Obligatory Valentine’s Day tradition divides Japanese women

Belgian chocolate giant Godiva issued an ad asking women to stop giving out giri choco, or obligatory chocolate, to co-workers if they feel pressured to do so

It was once considered disgraceful for women in Japan to express romantic feelings towards men. As a result, chocolate companies started promoting Valentine's Day as a day for women to profess their love, according to Tokyo Keizai University professor Harumichi Yamada. But as the social status of women improved and confessing love was no longer taboo, Valentine’s Day merely became the day women gave chocolate to men, especially to co-workers, giving rise to the custom of giri choco.
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(Photo credit: Chisato Tanaka/TheJapanTimes)

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