Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Valentines Day

The Japanese have adopted our custom of Valentine's Day but have put a clever marketing spin on it. As with North America gifts of chocolate are given but the spin is that they are not given to only those you love!

Women in Japan give giri chocolate (obligatory chocolates) to their co-workers or superiors at work and honmei chocolate (for the ones they love).

"The concept of "giri" is very Japanese. It is a mutual obligation that the Japanese follow when dealing with other people. If someone does you a favor, then you feel obligated to do something for that person." Japanese About.com

The whole fiasco isn't over until a month later on White Day when the men reciprocate and give more expensive chocolates to the females in their office. White Day chocolate comes in white boxes and you can buy a white gift bag as an extra. On the whole a costly custom and according to people I talk to not entirely joyful.

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