Tweet of the Week #79: Golden Week 2020 Downgraded to Gaman Week

Source: Gaijin Pot

In workaholic Japan, Golden Week is a highly anticipated string of holidays that everyone awaits with giddy excitement. Combined with the weekend, four simultaneous national holidays come together to make Japan’s busiest vacation season where we can all finally breathe and relax. Traffic jams, crowded airports, and endless lines for every tourist site are usually on the program.

From platinum week to… faded gold

In 2019, we got an upgraded platinum week with extra days off thanks to the abdication of Japan’s former emperor and subsequent start of a new era in the Japanese calendar—Reiwa. We already knew 2020’s Golden Week wouldn’t be as long as last year’s, but then COVID-19 came along and slapped us all down to… less than gold.

With the authorities calling for people to stay home to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, most folks sadly canceled their long-awaited vacay. Flight and train reservations nosedived and sightseeing spots and ryokans have been left deserted.

Since people are holding back instead of venturing out, Golden Week or GW, is now being referred to as Gaman Week.

おはようございます。良い天気ですね。我慢ウイークです。自宅で過ごしましょう。そんな体裁の良い事なんかしたくないね。でもしないとあぶないからね。賢くたち向かって少しでも自分に良い事しよ。今日もがんばだ!ホイホイ!宜しくなのだ!😊🌈👍🐧❤😆 pic.twitter.com/UuzLH13KBY

— むらペンじろう (@penjiro1) April 30, 2020

おはようございます。良(よ)い天気(てんき)ですね。我慢(がまん)ウイークです。自宅(じたく)で過(す)ごしましょう。そんな体裁(ていさい)の良い事(こと)なんかしたくないね。でもしないとあぶないからね。賢(かしこ)くたち向(む)かって少(すこ)しでも自分(じぶん)に良い事しよ。今日(きょう)もがんばだ!ホイホイ!宜(よろ)しくなのだ!

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Good morning. The weather is nice today. It’s Gaman Week. Let’s spend time at home. You don’t really want to do such a thing, right? But if you don’t do it, it’s dangerous. Be wise and do something good for yourself. Good luck today! Shoo shoo! Thanks!

If you’re new to Japan, gaman is an essential life skill you should definitely master to blend into Japanese society. The term comes from Japanese Zen Buddhism and means “enduring the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity.”

In other words, swallow the pill to protect the (peace/harmony) with other folks. Your colleague chews on his pencil? Gaman. Nihongo jouzu-ed …continue reading