Tomorrow is one of the most romantic days of the year. Flowers, chocolates, hearts, and lace clutter the stores, begging you to buy something for your loved one.
I was very pleasantly surprised that Valentine’s Day is also celebrated in Korea. However, here it’s known as the holiday where men buy things for their women…then White day comes along exactly one month later, and women are expected to return the favor to their guys!
After living here a year, there is one thing that has caught my eye about this country. They take even the smallest reason to celebrate love. cutesy notepads, pencils, shirts, phone cases, ect…are all available here, applauding relationships.
It’s a HUGE deal if a couple (young or old) stays together 100 days…and that of course is celebrated too.
Koreans love to publicly show their dedication and affection for their loved one. Not so much in the PDA fashion (which is refreshing btw), but in physical acts of kindness (the guy will carry the girl’s purse all day…no matter how feminine it looks), and…in the way they dress.
I was first introduced to ‘coupling’ a few months before we moved to Korea. I had been told it was a ‘thing’ over here, but was very unfamiliar with the tradition. Countless couples…mostly young adults…dress exactly the same. I’m talking full blown matching people. Matching underwear (trust me…it’s quite disturbing to look into a lingerie shop and see a matching leopard set for both the guy and girl), shoes, socks, pants, jackets, watches, and hats.
Derik think this fad is hilarious. He keeps threatening to buy us a ‘coupling’ outfit to wear out to some sort of social event.
I think this fad is mortifying. I couldn’t imagine dressing EXACTLY the same as my partner…I could only imagine the looks you’d get back in the States for doing this.
Brings me back to the good old days when my mother used to dress all three of us children in the same fabric…girls in dresses, my poor brother in a vest. THEN when would visit the cousins, and they’d have stuff that would match us too.
Sure, maybe to an adult, it’s cute; I’ll probably fall pray to the same motherly fate when I have daughters. As a child? It’s dreadful. I don’t know if it’s something about learning your individuality and identity as a child, but you always try to look a little different.
Disclaimer: I’m not saying I didn’t SOMETIMES enjoy dressing up the same…I distinctly remember buying some shirts and shorts with my best friend, so that we could look identical. It’s just that as a fully-grown adult…dressing alike is not acceptable.
Koreans take their ‘coupling’ seriously, and even buy couple rings to signify their commitment to each other. I’ve often been asked if my wedding ring is a couple ring…only to leave my kids rolling on the floor laughing when I exclaim, “This ring? Do you think Derik has a princess cut ring?”
I love this country. Little things like coupling make up it’s character and originality. I enjoy the fact that Korea celebrates love and being together instead of celebrating being single and divorce. Maybe the US could learn a thing or to from this little country in the far east.