I’m sure you’ve heard 100 times about the general consensus about the Japanese Valentine’s day: the ladies give to the men, white day etc. etc. but I how I am able to give you a bit of information that you may not have known about…
It is customary in Japan for a girl to hand make her cake/brownie/bun/cookie for the boy(s) she likes as a handmade gift made with care. However, don’t let the next gift fool you: 義理チョコ(Giri choko) or “obligation chocolate” is the name given to the shop-bought chocolate they give to fellow members of a group or coworkers. An often impersonal gesture of common courtesy to their male counterparts. So if you receive giri choco this valentine’s just known that she cares enough to remember you work with her, but I wouldn’t buy that engagement ring just yet.
The other one not to forget is White day on the 14th of March. You probably thought men have it easy in Japan(and Korea), not having to give anything out on Valentine’s, however, the worst is yet to come. On that fateful day, one month after Valentine’s, White day comes to claim the wallets of men everywhere. Unlike Valentine’s, men have no autonomy as to which ladies they would like to give presents to, but they much return the gifts to the women who gave them gifts the month prior. The real kicker is the gift should be 3x or 4x more expensive than the gift they gave you.
Of course, this is all a load of drivel. Japan, like most of the third world, is a modern civilization and choosing not to participate in the customs is totally acceptable. There is a growing movement where women refuse to even bother with giri-choco these days due to the unnecessary stress of it all.
Brief and delayed post, sorry, just started a new job!
And yes, got my giri chocos!