** First, a note on the giveaway: NO ONE WANTS IT so far! All is exactly as I had suspected–but please check it out, & let me know if you would like to stake a claim.**
Now, look at this beautiful surprise envelope I got from a Postcrosser in Utsunomiya, Tochigi, Japan:
This Postcrosser, who has been on the site for just over a year & writes in her profile that she has never been overseas, really threw herself into sending something special across the ocean to a person she was assigned through a rather random website click. Look at that beautiful envelope she fashioned out of a map! Look at the wonderful things that were inside!
“…Utsunomiya there are a lot of specialty shops of pan-fried dumpling. At first, dumpling was imported from China, pan-fried dumpling is one of popular food in Japan. Do you know the pan-fried dumpling? I like delicious it.”
Yes, I know them & like them, too–although with all of the dumplings out there, I do not get to these all that often. There’s the Chinese name, kuo teh, AKA pot stickers, and there’s the Japanese name, gyoza. And here I have a story. I was at a Japanese restaurant just a few days ago (not eating dumplings). At some point, behind me, I heard what sounded like a teen girl talking about what she planned to order: “I’m going to get the GOYZA!” Goyza? I was waiting for someone to correct her, at some point, as she repeated what she was getting, but apparently no one else… sigh. And I think the waiter humored her by repeating the mispronounciation. I was hoping someone, ANYONE, in that little restaurant would improve her life by pointing out that “gyoza” is not pronounced “goyza.” Someone, anyone? Someone, anyone but me? Not me. And not anyone else.
The message on the goyza postcard continues:
“I was put (in this envelope) Pochi-bukuro. Pochi-bukuro (petit envelope) is often used in Japan. Especially at New Year’s, there is a custom in Japan that adults give money to children as a tip. Of course, it may be good for a small accessory or mini card. Try using this Japanese style envelope in your creative style.
I don’t remember hearing about this Japanese tradition. Now, I do know the envelopes, known as hongbao, for their use in the Chinese tradition during the Lunar New Year. I have used hongbao in the past in “my creative style:” I gave a friend a coffee gift card in a little envelope. He asked me where the money was. I told him I wasn’t his parent. A lot of Chinese adults still get hongbao from their parents. Never having been a Chinese child, I have never received a cash-stuffed hongbao (at least, not that I remember). I do have a little stash of little envelopes (they are sold at many places in my area, and have a variety of fun designs & famous characters), into which I stuff tiny treasures & junk when I am preparing a package to mail to a friend.
What do you think I should do with these Pochi-bukuro I have been sent?