Sunday, February 11, 2007

Early warning

I wasn't going to write about this until the 14th, but everytime I turn on the radio or TV I seem to be bombarded with advertising for Valentines Day here in Japan. In New Zealand Valentines Day used to be a day where you would give something special to your one true love.... here in Japan it is a little different! If you search the web for "Japan Valentines Day" you will find thousands of articles about how it is celebrated here.
It is said that St. Valentine's Day was imported to Japan in 1958 by a Japanese confectionery company and judging by the piles and piles of chocolate that you see in the shops at the moment it would seem that they were very successful in introducing the custom! On this day it is only the women who give chocolate to men - and not just to your one true love! You are expected to give chocolate to basically every male you come in contact with around the the 14th of February. There is even a name for this kind of giving "giri choco" or "obligation chocolate". The commercialisation is absolutely incredible! In every department store there are piles and piles of individually wrapped boxes of chocolates from all over the world. Every female seems to be buying at least 20 boxes..... I'm just planning to stay home all next week!
Of course in order to make things fair there has been another day invented in March where men have to give to women... good work marshmallow company! More about that next month!

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