Ah yes, the day of love is nearly upon us and for many, seeing the array of chocolates and candy just reminds them that it’s going to be yet another year where they don’t receive anything from a special someone.
Valentine’s Day is all fine and dandy it you’re part of a couple, but sometimes being single is a little depressing.
Last week i was telling some guy friends of mine that I’m always part of a couple before or after Valentine’s Day, but never on the actual date. One of them said, “You’ve missed out on a lot of presents!” I guess that’s true, but it also makes me wonder and want to ask a few questions.
Firstly, do you need to give a tangible gift in order to tell someone you love them and secondly, why should your expression of love be restricted to just one day? Personally I think you can and indeed should tell or show your significant other that you love them everyday, not just on Valentine’s Day.
I’m not going to do the big rant about how commercial the day is; instead I’m going to tell you about the Valentine’s Day event I attended on the weekend, how the Japanese celebrate Valentine’s Day and how I plan on spending mine.
On Sunday I spent the day helping out at an English-speaking event for Japanese people in Hiroshima. It centered around making some chocolate ‘rose-shaped’ cookies that were then wrapped and decorated as Valentine’s Day gifts.
I learned that many Japanese girls and women make chocolates (or choko チョコ) for their boyfriends and husbands rather than buying it because they believe it’s not true love if you buy ready-made ones.
After my dismal attempt at a rose that looked more like a giant poo and a heart that was mistaken for a beef tongue, I decided that unless I bought chocolates from a shop, the object of my affection wouldn’t end up getting anything at all! 😦
In Japan, Valentine’s Day is exclusively a time when men receive chocolates from women. A month later, on March 14, they then return the favor by buying women chocolate, on what is referred to as, ‘White Day.’
There are also two types of chocolates that are given as gifts:
1. Giri choko (義理チョコ) or obligation chocolate for bosses, male friends etc.
2. Honmei choko (本命チョコ) for your true love.
As for how I’m planning to spend the day… I’m having a girl’s night out with my friends to celebrate our singledom and then the next day I’m hanging out with my single guy friends eating oysters and drinking beer at a local oyster festival.
And maybe, just maybe… I will give the guy I like 本命チョコ so he knows I’m into him… 🙂