Not so in Korea! Here there's a confection called "Pepero," manufactured by Lotte, a Korean conglomerate. It's a cookie stick dipped in chocolate. Four sticks of Pepero held vertically resemble, with some prodding of the imagination, the date 11/11... and so every 11 November since, I don't know, probably 2006 or something, Koreans buy large amounts of Pepero and distribute it to their friends and loved ones. That's all there is to it. This is a very shallow tradition. Think Valentine's Day with chocolatey cookie sticks and no history. According to Wikipedia, the company denies having started the holiday, though the premise is silly and Pepero is a Lotte trademark. It may as well be "Pepero® Day."
What this all means for me is that my first task this morning was eating the handful of Pepero my nearest coworker thrust at me. I also received an appreciable amount of cookie stick from students throughout the day. One of them appears to have simply baked me some cookies, which is really tremendously sweet of her. Here's a picture of my haul:
I appreciate the gesture but am not likely to eat all this here Pepero. I plan to re-gift it to my