White Day


I made a fascinating observation the other day on my walk around the neighbourhood.

Every convenience store on either side of the road had built an outdoor makeshift facility with a table and few wooden racks for peddling love-themed goodies in bulk. Candies, chocolates, flowers, cards and soft toys were being sold as individual pieces or collectively in baskets wrapped in cellophane and ribbons.

Seoul streets seemed to be plastered with packaged love and I wanted to know why?

White Day

Turns out that today, March 14 is celebrated as White Day in South Korea and in few other countries such as Japan and Taiwan. In these countries, while Valentine’s day tradition (which is a give-and-receive event for couples in the West) requires women to offer chocolates to men, the reverse occurs on White Day! Men are expected to return the favour by plying women with candies and gifts.

On my way home from the walk I peeked inside Artbox – a popular stationary shop in Seoul. The place was an explosion of red and pink hearts printed on all kinds of merchandise imaginable. Across the room I saw two strangers shopping for greetings cards and of all the choices available, they reached for the exact same ‘I love You’ card which was awkward for them but I got a big chuckle out of it!

And a sketch to immortalize the moment. I just hope it isn’t intended for the same person!




7 thoughts on “White Day

  1. Cora Brown

    This sketch is so much fun. I loved finding all the little details as my eye moved around the sketch. At first glance, you see the I Love You card held high. Then you see all the tiny hearts on other cards, the pattern on the leggings, and the contrast of a white skirt with yellow running shoes. It is ironic that White Day is for men to give the gifts of love, it is women shopping for cards.

    1. Somali Roy Post author

      Hi Cora, it makes me so happy knowing that your observant eye caught all the little details in my sketch! This makes it worth the effort, so thank you writing to me. I was surprised at finding few women shopping for cards and candies too. Maybe they were helping out a colleague or a friend!

  2. Zezee

    Aww that’s kinda sweet, though yea awkward, that they both reached for the same card at the same time. It’s the first I’ve heard of White Day so I learned something new here too. 🙂

    1. Somali Roy Post author

      South Korea also observes a ‘Black day’ exactly a months later, on April 14, where singles meet wearing black and eat noodles covered in black bean paste!

      1. Zezee

        That’s pretty cool.
        Speaking of black noodles, I’ve never tried them (well, black pasta, same thing I think) until a week ago when I visited a new restaurant and was surprised at how the pasta looked. I forgot what they used to make it black but it was tasty.

      2. Somali Roy Post author

        I think they use Squid ink to make it black! I have never tried it but if you say it’s tasty then maybe I will give it a go 🙂

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