While doing some middle school lessons on Christmas today, I learned that almost all of girls are sad because they'll be alone without a boyfriend at Christmas. I'd asked the students to brainstorm what they thought of when they heard the word "Christmas," and among the words I heard were
While friends had mentioned that Christmas is more of a couples day than a family day here, the girls' responses came as a surprise. They seemed downcast at not having a boyfriend despite being all of 15 years old and in a school system that leaves students with little free time. Such behavior seemed par for the course for the high school students, but for middle school? I told the classes that they've plenty of time to meet and date boys. There is no rush. Who knows if they'll heed the message, but today provided some interesting information about Korean society because of how the students view Christmas. Whereas me and many other Westerners see it as a day for family and presents, the students see it as a day for couples.
Lesson learned: the girls want boyfriends for Christmas.