Happy Valentine’s Day!
How do you spend this Sunday?
Valentine’s Day is a special day for some women in Japan.
You might have same day today in your country.
I wanna introduce Japanese Valentine’s Day and my embarrassing experience in school days.
In Japan, it’s very common for women to present chocolates or gifts to men. These gifts are considered as express of love from her to him. Men will give various present to women in return on March 14th, White day. In other countries, I think Valentine’s Day is the day when friends, family and lovers exchange gifts each other, right? In Japan, we have Valentine’s Day and White day. They say this tradition is started as a marketing promotion by chocolate companies.
If you go to department store, supermarket and convenience store before Valentine’s Day, you can find lots of chocolate gifts are displayed. More than half of chocolate sold in a year are sold around this Valentine’s Day. Amazing, right?
There are two kinds of chocolate on Valentine’s Day in Japan, “Honmei Choco” and “Giri Choco”. “Honmei Choco” means chocolate given to lover or favorite man from woman. “Giri Choco” means obligation chocolate given to her boss, coworkers and friends in workplace or community with showing thankfulness to their help and support so far.
Women working at office were supposed to give obligation chocolate in some companies before. (There might be such company even now…) Some women disliked this customs, of course.
I have got some chocolates from women on Valentine’s Day before. Several times from lovers and some girls, actually.
The most unforgettable experience was in elementary school when I was 11 years old. Yes, old experience…
Valentine’s Day was kind of melancholy day for elementary school boys at that time in my school. Why? Because boys who could not get chocolate often teased boys who got chocolate from girl. What was worse, some boys bullied boys because of getting chocolate.
(On Valentine’s Day when I was 11 years old)
Finally this day came… My friend told me before Valentine’s Day that one girl may give you chocolate at school on Valentine’s Day. Yes, she is a good friend, but I can’t understand love and how to answer to that. I am afraid of teasing by my friends. That was my big concern at that time.
When I went to school on that day, I opened my shoe case at the school entrance to change my shoes. (In Japanese school, we change outdoor shoes with indoor shoes at entrance). I found one chocolate in my shoe case. But no name on chocolate and no letter with chocolate. When I was thinking who gave this to me???, my friends noticed me and were gathering around me to tease me. I was so embarrassed and confused who gave me and how to answer this…
Even after that I could not know who gave the chocolate. That girl might give me but I do not have certain conviction. I could not ask her that.
That was really embarrassing and strange experience for me.
When I look back that memory now, I have to laugh because girls in elementary school are more mature than boys in terms of feelings and mentality. I could not understand love or something at that time and I was just concerned about teasing and bullying by friends. And I welcome chocolate from women now haha. That is big change.
Thank you for reading.
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