Last Thursday we enjoyed Valentine’s Day here at school. Many students brought homemade sweets, and others brought store-bought sweets to share with friends and teachers. I was talking to a couple students, and they taught me two Japanese phrases for the day: giri-choko and honmei-choko.
In English we could call giri-choko “obligation chocolate”. This is chocolate you give to someone you have to. Honmei-choko could be called “true-feeling chocolate”, and it goes to someone you really like.
But… what happens if a girl is giving obligation chocolate, and the boy thinks that it is actually true-feeling chocolate?!? How can people know? Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day about love, but it seems that there is also a chance for heartbreak.
I would also like to mention that the Japanese sweets industry is very clever, because it has also promoted “White Day” in Japan. In Canada, Valentines day is a chance for both girls and boys to buy each other gifts, but in Japan it is spread out over two different days. That is good for business! However… the boys who received Valentine’s Day chocolate must remember who they got it from and return the favor. Some people say that is should be worth THREE TIMES as much as the Valentine’s Day present. If they don’t, or they forget… more heartbreak!
This is all very confusing. Let’s eat some more chocolate and think about it a bit longer. Have a good week! Only two more weeks until your final tests!