Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pepero Day

Today is Pepero Day in Korea. Pepero is a type of Korean candy similar to Pocky and Pepero Day is a lot like Valentines Day, only it doesn't even pretend to have un-crass materialistic origin and was dreamed up about fifteen years ago by Lotte, the giant corporation that manufactures Pepero and owns most of Korea, as a way to sell more candy. Pepero Day is November 11, since five sticks of Pepero (a long, thin candy, like a chocolate dipped pretzel stick) looks a lot like 11/11.

On Pepero Day, it's traditional to give friends, co-workers and teachers a package of Pepero. I was stopped twice between my bus stop and the school by students giving me a pack of Pepero. I was pretty confused, since I'd never heard of Pepero Day, but I'm getting use being given random gifts of food (a teacher stopped me as I walked into school on Friday and gave me a whole sweet potato), so I assumed it was something along those lines. Luckily another student gave me a Pepero as I walked into the teacher's lounge and the vice principal, noticing my confusion about the rampant candy giving, explained what was going on.

Since I'm still a novelty to the kids, I made out like a bandit, especially in my third grade class where I got five packs and four individually wrapped Pepero. I ended up with so much candy I couldn't take it all home. I ended giving a lot to my co-teacher and storing the rest in my desk for when I get hungry at work.

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