“Ladies and gentlemen, I know you are all busy going your ways. But we desperately need your help now.”
On Valentine’s Day, a handsome young man stood up in the middle of a compartment on the Seoul subway. Next to him, a cute girl lowered her head shyly. Looking around the compartment, the man continued:
“We both grew up as orphans. We love each other deeply and want to share our lives forever. But we don’t have enough money for a wedding. With your support, we would like to marry here, where we first met.”
While he spoke, the woman’s face was wet with tears. The man was visibly fighting back his emotions. The next station was the final stop for the No. 5 line, so the compartment was only half full. Bystanders were perplexed by the scene, but drawn in.
“I take you to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward”
“I take you to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward”
They exchanged rings. She didn’t stop sobbing.
The passengers-turned-guests cheered for the couple and left the subway moved by the drama, the Chosun Daily reported on Feb. 14.
Their wedding ceremony was done in several minutes.
But their story was not over. One passenger used his mobile phone to video record the subway wedding and put it on the internet that evening. Within hours, the couple became stars across South Korea. Their story spread quickly over the web and was picked up by other media.
Some people searched for them, desiring to make contributions for their honeymoon. Entrepreneurs in the wedding industry offered to provide them with a proper wedding ceremony free of charge. Seoul Metropolitan Corporation, which runs the subway, put up posters to track the couple down. Their romantic story made everyone feel warm.
Two days later the couple appeared, but not looking as happy as was expected. They apologized for creating such a fuss, and explained that they are drama students and had put on the subway “wedding” as a theatre exercise.
Those emotional 48 hours shocked Koreans. Some blame the internet. South Korea is among the most wired countries. This case has revealed how quickly even false information could affect people. Others argue the drama students should be legally punished to prevent similar occurrences from happening in the future.
Those less critical could only sigh. One “netizen” told the Hankook Daily that even though she knows the story is false, she was moved and is happy to have been stirred up by the incident.
No matter how Koreans judge the students’ skit and the following web frenzy, the case has shown that people long to believe in true romance.