In Japan, there is a cultural practice of giving omiyage or gifts. This is done after taking a trip somewhere. It’s usually in the form of individually wrapped food. Friends, family, workmates, and schoolmates, there is an unsaid obligation to give them a little something back from your trip. I realized omiyage giving is quite a big deal here. Most omiyage are actually pre-packed to make them easier to give out. Next time you’re in Japan, try noticing how a lot of tiny sweets are neatly and individually packaged into a pretty box. It is believed that it fosters good will among people. So it’s a give-and-take situation where you bond through mutual gift-giving, and I think that’s nice.
In the Philippines, there’s a concept called pasalubong, which is almost exactly like omiyage, except that you don’t feel obligated to give to acquaintances, however, the case of close relatives is another matter. Whereas in omiyage just one piece if enough, for Filipinos (OFWs especially) we like to spoil our relatives and send a huge cardboard box filled with foreign goods.
So, ever since I can remember, the concept of giving lots of gifts to people after a trip was never foreign to me, but only recently did I feel actual excitement and joy about it. It’s not that I didn’t want to give people anything, but now I get genuinely excited about it.
In Japan, omiyage are usually small and pre-packaged already. In the Philippines, we don’t usually bother wrapping pasalubong because people are too excited to open them. Sometimes, foreign goods like canned goods, shoes, clothing, soap and other hygiene items are sent in huge boxes unpackaged so that the recipient family can just pick whatever they want from the box. It also wastes less wrapping paper too!
Combining Omiyage/Pasalubong and Crafts
I wanted to combine both cultures after being exposed to both of them. I want to give people the chance to choose (in a sense) while still presenting it in a unique and cute way. That’s why after my trip to Korea where I kind of.. went crazy in Myeongdong… I tried to wrap my omiyage/pasalubong/gifts to my small group girls in a fun way. After some thinking, I figured the Tony Moly Petite Bunny Gloss Bars could be packaged perfectly if I put little origami Korean Hanbok as “clothes” for the bunnies.
DISCLAIMER: TonyMoly did not sponsor us in any way and I bought these gloss bars with my own money.
The gloss bars are long and slender, and can stand on their own! After much tinkering and a little modifying from origami hanbok instructions, here they are. Aren’t they cute? It’s like they have their own traditional Korean bunny girl group. I used 16x16cm origami paper for the solid colors and I had some fancy washi paper from the time I went to Kamakura last October 2016. These were really fun to make and you can even add extra details and experiment with the color choices.
What do you think? Do you think these are cute or are just too bothersome to make?
Light and Love (and sunshine and Korean face masks),