holidays/special days, life in korea

Chocolates – A Social Obligation?


I mentioned in my previous post that “In contrast with how Korean’s celebrate valentines day, I always think that this day is reserved for lovers“. I wrote this because Koreans celebrate valentines day by women giving chocolates to the opposite sex. This giving of chocolates is not limited to the woman’s boyfriend or husband or “crush”. Women give chocolates to men around them most especially to their male colleagues. Of course, the romance isn’t lost for the women’s true loves. Special chocolates are given to the love of their life.

My husband received a number of small packs of chocolates from his female colleagues. Each of the small packs of chocolates didn’t just come from one lady, which was used to be the practice, but from a number of female colleagues who deemed it practical to contribute for their valentine tokens for their male colleagues.  One “ajumma” (a mommy) gave out two small oranges to each of the men in their floor. Signs of the gloomy economy:-). Hubby and I talked about it and while we respect the age-old tradition, we find it rather amusing that the giving of chocolates could be turning into a social obligation.

Our orientation on the celebration of valentines day is that of a lover’s day. Of course, marketing geniuses of greeting card companies extended the greetings to one’s parents, siblings, bestfriends and friends. But there really is no pressure of giving out valentine tokens to all these dear people. The pressure for creative, thoughtful and sweet gifts and gestures remain on lovers:-).

Oh well, different strokes for different folks:-).

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