Two days ago was November 11th – a day that I’ve always known as a solemn time of respect. I know Remembrance Day is not a universal holiday, but little did I know that other countries would come up with their own holidays on this day as well! In Japan, I have some friends celebrating what they know as ‘Pocky Day’, because the date 11/11 resembles a bunch of Pocky sticks. Obviously this is just a marketing technique by Glico, but I saw a lot of friends going out just to grab a box of Pocky treats for the day!
Here in Hong Kong (and China), they made it ‘singles day’, again because of all the ‘ones’. I heard that they just wanted to give the day a name, so that retailers can have an excuse for another sale (since they don’t have Black Friday or anything of that sort here). It’s kind of interesting to see the differences in all these cultures, yet at the same time it makes me a bit uneasy that this solemn day is being taken so light-heartedly.
For the record, I saw a grand total of…. one! person wearing a poppy over the past three weeks or so. It made me feel so close to home!