Perhaps an East Asian thing

A Korean friend once told me that when she finished her Master’s and started a new job in Paris, the first thing, of all things, her mum asked her on the phone was whether she had anyone to have lunch with. “As if I were still in school,” she laughed. I too found the question to be sweet and at the same time exactly knew what the conversation must have been like. I can’t satisfactorily explain why, but not having lunch alone is such a big deal where I am from.

I have learnt that a mobile app has recently been launched in Japan, called Social Lunch, which will find a lunch buddy for you around your workplace. I know socialising over lunch is no news; there are lunch dates, business lunches, brown bag seminars, etc. However, this one stands apart from all those above because it appears to have been born out of the specifics of East Asian working culture.

(Capture from Nikkei Trendy)

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