11/11 is known amongst young Koreans as Pepero Day. Lotte, the makers of these chocolate covered pretzel sticks, have managed to institute a whole day that compels young consumers to purchase and give out massive amounts of Pepero as an expression of love. Pepero Day has become so popular that even bakeries have gotten in on the action by making their own version of Pepero. The one pictured is a loaf of French bread dipped in chocolate. How decadent.
Korea has all sorts of unofficial, yet popular holidays that are driven by some consumer action. Remember "Apple Day?" Created by concerned parents or concerned apple farmers? Cyndi's aunt told me that there's also a samgyupsal day. Now, that sounds like my kind of holiday!
We spent 11/11 celebrating the nuptials of our favorite 언니 in Busan. I know what you're thinking. ANOTHER wedding? What can I say? The year of the pig is apparently the year to get married, and people want to get hitched before it gets too cold. Anyway, you will probably recognize the bride of this wedding (though she may look a little different with her eyelash extensions ㅋㅋㅋ).
The wedding was lovely, but I did observe a few more wedding customs that I've only seen in Korea.
- Incessant chatter. Throughout the entire ceremony, guests, particularly those standing in the back, gabbed on like they were at a baseball game. The chatter was quite distracting. American bridezillas would not have tolerated such a disruption.
- The ceremony was officiated by Joon's former college professor. I couldn't understand the majority of what was said, but I did recognize the words, "IBM", "semi-conductor", and "Wi-bro." I wonder if he used those terms metaphorically? May your love prosper like an IBM compatible PC. May the future of your marriage progress like current developments in Wi-bro technology.
- Bubbles and smoke. The walk down the aisle was further dramatized through the use of bubbles and an artificial smoke machine.
- Joon and HY cut the cake at the altar, which to my great disappointment, was merely a symbolic gesture. The cake was fake. Fake cake? That's an intolerable cruelty!
- Joon serenaded his bride at the altar. I once suggested that he bust out some Ne-Yo (because I know that he practices in the car), but he ended up singing a sweet Korean ballad.
- This was the first time that we stayed through an entire Korean wedding ceremony. We didn't duck out early to eat as is the custom in Korea. That's because we respect HY... and know that she would kill us if we left early :)