restaurants to eat (weep over) 자장면 (jajangmyeon, black noodles) and lament their bachelor/bachelorette status.
My plan for the day is to weave Valentine’s Day-themed vocab into my lessons while bribing my kids to behave with loads of chocolate. Tonight, I expect that a lot of noodles (쟁반국수) and chocolate will be eaten, a bottle of wine (or two) will be drunk, and maybe Rob Zombie’s House of a 1000 Corpses will be watched (love me some horror movies!)… haha.
Here is one more infinitely cute and infinitely tiny holiday greeting from shy (and adorably moody) Juliet, who arrived a bit late to class: