Pepero Day, Ex-boyfriend, Rosé Tteokbokki

The day dating gossips come alive

안녕하세요, it’s Ari, your friendly Korean source and your weekend reminder🎉 Today’s newsletter is about the day all the dating gossips come alive, a heart-broken ex-boyfriend, and a creamy tteokbokki recipe. Let’s start!

🎧 You can listen to this newsletter on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or other your favorite podcast platforms.


👋 What Up Korea?

My Pepero Day memory

Have you heard about Pepero Day or 빼빼로 데이? On November 11th, Koreans give a chocolate snack to their loved ones. Pepero Day was named after a local chocolate snack brand, Pepero. It started as the snack brand’s marketing campaign many years ago, and now it became a Valentine’s Day in November. (In South Korea, Pepero Day is much bigger than Valentine’s Day.)

From elementary schools to universities, students give Pepero to their crush, boyfriend, girlfriend or even just friends. When I was a middle school student, Pepero Day was a huge event. On this day, you can see who likes whom or who gets dumped by whom. I saw many heart-broken students whose Pepero (and their heart😢) got unanswered by their crushes. I couldn’t help but seeing them because it happens very publicly; (there’s no secret in school anyways, right?). You can also check your popularity by the number of Peperos you get. I remember no one in my class went home empty-handed. It was not all about romance, it was also about friendship, so we just bought a bunch of the snacks to give them to classmates. The day was a teacher’s nightmare because there were so many empty snack boxes everywhere at school. I remember one teacher in my school got furious over this so she told her students to eat all Peperos before going home. The students had to line up in the hallway eating them next to piles of the chocolate snack.

At work, many young employees give the snack to their colleagues, seniors, and boss. It’s a day you express your love or gratitude to people around you with a small sweet snack. And it’s not really limited to Pepero. Some people give other sweet snacks or just anything they want to give to their loved ones.

Since I don’t know how to properly end this story🙃, let me just give you a mini Korean word lesson. Do you know why the snack’s name is Pepero (빼빼로)? Actually, 빼빼하다 or 빼빼 마르다 in Korean means “to be very thin or skinny” and the snack is a very thin stick-shaped snack. Though I don’t know about 로, 빼빼 definitely came from the word, 빼빼하다. So you could say that 빼빼로 kind of means “a very skinny snack.”


🎵 Learn Korean with Like It

Today’s song is a sad and at the same time, very funny song. Like It or 좋니 is sung by Yoon Jong-Shin who is a famous song-writer and singer. The song was a huge-hit when it was released in 2017. It is about a man who is devastated💔 to see his ex-girlfriend dating someone else. Among the lyrics, “I heard that you’re doing well, that you’re already seeing someone pretty nice, which I didn’t really want to hear.” Although it’s a sad break-up song, the lyrics are too straightforward? to make you laugh in sympathy. I picked the best quote from the lyrics,

니가 조금 더 힘들면 좋겠어

The quote means, “I hope you suffer a little more.” Clearly, he didn’t move on at all😅 As always, I made three daily Korean sentences using the expressions in the quote,

  1. (국)이 조금 (짜요) (This soup) is a little (salty).

  2. 겨울보다 (여름)이 더 좋아요 I love (summer) more than winter.

  3. (수업)이 빨리 끝났으면 좋겠어요 I hope (the class) ends soon.

Change a bracketed word to make a different sentence! You can practice speaking the above sentences with my podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or other podcast platforms.

🎤 Rap your Korean

Send me your Korean voice message! If you’re a beginner Korean learner, speak the three sentences you learned today. You can change a bracketed word in the sentences to make a different sentence. If you’re a more advanced learner or adventurous, send me your voice message about today’s newsletter (your opinion about WUK stories, etc.).

Send it by next Tuesday KST, then your voice will be on the next podcast episode. If you want my feedback for your Korean speaking, leave a comment after submission. I’m all ears!

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🍳 Rosé Tteokbokki

Tteokbokki is one of the most popular food in South Korea especially between young women. (It’s a spicy food and usually, I don’t know why but, women tend to love spicy food more than men do.) There are many tteokbokki franchises that offer various flavors, toppings, and side dishes. One of the most popular flavors is rosé. But it’s not the tomato cream sauce you think. It’s more of red pepper powder cream sauce. You can adjust spicy level by adjusting amount of pepper powder. Check out the ingredients list and recipe in a video and try for yourself!

Thanks for reading! Leave a comment, like or share this newsletter! You can also send me your voice message💖 or leave your song/drama request in comments. See you next week! 안녕👋

P.S. I’m planning to publish fun Korean learning books on Amazon in the near future. If you have a book request, let me know in comments!👇

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