From Korea with Love

"I carry your heart with me… always."

Just How Thoughtful Can a Korean Husband Be? (Episode 1)

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Finally!!! After bugging my naturally shy husband a dozen times to do this project with me, he gave in. ^^

Every week, hubby and I are going to post short videos about our everyday silliness and experiences as an intercultural couple. We’d like this to be entertaining not only for us but also for our followers, so we won’t be delving into the more serious aspects of intercultural marriage here. We’ll play around a bit, but of course, everything you’ll see in the videos are “based on actual events”. We are not claiming that they happen to all intercultural couples in Korea, but they may be similar to what some of them experience.

We hope you enjoy our first video. ^^

In most K-dramas, men are often depicted as controlling, stubborn, rude and tough, but once they fall in love, they act the exact opposite. They become gentler, more affectionate and more romantic to the woman they adore. This, however, is in dramas where everything can happen. In real life, Korean men are just like any other men who try their best to meet women’s high standards of what an ideal boyfriend or husband should be.

One of the questions I am often asked about my Korean husband is whether he is romantic or not. The truth is, he is far from being romantic… but he can be thoughful. Sometimes he comes home bringing me my favorite treats or little things he gets from 뽑기 or crane machines. He never forgets my birthday, our wedding anniversaries (We had three wedding ceremonies.) and other special days. He is not the type of man who gives his woman a bouquet or surprises her with a lavish dinner, but he has his own ways of making my heart flutter… even when he is actually being annoying.

I remember reading a post in one Facebook group where a woman was asking for advice because her husband forgot her birthday, and she felt disappointed when he left for work without even greeting her. Most of the pieces of advice she got from other women in the group had something to do with not expecting too much from her Korean husband because Korean men are not that romantic. Some women scolded her for being too sensitive and childish. She then posted an update, and said that when her husband came home from work, he surprised her with a cake and a present.

Korean husbands may appear to be cold and domineering at times, because to most of them, hard work and responsibility matter more. A Korean husband may be in haste to leave the house without kissing his wife goodbye, but that doesn’t mean that he is cold. Perhaps he just doesn’t want to be late for work. (Read more about why Koreans are always in a hurry here.) A Korean will not leave work early or call in sick just so he can take his wife on a special date for their anniversary.

Some women, though, are more fortunate to have husbands who know how to sweep their wives off their feet. I have seen a couple of photos of fancy anniversary gifts and romantic dinners on Facebook, and posts about lovey-dovey moments with Korean husbands… but hey, come to think of this… if your husband isn’t Mr. Romantico, will that make him less of a man?

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Much Ado about White Day

Today is White Day, 화이트데이 (hwaiteu dei) in Korean. White Day is another special day for couples celebrated on March 14th in some countries in Asia including South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan. White Day is similar to Western-style Valentine’s Day wherein men give chocolates, candies, flowers or gifts to their ladylove.

Here in South Korea, White Day is considered as one of the unduly commercialized occasions as convenience stores, marts, bakeries and almost every shop or store you can find sell chocolates and candies that are beautifully decorated, wrapped or repacked. Some of these goodies are unbelievably costly. No wonder there are a few people buying White Day presents in downtown Seoul this year, according to The Korea Times.

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A convenience store right in front of our apartment is prepped for White Day two days before the occasion.

White Day was first introduced in Japan in 1978, a year after a Fukuoka-based confectionery company started Marshmallow Day on March 14th wherein men were encouraged to give marshmallows to their special someone as a symbol of pure love. White signifies purity, so the confectionary company thought white marshmallows would make a great representation of love. Marshmallow Day, however, didn’t turn out to be  a success, so some companies promoted white chocolates. Men began giving their sweethearts white chocolates or white candies, and later on, dark chocolates. Today’s White Day gift doesn’t have to be “white” as there is a variety of gifts available anywhere from simple treats to more extravagant presents such as bouquets, stuffed toys, jewelry, etc.

My husband and I went to Homeplus a few days ago and found a candy station made specially for White Day. Look at all these colorful candies! ^^

My husband and I went to Homeplus a few days ago and found a candy station made specially for White Day. Look at all these colorful candies! ^^

White Day is not only for couples. Friends, families and workmates also reciprocate Valentine’s Day and White Day gifts. If a female friend or a colleague gives a man a gift on Valentine’s Day, it is common etiquette for him to give her something in return on White Day. The same thing goes for the woman who is given a present on White Day. A simple chocolate or candy bar can already make a friend or a colleague happy. I got mine early… from a friend from Japan.^^

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More lavish gifts or handmade chocolates are usually given to a special someone. My husband tried to make a brownie for me three years ago, but it turned out like this… T.T

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Well, at least he tried. Kudos for the effort! ^^

My husband is not the romantic type, but he always tries his best to make me feel special. Today, I found some of my favorite chocolates on my dresser. He said he bought them a few days ago, but I know that he went out to buy them while I was busy updating my blog. It doesn’t matter anyway… he made the day complete. ♡♥♡

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I hope everyone gets to enjoy White Day, not only women who are pampered with goodies or gifts, but all women in the world who deserve a smile or a hug.

HAPPY WHITE DAY! ^^