Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day came to Japan in 1936. Thank you, Wikipedia! Along the way, some wise one decreed that Valentine's Day should be celebrated by women giving chocolates to men. And not just to the object of one's affection, but to all one's male coworkers. And in Japan, a country with a predominately male workforce, this can be quite significant.
So, wanting to be a good member of the workforce, I dutifully assembled my sweets and put them into little packages. This is what is known as giri-choko, or obligation chocolate. If I were in love with all 30 of my coworkers, it would be called honmei-choko, and I would have spent more money. I would also need serious help.

On White Day, March 14, the ladies are supposed to receive sweets in return. 

What makes me laugh is that since my office is so big, there are several people who I never talk to, other than periodically to give them food.

Well, these are the things that make life interesting!


Sharon said...

Loved this explanation of a different cultural tradition, Elizabeth. Yes, I am glad you are not having serious feelings for 30 men!!

Elizabeth said...

Yes, me too. Especially since chocolates went to old guys and married guys, and even a few ladies I work with.