Merry Ebony Day: Canoodling on Korea’s Anti-Valentine’s Holiday

Merry Ebony Day: <s>Ca</s>noodling on Korea’s Anti-Valentine’s Holiday

A chance to commiserate—and drown their sorrows in a bowl of black bean noodles in romance-obsessed South Korea, Black Day gives singles.

* The name can be spelled jajangmyeon, a variation that has been selected by the National Institute of Korean Language in 1986, but colloquially overruled by the appeal of jjajangmyeon using the two initial j’s, leading to a sharper pronunciation that some have actually argued more closely resembles compared to the Beijing-based meal, zhajiangmian.

This vacation of commiseration is scheduled precisely 2 months after Valentine’s Day, whenever Korean ladies are encouraged to provide the males of these option chocolates, into the hope of getting white chocolates or snacks in exchange on White Day, celebrated on March 14. (Judging by Instagram, some Koreans celebrate Black Day on March 14 as opposed to April 14, but this is not typical.) Valentine’s Day and White Day are included in a whole course of “couples’ holidays”—one for every single of eleven months regarding the year—to be celebrated just by the fortunate pairs endowed with all the benevolent smiles of pleased moms and dads plus the jealous sighs of lonely singletons. Those who end up uncoupled are provided Ebony Day as being a consolation award, albeit a delicious one.

Every Korean rite has its associated meals, through the throwing of jujubes and chestnuts to symbolize future children in the post-wedding pyebaek ceremony, to peling away the tops associated with the favorite fruits of ancestors so your spirits may effortlessly eat them at jesa ancestor-worship rituals. Ebony Day, but, is just a contemporary vacation that perpetuates an unusually ironic, instead than earnest, just just take on food’s destination in Korean social rites and breaks.

What’s Brand Brand New On Serious Consumes

The menu at restaurants celebrating Black Day varies: jjajangmyeon, needless to say (though it is a delivery or dine-in favorite throughout the year, usage of the black colored bean noodles goes in overdrive on April 14), or noodles colored black with squid ink; black colored coffee; and black colored sweets, often containing chocolate. One cafe has even gone as far as to generate a black colored muffin, plus some restaurants host unique occasions and tournaments for the singles’ day.

But Gloria Seoyoung, the host of food trip Seoul Foodie particular date, claims she and lots of singles choose to camp down at buddies’ flats from the getaway, scarfing down jjajangmyeon and tangsuyuk (sweet-and-sour pork). You can not only get jjajangmyeon from Korean-Chinese restaurants, dropped down at your home via unique fast-food distribution motorbikes, humiliated singletons can deposit their sauce-strewn synthetic trays and meals outside their flats for pickup, never ever when being forced to face anybody except the distribution boy/comfort-food savior.

In the long run, the break has evolved, dealing with a tongue-in-cheek tone that permits singles to mock the traditions of cutesy partners while simultaneously rejoicing in and deriding their very own singledom. Black Day has grown to become a pop-cultural joke of types, also permeating consciousness that is k-pop with woman team Pascol releasing a pro-singles song and accompanying movie called “Merry Black Day” (enjoy this translation associated with words, which calls Black Day “couples’ hell”).

“It’s almost like a self-deprecating laugh,” says summertime Jung, a study other at Stanford who was raised in Seoul. “Singles are commiserating but in addition celebrating.”

I’d never heard about Ebony Day until We lived in Seoul, where I dated a classy Korean-Australian-Singaporean guy who thoughtlessly crushed my heart such as for instance a wingtip extinguishing a Dunhill in the neon-lit snap sext account Shinchon pavement. This playboy “kicked me” (a literal translation for the Korean phrase for “dumped me”) with this specific careless but pointed text message: “It’s been good once you realize both you and I’m happy we met…by just how, can you introduce me to a blond US woman I felt oddly broken by a relationship that had never even reached official status before you leave for New York?” Trudging home from my version of psychotherapy, a solo, “Aggretsuko”-style karaoke in my striped track pants and pink hair extensions.

Once I mourned my situation having a indigenous Korean friend, she demanded that we come over for many jjajangmyeon for Ebony Day. This unni (slang for “older female friend”), who was simply 32 to my 20, was indeed single for 10 years, along with her plan would be to circumnavigate the planet solo after graduate college. Sitting in her cramped, cluttered apartment, stacked high with documents and snail ointments, we ordered jjajangmyeon delivery with extra damugi, a tangy, yellowish, pickled mu radish that perfectly lightened the hefty black bean sauce. Ended up being we crying from my friend’s spicy kimchi part meal, or higher my pathetic existence that is twenty-something?

The sauce sticking to my lips, I listed my grievances about dating in Korea, from the ridiculous group dates to the exorbitantly expensive matchmakers to the nerve-wracking practice of sogaeting, where you blindly meet a friend of a friend in that airless apartment, in between wounded slurps of noodles. When my buddy laughed I lamented that I’d never introduce the perfect Korean boyfriend to my parents, I reproached her at me after. This is severe business—I ended up being getting old! I angrily took several chopsticksful of her noodles.

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