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Celebrating Kidults' Day in Korea

Posted May. 06, 2023 07:56,   

Updated May. 06, 2023 07:56


"I may still not be viewed as fully grown up because I'm not married yet."

According to Park Sang-yong, a 29-year-old Korean office worker, he received 200,000 Korean won as pocket money from his parents on Children's Day, May 5. He used the money to travel to Busan with his friends to enjoy the holiday and weekend. Park shared that he has been receiving pocket money from his parents on Children's Day every year, and while he appreciates the gesture, he also feels a bit like he's pulling a fast one on them. He joked that he ends up treating his parents to a nice dinner with his sibling and giving spending money to his parents as well every May 8, just three days after Children's Day, which happens to be Parents' Day in Korea.

According to reports, an increasing number of individuals in their 20s and 30s in Korea are receiving money or gifts from their parents on May 5, now commonly referred to as "Kidults' Day." This trend is believed to reflect the growing number of Kangaroo generation members who continue to rely on their parents for financial support well into adulthood, as well as DINKS, or married couples who have chosen not to have children.

Kim (age 37), a married man without children and his wife were also among those who received spending money from his parents on May 5. He explained that his parents still treated him and his wife as if they were children, despite being married for seven years and not having their own kids.

On Kidults' Day, some young married couples and partners choose to exchange gifts as a way to celebrate their love and independence. Hwang (age 31), an office worker who recently got married, decided to buy flowers and a bag for his wife as a surprise gift. He said that they wanted to enjoy the Children's Day holiday together and celebrate their marriage, until they have babies of their own.

Other people choose to treat themselves on this day. Choi, a 27-year-old office worker, purchased a lipstick for herself on May 5, as she has done every Children's Day since 2020. For her, the act of buying a gift for herself on Kidults' Day is a way of acknowledging her own accomplishments. She explained that she views it as a way to reward herself for working hard, since there is no public holiday in Korea that specifically celebrates adults who are striving towards their goals.

Taking advantage of the trend, companies are increasingly launching marketing campaigns to appeal to these young adults who celebrate "Kidults' Day." For example, Korea's payment startup, Toss, organized an event that offered digital gift vouchers for the occasion, while home appliance hypermarkets such as Hi-Mart held a sales event for popular games like Nintendo Switch, which are widely enjoyed by adults.

Jeonbuk National University Professor Seol Dong-hoon stated that many Korean parents continue to provide pocket money to their adult children whom they still view as young and financially dependent due to the increasing number of adults who cannot afford to become independent, even after reaching adulthood. Sungkyunkwan University Professor Ku Jeong-woo noted that there is a growing number of couples who celebrate Children's Day for themselves as they delay having children or remain childless, and this trend is likely to become more widespread as the nation's fertility rate continues to decline.

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