Pepero Day

Yesterday in South Korea, we celebrated the most sacred of all holidays – Pepero Day. Pepero is essentially the Korean version of Pocky. It is celebrated on 11/11 because the date resembles 4 Pepero sticks in a row. I know whenever I think of November 11, I also think of candy. Then again, I also think of candy the other 364 days of the year. Pepero is made by one of the major Korean conglomerates, Lotte Co., Ltd. They own everything here – a chain of department stores, a chain of Walmart-esque stores, movie theaters, an amusement park, mildly tasty candy… Lotte corp denies “inventing” the holiday, but it hasn’t been around very long. In fact, Pepero itself  is younger than I am (as one of my coworkers was so kind to point out to me). Word on the street (and by street, naturally, I mean Wikipedia) is that students at a middle school started giving it to one another with the wish that they might grow as tall and thin as a Pepero. In fact, I heard one of my junior high students utter that exact sentiment. Body image is a major issue over here, but that is another post entirely. I scored a pretty decent amount of Pepero and other candy from my students, half of which will be going home to my family in their Christmas package (what? don’t act like you’ve never regifted). Happy Pepero/Veteran’s Day all!

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