Korea Stephanie La Temple Exchange

Valentine’s Day in March

A few days ago it was March 14th, also known as White Day in Korea. It is similar to Valentine’s Day, but Valentine’s Day is celebrated differently here. Normally on Valentine’s Day in Korea, only the girls give chocolates or sweets to the boys they like. Then, on White Day, it is the guys’ turn to return the favor and buy candy for the ladies. A couple of days before White Day, most of the convenience stores and street vendors were selling candy, stuffed animals, and bouquets of flowers. All day on March 14th, I saw couples holding hands and beaming girls with giant lollipops and gift bags.

I guess I can always look forward to next month on April 14th–Black Day. It’s a day for singles to rejoice and console themselves, and then come together to eat jajangmyeon, or black bean noodle.

Actually, every month on the 14th is a special day to Koreans. Here are some of the other celebrations (most of them are self-explanatory):

January- “Diary Day” – couples exchange calendars to mark down important dates such as birthdays and anniversaries

February- “Valentine’s Day”

March- “White Day”

April- “Black Day”

May- “Rose Day”

June- “Kiss Day”

July- “Silver Day”

August- “Green Day” – a day for couples to go out and enjoy nature

September- “Photo Day” – couples have a photo shoot on their personal cameras

October- “Wine Day”

November- “Movie Day”

December- “Hug Day”

Away from the frivolous White Day festivities, it was another normal day on campus at Hanyang University. The school does have a pretty mountain backdrop, which I suppose could make couples feel more romantic. However, the school is located on a mountain too, which cancels out the romantic factor. Just imagine the endless amount of sweat dripping down your face as you traverse one of the universities in Seoul that was built on a mountain!  Walking to class from the dormitory is a workout in itself since I usually find myself going up a hill at a 45 degree angle or climbing up countless stairs just to find another set of stairs to climb. I don’t know how girls can wear heels while they climb a mountain and make it look like nothing.

Aside from being located on a mountainside, there are many other things that make Hanyang University special. Hanyang University is one of the top prestigious schools in Korea. They have everything on the campus, including a coliseum, hair salon, a section of campus that blast music, gyms, and even a museum. Unlike Temple, the only thing it does not have is a bar, but there are plenty not too far away from campus. During orientation, I received a tour of campus and learned about some myths of Hanyang University that every student knows:

1. Myth #1: Since Hanyang is a prestigious university, it is difficult to get into. High school seniors would come to campus and steal the school mascot’s teeth. By retrieving a tooth, it is believed that you will get accepted into Hanyang University. For a while, the lion didn’t have any teeth because every time they replaced the teeth, it would be stolen again. Now, the lion has a new set of white teeth… I wonder how long they will last?

2. Myth #2: These sets of stairs are unique. Students only go up and down the set on the left. Legends say that if you use the stairs on the right, you will fail at least one class. Only professors use the stair on the right.

If you see students going up the stairs on the right, you know they are freshmen.

Most useful phrase of the week: (item) + 주세요? (juseyo?) = please give me + (item)?

I usually use this phrase to order food. Actually, how I use the phrase is: 1. (point to picture or food) + 주세요 or (point to random food name on menu) + 주세요 and 2. hope for the best. But everything tastes good in Korea!

My date for White Day–Nick Khun ❤

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