The student news site of Pierce College in Lakewood, Washington.

South Korean tradtion

February 6, 2018

SuYoung Park/ Staff Illustration

Valentine’s is a bit different, new – and adventurous

Ah, Valentine’s Day. For those unfortunate few, the singles, this day is often referred to  as Single Awareness Day. In American culture, this day is as important to remember as wedding anniversaries are for married couples.

Growing up seeing dads pampering moms on this day, women often expect men to give them the full “romantic treatment.”

YoungJoo Yoon, an international student from Korea, said, “I have never seen how Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day but I have heard they give red roses with chocolates. In Korea, most of us just give chocolates.”

The day is not just about red roses. Some treat their significant others with expensive gifts and take them to dinner at fancy restaurants.

A 2016 article by “Fortune” estimated the average American spends $512, which is more than double the average spending on Mother’s Day, $173.

American singles brace themselves for massive cringe-worthy updates from family and friends as pictures are posted about the wonderful gifts they received and how they were pampered.

However, unlike in the states, Valentine’s Day in South Korea is largely celebrated by women to win the hearts of their crush or significant others.

Seong Min Lim, an international student from Korea, said, “Girls will give handmade chocolates.”

Gavin Kim, another international student from Korea, said, “Girls at school will prepare sweets for guy classmates.” And he said, on Valentine’s Day, the way women treat men is quite different than the United States traditions.

According to a 2015 Huffington Post article, Korean single women celebrate Valentine’s Day with the same excitement as much as couples do. On March 14 (White Day) men will do the same for women. And if still single by April 14, friends will come together to celebrate with each other  by eating black noodles, known as Zha Jahn M-yuan, on Black Day.

This year, do something a little different if still single on Valentine’s Day, celebrate it Korea- style.  Make friends with someone who is Korean and gather a group of friends — and treat them to black noodles on April 14 to eat, enjoy and celebrate the time.

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