In Japan, Christmas is a celebration for couples, kind of like America’s Valentines Day. In America, Christmas is a time for families. In Japan, The New Year is for shopping ( a lot) after the children have received money in a red envelope from their grandparents and parents, kind of equivalent to America’s Black Friday right after Thanksgiving Day. And “Emoji” in Japan means little stamp, while in America it is a little image/ character we use in text messaging.

p.s. My friend, Yuka, stood over my house for 3 nights over the New Year holiday. She’s an exchange student from Japan, and is currently a senior at SUNY New Paltz (so that’s where we met). My family and I learned a few things about her culture, and she learned and experienced a bit of our culture. Overall, it was so great ending the year with her, and celebrating the New Year with her. So here’s to accepting, embracing, and learning about the difference in cultures!

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