Here in the United States, people give various gifts to loved ones. Flower is one of popular gifts which are often given by man to woman in America. However there is no strict rule or restriction about the type of gifts and also from whom to whom gifts should be given in America. Therefore they send a gift a spouse, girl friend and boy friend or family member. If a daughter or son would like to express how deeply they love their mothers, they send a gift such as flower etc.
However Japan has a little bit different customs regarding Valentine’s Day gifts compared with Europe and the United States. In Japan only women give Valentine Day gifts which are chocolates. They do not give any other type of gifts than chocolates and gifts are sent only from women to men. This is totally different from customs prevailing in the United States where they can snd any kind of gifts to a loved one.
The point which is common in both America and Japan is that the customs of sending gifts has become so popular due to aggressive commercialism. In the United States it is said that the typical customs of valentine’s Day “gift” was just giving a card expressing how much they love the recipient of card and how much they think about a loved one. And it looks like this historical customs was created and promoted by a company who sold such cards in the market.
In the case of Japan, only because the gifts of chocolates are given by women to men, there is another day for giving chocolates from men to women whereby men reciprocate the same present. This is called White Day which is March 14th. It is obvious that this White Day was also created by commercialism in order to promote sales of chocolates. Incidentally men who were given Valentine’s day chocolates feel obligated to reciprocate the same kind of gifts to women no matter whether he likes the lady who gave him a gift. Since Japan is a homogeneous society, everybody takes the same action and consequently most men are obliged to send back the gift which could be called obligate chocolate (They say “Giri-choco” in Japanese).
Quite frankly speaking the customs about Valentine’s Day gifts prevailing in the United States looks like a matured way done by adults and this is more natural than the customs in Japan. There is no obligation and only people who really feel motivated to give a gift to loved one takes action for giving a gift on this day.
As a floral artist and flower arrangement instructor in the United States, I feel happy and comfortable to know that flowers are pretty popular as a Valentine’s Day gift.
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