Thursday, February 14, 2013

Japanese Valentine's Day

I was discussing comparative holidays with a Japanese student in my "Family Life" class.  She said Valentine's Day is celebrated in Japan - but women give men chocolate.

This struck me as odd, since the norm of courtship is for men to show their capacity for resource provision to women.

She then told me that there is also a counterpart holiday, White Day, one month later, in which men give chocolate to women.  Originally they gave white chocolate (hence the name), but now the browner kinds are also common.

And Wikipedia tells me that on White Day, if a man merely gives as much as he was given, that signals that he wants to end the relationship.  To continue the romance, he gives twice or thrice as much chocolate as he received on Valentine's Day.

The imbalance in the sociobiological universe is made right.

5 comments:

KySocialist91 said...

Is it necessary to go by the standard Western relationship paradigm and have men prove to women they are resourceful?

gruntled said...

Not Western, but the norm of all courting animals.

KySocialist91 said...

Cannot women resourceful such that it is unnecessary for men to follow the traditional paradigm? I think you confuse biology and human social custom too often because you assume that all society runs by the standard male-as-the-provider model

KySocialist91 said...

Cannot women resourceful such that it is unnecessary for men to follow the traditional paradigm? I think you confuse biology and human social custom too often because you assume that all society runs by the standard male-as-the-provider model

Wicked said...

Korea also has the "white day", but takes it further with "black day" (April 14th) in which all the leftover singles commiserate over a bowl of jjajyangmyeon ("black noodles") a popular chinese food in korea, thus serving as a matchmaking day of sorts.

Worse yet is "pepero day" named after the pepero candy (similar to japan's pocky). A completely manufactured holiday held on 11/11 because the 1's represent the candy "sticks". Teaching in Korea I was showered with tons and tons of pepero. Kids often exchange it as well, but I'm pretty sure more pepero is sold on that day than all other days combined. And you though Valentine's day was bad...