When I was in fifth grade, my homeroom teacher told us to write Valentine cards for our classmates. It was not long after I had came to U. S. A. and that was my first time I heard about Valentine`s Day. To prepare for Valentine`s Day, I went to the biggest market in our town and I picked one box with the many small cards in it. The following day, our classmates just gave cards to each other with only names written on them. Other than exchanging cards, I do not have other special memories of Valentine`s Day in U. S. A. I think it is because I did not experience any Valentine`s Day events and the day was not much different from any other ordinary day. The day was only for people who have sweethearts and couples celebrated that day quietly exchanging presents. If there was something different, then that was a few Valentine-marked balloons, dolls, and chocolates on the front shelves of markets.
When I came back to Korea, Valentine`s Day was something different. All underground shopp-ing centers were blazing with the Valentine goods, it was a little bit ahead of Valentine`s Day though. The goods alone gave me pleasure and they were an event by them-selves. There were so many unique Valentine gifts. For example, the chocolates as small as finger joints were all wrapped up and had ribbons on them. Moreover, some chocolates were in the shape of coins, roses, lips, hearts, animals and so on. Not only chocolates but also cases and baskets were beautifully decorated. The cases were divided into many shapes, sizes and colors. The baskets even looked like they were wearing wedding dress or evening dress.
However, these showy and gaudy Valentine goods raise environmental concerns in place like Africa, the origin of chocolate, since wrapping paper trash has created additional waste problems. Besides, it can increase the pro-pensity to consume.
On the other hand, I am convinc-ed that these goods were the products of creative ideas and delicate hand skills. These skills and abilities have also appeared in most countries. For example, foreign accessories are somewhat simple and plain while ours are made of various shapes and imitate jewelry quite elegantly. In regards to shoes and dolls, foreigners have essential function for their purpose while ours have additional characteristics and individuality which make our goods more attractive.
We Koreans have elaborate and minute hand skills, as well as infinite potential and ideas. Recently, the term "venture" is very popular even among white-collar workers who work for conglomerates. In view of the results achieved so far, we have been very successful. This is because we are now revealing our potential capacity of producing new ideas for various and characteristic goods. Furthermore, our elaborate skill, well known as industrial art, is now showing. Through Valentine`s Day we could see that we have enough ability for continuing success. Now we have only one thing to do, we must revive our potential ideas and skills.