Friday, 20 December 2013

The Culture of Couples

In Korea the 'couple' is a widely celebrated entity. On Valentines Day girls give gifts to boys, which means another day has been created for men to return the favour. Exactly a month after Feb 14th couples celebrate White Day, when men give sweets and chocolates to their lady friends. All very sweet (and unnecessary).
But it doesn't stop there. Christmas is also considered a couples holiday, which explains why we have so many children staying at our camp on Christmas Day. We have to look after the kids so parents can romantically celebrate the birth of Jesus. Our first year here we went to Outback Steakhouse on Christmas Day, which was full of other couples. We had fun watching the man and woman next to us picking daintily at a shared steak and lobster in the middle of their table. I seem to remember they had their food already when we arrived and it was still there by the time we left. Cold steak anyone?
At the cinema the other day we got the 'couples set' popcorn and drink combo, which came free with three coca cola flavoured chap sticks (vanilla coke, cherry coke and just plain coke) in a heart shaped tin. The perfect way to say I love you.

It still doesn't stop there. I now come to my favourite couple thing about Korea, and the reason for this blog post. 

Couples clothes. 

That's right. Out and about Seoul it's common to see girls and boys holding hands and wearing matching t-shirts, hats, bags or shoes, you name it. At the moment it's mostly matching jackets, which begs the question 'what do you do when you split up with your girl/boyfriend and consequently can't bear to wear your only winter coat?' 
And as if that wasn't enough, on my last clothes shopping trip I saw something so amazing that I can now die happy. Couples underwear. Couples silky leopard print underwear. Lee asked the shop assistant what it was all about, to which the shop assistant helpfully clarified which of the teeny tiny sized garments were for men and which were for women. If they were bigger I would've considered buying them for the comedy factor. 
After we left the shop I couldn't help wondering if anyone is actually buying them in seriousness. Is this now considered sexy? Did I miss something?

Merry Christmas, with love from Korea!


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