Monday, 20 May 2013

Coming of Age

The number of 'National Days' in Korea for this, that and the other never ceases to amuse me.  They seem to start with Valentine's Day, a 'holiday' we're all used to.  Although here, it's a day for the boys unlike at home where it's predominately a day for the girls.

Next, comes 'White Day' which is the same as Valentine's Day only it's one month later and it's a day for the boys to be spoilt by their other halves.  Same date, another month on, is 'Black Day' which is, from what I can gather, a bit of a depressing day for singletons when they are supposed to eat black noodles to highlight their single status!

Another (ridiculous) holiday is 'Pepero Day' which is held on the 11th of November each year.  For all intents and purposes it's yet another Valentines Day but this time the gift of choice is a box, or if you're really lucky, a gift set of Pepero biscuits.
Pepero Day Gifts

Today I learnt of a new one (to me anyway).  Korean 'Coming of Age Day'.  Its a day for anyone who has already, or who is going to, turn 20 this year, i.e everyone born in 1993. Yesterday they were children.  Today they are adults.

The local florist, with his make shift stand on campus, almost sold out on Coming of Age Day 2013

The giving and receiving of single roses seems to be the most common way to celebrate this overnight transition into adulthood, or that's what I gathered from my students today in college.  Today's the day when all people born in 1993 can offically get married, drive a car, vote, smoke and drink alcohol.

Imagine the chaos at home if we had such a day?  It'd be just like 'Junior Cert Night', only worse!

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