ANOTHER HOLIDAY FOR COUPLES?! It seems like Korea takes the cake when it comes to finding ways to commercialize love. There is a couple holiday every single month and in November, there are two! Lucky you!
Ppeppero Day falls on November 11th each year (11/11), which is supposed to symbolize two individuals side by side.. Err… I mean, 1+1+1+1=four, or…the story about wanting to be tall and skinny, well… maybe it was just started by Lotte to sell chocolates? Regardless of the mythical beginnings and intent of this uniquely Korean holiday, it is certainly one of the most revered for couples.
Pepero Day is a marketing strategist’s dream come true: a country full of eager consumers pressured into buying little boxes of chocolate-dipped sticks with almost 100% conformity. Small awnings and tents pop up a few days before 11/11 outside of convenient stores with shelves of Pepero’s many varieties arranged into mosaics of consumer pressure. High school girls are paid to harass passersby with shouts of “blah blah blah PEPERO!!! blah blah blah” (rough translation). In the days leading up to the blessed event, even my students were quite concerned to make sure I knew to buy Stephanie a couple boxes- I think worried, for my sake, that I would soon be divorced if proper snacks were not purchased. As funny and silly as it is to watch everyone give into the blatant consumerism of Pepero Day, it’s a lot of fun to see people sharing their boxes of chocolate sticks, and getting excited to give a box to their teachers. As opposed as I should be to this “holiday,” (given my general distaste for consumerism and chocolate itself) I always find this to be a rather enjoyable and pleasurable day to share a couple $1 boxes of chocolates.
Check out our video, and make sure sure you’ve told your loved ones that you appreciate them in your lives.