Today at snacktime, my TA Faye wasn't present to help me prepare the kids for their snacks. No biggie, it's not a big class! However, I was slightly overwhelmed when all of my children surrounded me with large packages and boxes of "Pepero". Why were they showering me and each other with this wafer-ey treat?
"Miss Janine, Miss Janine! This is from me!", I heard from Tiger, Nina (my new student) and Daniel each- all of them thrusting large bags of pepero in my face. I didn't really know what the occasion was, so I went to find Faye to get the scoop. I had not received a memo about this!
Faye explained that every November 11th, Koreans give gifts of Pepero to each other, as they would give Valentines on Valentine Day. It's not an official holiday, which is why I didn't hear about it, and Faye said it was created by the Pepero company, so it's just a commercial thing. But the kids love it! Wikipedia says it was started by some middle school girls who exchanged gifts of Pepero with the wish that they would grow up slender and tall, like a Pepero. Gag me. I think I'm going to believe Faye's more commercialist version. Oh, also, they have it on November 11th NOT as a tribute to fallen soldiers in the Korean war (as I mistakenly suggested), but because 11/11 looks like four Peperos. Clever!
So what exactly is a Pepero? To be honest, the only sweet tooth I have is for ice cream and chocolate, so I'd never had a Pepero before today, but they're really good. They're little rolled up wafers covered in chocolate. Yum. We should start something like this in Canada; it's cute to see the kids being so good about sharing and gift giving.
Happy Pepero Day!
Miss Lisa and the Peperos