Thursday, December 17, 2009

mochu hagaki

Sometimes Japanese etiquette can be wishy-washy...sometimes I think that my MIL is.

When my FIL passed away last year, we sent out mochu hagaki to our friends in Japan. But that year, we also received mochu hagaki from my MIL and BIL.

We thought it was kinda weird to receive it from them, I mean, we are immediate family, right?

So, this year, when Satoshi's grandma passed, we sent out mochu hagaki to our friends in Japan and we also sent the cards to our immediate family because that was what my MIL and BIL did last year.

Well, this year, my MIL and BIL decided not to send out mochu hagaki to our immediate family and since we sent out mochu hagaki, we made my MIL and BIL look bad because the immediate family received cards from us and not them.

Then, my MIL tells us we should have not acknowledged Satoshi's grandma's passing and just sent out the traditional celebratory New Years cards, like nothing happened. (WT?)

Satoshi, on the other hand, said trying to "cover it up" the death of his grandma with the celebratory cards, would offend his grandma and offend the rest of the immediate family. And, in actuality, we would be "living a lie".

I dunno, I know families have their secrets, and I like my MIL, but I guess maybe we should get "clearance" before we do stuff from now on...sigh.


Anonymous said...

How confusing. Is mochu hagaki a type of card?

Helen said...

I've been dealing with this sort of thing as a sender of nengajo too. One of my student's lost her grandmother this year, but she said it was okay to send a card. I checked with my husband, and he said it was possibly because the grandmother's death was "expected" and she had lived a long, good life. Also, my student didn't live with her grandmother, so can still receive them.

It is SO confusing, isn't it? I think Christmas cards are so much simpler!

K and S said...

Yes, Momiji, if you click on the link for mochu hagaki in my post, I think I explain it pretty well.

Confusing is an understatement Helen! Christmas cards are definitely more simple :)

Take care you two.

Mary and Sean said...

whoa... all kinds of confusing things like that here in Japan. I always think I understand and then someone does it differently...

family stuff is hard to be sure- and in another culture too!

Rowena... said...

ahhhh...Now I understand about the postcard that you mailed me. I suspected as much, but now there is a name for it. Like everyone said, it sounds confusing since proper etiquette is involved, but when it comes to mil's, mine is always confused.

K and S said...

Thanks Mary :)

Ooh my postcard made it to Italy, another one for the postman Rowena :)

Take care you two.

moshi mooch said...

I understand how confusing that must be for you. Chinese customs can get pretty confusing too, with different elders giving different instructions.

KirkK said...

Hi Kat - It can get pretty stressful having to remember how to do everything "correctly".....

K and S said...

Yes Moshi, I think Chinese customs are just as difficult to understand :0

Thanks Kirk, we'll just ask before doing ;)

Take care you two.

Debinhawaii said...

Your card made it to Hawaii too, (Mahalo!) Such a confusing bunch of customs--yikes!

K and S said...

Glad to hear that it made it too Debihawaii :)

Take care!

Jann said...

your intentions were good.........very confusing I will admit!

K and S said...

Confusing indeed Jann :)

Take care.