While in Korea, I’ve had many random people approach me on the street. Women who touch my face and tell me “Oh, very beautiful,” men who are in awe of the foreigner standing in front of them and repeat the only English word they know over and over again, “Hello, hello, hello, hello,” as they laugh with the biggest smile on their face, and Korean men who approach me to practice their English. You never know what you are getting until you spend a couple minutes talking to them.
No one gave me the warning that I would have to participate in a day reminding me of my singleness 3 months in a row. In Korea, everyone celebrates Valentine’s Day on February 14th, then White Day on March 14th and Black Day on April 14th. As I’ve roamed the streets of Korea this March, I’ve seen countless stands full of chocolates, flowers and teddy bears. It’s like having Deja vu except it really is happening all over again! In many Asian cultures, Valentines Day is not celebrated as we do in America. Valentines Day is a day when the women and girls buy gifts for the men and boys. Then on March 14th (White Day) the men pay the women back. Tradition holds they are supposed to pay it back 3 fold. The women and girls eagerly wait to see if they will get a gift on White Day and if by April 14th, they are still single and have not found a partner, all the single people get together and sulk in their depression and sadness while eating a traditional Korean dish called jajangmyeon, a noodle dish with black bean sauce.
I’m pretty sure I will be as single on April 14th as I am today and I will be participating in the eating of the jajangmyeon but not because I am sad and depressed about being single. Instead, I will be doing my best to show all the singles around me they don’t have to be sad because there is someone who loves them so much and is waiting with arms wide open to embrace them. And second, I will celebrate that I am free from all the heart devils!!