A Foreigner’s Guide to Black Day

Happy S.A.D., Korea. For those of you who may not be aquatinted with this holiday, S.A.D. stands for Singles Awareness Day. It is joked about in the U.S., but in the RoK, it’s a recognized calendar day (though not official).

Korea is the coupley-est place I’ve ever been in my life. Here there are thee holidays to celebrate romance or lack thereof: Valentines Day— February 14th when girls give gifts to their guy, White Day — March 14th when guys give gifts to their girl, and Black Day — April 14th when single people gather together to bemoan their singleness and eat jajangmyeon.

You may be familiar with the type of PDA (public displays of affections) showcased by  newlyweds, drunk people, and hormonally unstable teenagers. In Korea couples too look to declare their love to the world, though, by means far less assaulting than the nauseating public make out sessions you see in the States. Rather pairs here opt for “couple matching,” matching shoes, matching jackets, matching underwear sets… While obviously not all couples choose to do this, it is rare not to see a super couple while out in public for over twenty minutes. Being cute is a big deal. (Fun fact, despite the accepted partner matching, many Koreans don’t wear wedding rings.)

While my personal love life could be defined by any one of these GIFs (this, this, this, occasionally this, and even this… Well, not really– but actually), living surrounded by Korean coupledom, oddly, I can say I have never been so secure in my singleness. Being bombarded with lovey-dovey stuff 24/7 leaves you no other choice. New York taught me how to deal with loneliness, and now Korea’s teaching me about singleness, so I guess you could say that one refrain in Song of Solomon is coming to fruition in my life. Though, being constantly reminded of my relationship status inspired me to write a series of haikus, based off the popular book “Haikus for the Single Girl.” Thus, I present a selection from my “Haiku’s for the Single Girl Living in South Korea.”

But, in the spirit of Black Day, I present to you a playlist to rival the Valentine’s Day one, since — let’s be real — good music comes from heartbreak, usually songs that are more fun to sing. 


S.A.D. Playlist: Songs of Unrequited and Unrealized Love, and the Enlightenment It Ignites

The Unrequited and Unrealized:

  • Candles, Daughter
  • Bitter, Me’Shelle NdegéOcello
  • Bright Lights and Cityscapes, Sara Bareilles
  • And So It Goes, Billy Joel
  • The Wolves, Bon Iver
  • Wildfire, Pt. II, Frank Ocean and John Mayer
  • Someone Like You, Adele
  • Love Don’t Live Here Anymore, Rose Royce
  • Dancing on my Own, cover by Kings of Leon
  • Girl on TV, LFO

The Enlightenment:

  • Lesson Learned, Alicia Keys
  • Take a Bow, Rihanna
  • Roses, OutKast (This music video *ok emoji*)
  • No Scrubs, cover by Bastille
  • Warwick Avenue, Duffy
  • Best Thing I Never Had, Beyonce

So yeah. Happy Black Day, and in case you were worried, remember, you can live a perfectly meaningful life being single.



  1. James · April 26, 2014

    Sweet heart are you getting tired of Rok? this is Pop Pop and I was just wondering. I have been very concerned for you
    after learning about the ferry disaster!

    • unalluviadeideas · May 20, 2014

      Yeah, it was really sad… Well, my time in Korea is almost up (already almost a year!), so I’ll be home soon. :)

  2. Pingback: Korean Kitchenette: Jjajangmyeon | After 1220

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