Join Our Valentine’s Day Photo Contest!

February 1, 2011
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Are you our fan on FACEBOOK yet? If you are, then you must have seen our Valentine’s Day HUGS & KISSES PHOTO CONTEST!

Yea, that’s right!

Starting from now till 17th Feb 2011 (Thu), just pop into any of our SASA STORES, spend a minimum of RM38 and you’ll be eligible to enter the contest! There’s no limit to how many photo entries you can send in, but each entry must be accompanied by a unique receipt, alrighty?

Once you’ve gotten your receipt, just email us a photo (yes, yours!) with a creative caption that best depicts the love between you and that special someone in your life, and that’s about it! And oh, that special someone doesn’t even have to be your soulmate, coz we believe there’s love between a parent and a child, a grandparent and a child, between siblings, between friends and heck, even between you and a pet!

So yea, so long as your photo and caption can show us the love, then it qualifies for entry!

We will screen through all the photos to make sure they fit the theme and then we’ll upload them on Facebook. Winners will be selected based on a weighted score: 50% by number of LIKES on the photo, and 50% by the judges at SaSa Malaysia. Some RM3,000 worth of prizes are up for grabs, so hurry hurry!

Submission Deadline: 17th Feb 2011 (Thu) @1pm (Malaysian time, of course)
Voting Period*: 18th Feb (Fri) to 24th Feb 2011 (Wed)

*This is the period whereby people can check out the photos and vote by ‘LIKING’ the photos. So, don’t forget to give yourself a vote too, and get your friends and family to support you too^^


Anyway, you can read all the details about the contest on our Facebook page HERE




Meanwhile, we wanna share some interesting facts and even more intriguing tidbits about Valentine’s Day with you.

Now, everyone knows that Valentine’s Day is on 14th February, ya? Well, to put it simply, this is an annual celebration of love and affection between couples.

Yes, this special day of love will usually see restaurants all fully booked, florists probably do some of their best business in a year during this time. Yup, this is the day when you will see women walking proudly on the streets, beau and bouquet in tow.

This could be a painfully sad day for some people too. Peope who have just fallen out of love, and people who have never been in love (O.U.C.H!) So, some have (jokingly?) referred to Valentine’s Day as Singles Awareness Day (SAD). Guess in a way, it’s (almost brutally) true that singles are made even more aware of their singlehood on this day.



RING IN THE NUMBERS!

And now, time for some rather surprisingly statistics. Now the facts ain’t all that surprising really, but we’re surprised by the sheer HUGE-ness of this (not even a public) holiday… No wonder some of the more conservative countries frown on Valentine’s Day.


- In the United States, Valentine’s week is ranked #1 in chocolate candy sales. Sales of chocolate account for over 75% of candy dollars that consumers will purchase to celebrate the holidays.

- In the United States, E-commerce retailers expect to rack up about $650 million dollars selling food, candy, flowers and other Valentine’s Day related goods for 2011.

- Some 15 million(!) electronic Valentines (E-Valentines) were sent in 2010.

- About 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year. Teachers receive the most cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, then sweethearts. Children ages 6 to 10 exchange more than 650 million Valentine’s cards with teachers, classmates and family members.

- (Again, this is in the United States), the 35-44 year-old group spends the most money on Valentine’s Day, followed by young adults aged 18 to 24. The 55 to 64 year old age group spends the least money for Valentine’s Day.

- (Yes, still in the United States) and hardly surprisingly, men spend nearly TWICE the amount of money celebrating the holiday than women do. (Hee, do you think they’re ‘coerced’ and ‘coaxed’ into the gifting…?)

VALENTINE’s DAY, JAPANESE-STYLE

Yea, how can we possibly let Valentine’s Day go by without mentioning about the Valentine customs in Japan?

Well, the Japanese celebrate Valentine’s Day differently. On the 14th of every February, only the women are supposed to buy chocolates for the men. And it’s not even just for the man they hanker for. It has become a case of the women having to prepare Valentine’s chocolates for all their male bosses, colleagues and/or teachers.

In fact, to call it a traditional affair is not precise enough, it is really more of a social obligation. And in conformist society like Japan, most of the women would bow to pressure and prepare the chocolates. (Yes, it’s usually chocolates.)

There are three types of chocolates that are gifted denoting the intention of the gift.

Giri Choco
This is the type of gift given by women as an obligation to male acquaintances like office colleagues, superiors or seniors and other men who they are casually acquainted with. The term ‘giri’ translate to obligation and ‘choco’ to chocolate. Women usually buy readymade chocolate gifts from stores in large quantities to share with co-workers and friends. See? Even the word itself is telling of the obligatory nature of this gift.

There is also a kind of gift called ‘Cho-giri Choco’, which translates to inexpensive gifts for those colleagues who are not known very well.

Honmei Choco
This is the other kind of chocolate gift given by women especially for men they are serious about or for their boyfriends, lovers or husbands. These gifts are usually handmade rather than bought from a store to express the special love between them.

Tomo Choco
Between girls, there is exchange of chocolate gifts too called ‘Tomo-Choco’, ‘tomo’ here meaning friend.

The concept of ‘giri’ is very Japanese. It is a mutual obligation that the Japanese follow when dealing with other people. If someone does you a favor, then you feel obligated to do something for that person.

What’s notable is that the Japanese women seem to be experiencing chocolate-fatigue (guess the reason is also partly because they ain’t the ones enjoying the chocolates, keke!) The picture above was taken at an Isetan (Tokyo) a day before Valentine’s Day; you can see the women who had turned up in droves to buy chocolates.

According to this ARTICLE, there was an internet survey done a few years and it found out that 70% of working women said they would be happy if there was no tradition of giving ‘obligatory chocolates’ to their boyfriends or colleagues.

Nearly 60% said they felt unhappy as Valentine’s Day approached, citing the cost and time it takes to shop for the gifts, which are finely calculated to express just the right emotions toward a boss, a colleague or a true boyfriend.

And oh, you might wanna know that during this time, the chocolate makers in Japan typically rake in close to 30% of their entire year’s sales.

Valentine’s Day is also celebrated in the same way in Korea, in that only girls need to prepare chocolates and candies for the men or boys. But the Koreans don’t do the obligatory gifting so much.


Heard of WHITE DAY?

White Day happens on 14th March, yes, a month after Valentine’s Day, and this is something unique to Japan (oh, Korea as well, and in recent years, some young women in China and Taiwan also follow this tradition, probably due to all the Kpop craze…)

Anyway, White Day is created (yes, by the Japanese) for the men to reciprocate affection and love, so now it’s the guys’ turn to present gifts to the women.

This time around, gifts are not restricted to chocolates, and are usually more expensive. In fact, there is an expectation for the men to prepare ‘return gifts’ of two to three times the amount/value of the chocolates received. In Japan, this is known as ‘Sanbai Gaeshi’, and it literally translates to ‘thrice in return’.

Some of the popular gifts are white chocolate, cookies, marshmallows, white lingerie and jewelry. However, the men don’t usually reciprocate with gifts for all the women from which he has received chocolates from. He may do the ‘Sanbai Gaeshi’ selectively, or just for the woman he fancies.

Intrigued? You can read more about White Day HERE and HERE.

MORE KOREAN QUIRKS!

While we’re at it, will just share more about how the young Koreans have named the 14th of every month to signify something. It’s cute, it’s cute, it’s cute!

According to KTO WEBSITE, it has become a trend to celebrate one special day (14th of) each month. Though these special days are criticized for being too commercialized, the young people of Korea are taking advantage of the special days to express their love and affection for those around them.

Here are some ‘Special Days’ that are marked with a sense of romance and humor.

Korea’s NEW Special Day
‘The 14th! It’s fun-filled Day!’

The most popular special day in Korea among the young is Valentine’s Day, which falls on the 14th of February each year. Originating from this date, the 14th of every month is designated as the special day for events. Most special days target young couples, but some special days target single people.

One exception to the 14th of every month-rule is the month of November, which has two special days — the 11th and the 14th. On November 11, people usually exchange pepero sticks on this day because these peppero sticks resemble the date (11/11).


14th Jan | Diary Day
To symbolize the beginning of a new year, couples exchange yearly planners in which they mark their plans, anniversaries, birthdays and other important dates.

14th Feb | Valentine’s Day
If a woman wants to confess her love for a man, or express her feelings for him, this is the day to give that special someone some chocolate. The streets of Korea begin to line itself with chocolate-filled lace baskets about a week prior to Valentine’s Day. This day particularly makes a large profit in department stores, hotels, chocolate stores, bakeries, jewelry stores, and doll stores.

14th March | White Day
This special day is in correspondence to Valentine’s Day. On White Day, it is the men’s turn to confess and express his love and affection for that special someone by giving her candies and gifts. The customary gifts on White Day are candy, not chocolate, jewelry, flowers, or dolls. Many men also highlight this day with romantic dinners and events. If one should forget this day and offer nothing to his significant other, he may not hear the end of it for a while.

14th April 14th | Black Day
Black Day is a day for singles. After the two romantic love-filled months, lonely singles surely are not in the best of moods. Therefore, Black Day is designated especially for singles. To console each other for enduring these past two months being single, people who are single will get together on this special day to eat Jjajangmyeon, black noodles.

Many people will also dress in all black, from head to toe including black accessories and black nail polish. Hence, the name Black Day. Their sense of camaraderie will be stronger on this day as they declare “No to couples, and yes to singles!” but there are a few singles that find a suitable mate.

14th May | Rose Day
On this day, couples exchange roses.

14th June | Kiss Day
Kiss everyone you meet on this day.

14th July | Silver Day
On this day, people exchange silver accessories.

14th August | Green Day
On this day, couples seek nature and relax while singles drink Soju to drown their loneliness. (*bb: soju is a distilled beverage native to Korea; tastes like vodka. soju is usually in green bottles.)

14th September | Photo Day
On this day, take a picture together with your significant other in a romantic place and put it in a special place to look at.

14th October | Wine Day
On this day, enjoy wine with someone special.

11th November | Pepero Day
Though not on the 14th, many people celebrate Pepero Day. This day originated ten years ago when a couple of young teenage girls exchanged peperos sticks as a wish to grow tall and slim. Today, peperos are exchanged between couples, friends, family and colleagues, and is becoming a major special occasion like Valentine’s Day.

14th November | Movie Day
On this day, couples go to watch a movie at the cinema

14th December | Hug Day
On this day, couples hug each other in the winter to chase away the cold.


The Koreans’ special holidays are super cute, right? Well, at the very least, it gives people an excuse to go out and have some fun! Meanwhile, you can click HERE and HERE to find out more about these Korean special holidays, especially Pepero Day.

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this fairly random post…


Yours in Pink,
The Shiny Happy Peeps

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