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Ochugen : Summer gifts

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夏の贈り物 お中元
Ochugen : Summer gifts

By TSURU Yoriko









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★Kanji with hiragana


「夏(なつ)の贈(おく)り物(もの) お中元(ちゅうげん)」







★English Translation


Ochugen : Summer gifts

In Japan, during the Summer and Winter we have a custom of giving gifts to show our feelings of appreciation and to pray for the health and wellbeing of people who have taken good care of us on a daily basis.

In the Summer, these gifts are known as Ochugen, and the Ochugen giving period is roughly from the beginning of July until the middle of July.

During this time, many people go to buy the goods at department stores all over Japan and at supermarkets as well.
Recently, it has become even more convenient because you can buy and send Ochugen easily via the Internet as well.

Originally it was typical to give Ochugen to one's parents, relatives, matchmakers, one's teachers, tutors of enrichment (e.g hobby) classes, your doctor or GP, work superiors and one's seniors.
In my family, we only send Ochugen to our parents and to our relatives, but recently, there has been an increase of cases in which some friends, customers, and people who are on an equal footing agree to send Ochugen to each other.

However, there are also some families who do not send gifts to anyone even to aquaintances from long before.
In this free and more equitable society, I think that the fact that people have started to hold freer values is a good thing, but I hope that our hearts can remain rooted in the courteousness and values of thoughtfullness towards other people that have been held going all the way back to ancient Japan.

How about sending a summer gift along with your feelings of gratitude to someone who you hold dear this year ?


★This week's vocabulary


贈(おく)り物(もの)   gift

日頃(ひごろ)    daily, habitually

お世話(おせわ)になっている     are taken care of ~

 感謝(かんしゃ)       thanks, gratitude

場合(ばあい)     case, occasion

大体(だいたい)    about, practically, almost

中旬(ちゅうじゅん)  around the middle of ~

 全国(ぜんこく)     all over Japan

 最近(さいきん)では   recently

 本来(ほんらい)  originally

 仲人(なこうど)     go-between, matchmaker

恩師(おんし)     one's teacher

習(なら)い事(ごと)    enrichment lessons

目上(めうえ)の人(ひと)   one's superior, elder, senior

 一般的(いっぱんてき)  generally

取引先(とりひきさき)     customer, business connection

対等(たいとう)な立場(たちば)    equal footing

慣例(かんれい)    custom, precedent

平等社会(びょうどうしゃかい)     equitable society

贈答文化(ぞうとうぶんか)    gift-giving culture

価値観(かちかん)      values

日本古来(にほんこらい)    ancient Japanese

奥(おく)ゆかしさ       courteousness

心遣(こころづか)い        thoughtfulness

根付(ねづ)いている       rooted

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Guest Saturday, 17 March 2018