Guest Post: What My Korean Ex Taught Me About Spending Holidays Abroad | Speaking of China

7 Responses

  1. Constance - Foreign Sanctuary
    Constance - Foreign Sanctuary December 12, 2014 at 9:22 am | | Reply

    Although there are many great points as to why you can enjoy the holidays abroad, personally I tend to disagree. I believe the holidays are what you make them – like I said in this post –

    Yes, you may not be surrounded by the people you have known for all your life, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting into the festive swing of things. I have spent many holidays, particularly Christmas, in Taiwan and I have had an amazing time!! Yes, it is different but in some ways it is a little better as it doesn’t surround gift giving and presents, but rather get-togethers, joy, and happiness!

  2. chinaelevatorstories
    chinaelevatorstories December 12, 2014 at 10:34 am | | Reply

    Family makes all the difference – especially for holidays that would be celebrated with family at home, not friends. That being said, having someone special spend a family holiday with you is also a nice gesture if you’re living abroad on your own. It doesn’t really matter if the person understands your holiday or not. I still remember Christmas in Shenzhen 2 years ago. My company went to sing Karaoke for Christmas eve. I felt a bit strange, celebrating Christmas like this, but at the same time it was also fun (who gets to go to a Karaoke bar with drunk co-workers at Christmas?). I appreciated my then-boyfriend now-husband’s gesture of spending a quiet evening together at home the next day.

  3. robert
    robert December 12, 2014 at 10:50 am | | Reply

    I can relate to the Korean boyfriend. I don’t feel like celebrating non-Chinese holidays here in China. Holidays abroad are for me now more something like a personal reminder to take time to be grateful for what I have, and to reflect on things. And after living abroad for a long time my family and I cherish our moments together and we don’t need holidays to remind us how good it is to see each other again.
    Maybe things will change with a kid in the house though… it would be sad to withhold all the joy these celebrations gave me when I was a kid myself.

  4. Holly Hollins
    Holly Hollins December 12, 2014 at 6:04 pm | | Reply

    I guess when it comes to holidays, it’s more special when you celebrate with family and close close friends.

    I have never invited any friends home for Christmas due to the fact that it’s really a close family get together holiday. Thanksgiving on the other hand, completely different story.

    And from understanding, Christmas is the same for Lunar New Year. It’s completely different when you’re celebrating it with family and by yourself.

    Usually I just wish my friends “Happy New Year” and give them some tangerines. 😀

  5. Dan
    Dan December 13, 2014 at 2:49 am | | Reply

    I like the empathy from the author toward her ex. Be honest. Holiday in another country is not the same thing unless you can’t tell the difference. I find it easier to embrace new traditions. Be part of it rather than losing interests in all holidays. It makes life much more enjoyable. You need to be flexible when living in anther country unless you want to grief over losses all the time.

  6. Rene
    Rene December 16, 2014 at 2:01 pm | | Reply

    I really think what it boils down to is… there are people who think holidays are important and there are those that don’t. Maybe her ex only celebrated in Korea because his friends and family did and it was easy for him to just participate. But, outside of Korea – where he would have to be the one to make an effort – it wasn’t that important to him.

    I moved away from the USA and now live in China. I still celebrate my holidays even though there is no one else (aside from my Chinese husband who is supportive) to celebrate them with me. Even if I was totally alone I would still celebrate – because I don’t need to have a big party or get-together to still decorate and enjoy my holidays! It’s a time for me to be thankful, remember times when I did have family around, and to treat myself to a special day! I also celebrate the Chinese holidays now (my husband jokes that I am “more Chinese” than he is) and I will continue to celebrate them even if I am not in China. They are part of who I am and are important to me – so no matter what I will celebrate. Financial worries or any other pressures wouldn’t change that.

    So, while I think it’s nice that the author accepted her ex-boyfriend’s lack of interest in holidays – I don’t think it has anything to do with living abroad or being away from family. He had a willing girlfriend to celebrate Korean holidays with and he passed on it anyway. One person, for me (my hubby), is more than enough to make me want to celebrate! He is willing to celebrate both Chinese and American holidays with me and we have a wonderful time.

  7. Anna
    Anna December 19, 2014 at 8:41 am | | Reply

    It is true, being in another country without family, it is very difficult to celebrate special holidays. Until now I have not manage to create the same atmosphere, or enjoy it as much as I would with my whole family there. I am happy that my husband is by my site, but if it comes to my holidays, like Christmas, he is not very encouraging, or willing to participate. Still, I am not losing hope that one day we manage to enjoy holidays together no matter where we are 🙂

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