Socializing happens during every second of every day in every place in the world. Someone is always talking or communicating with another and that is just the way life is. There are several types of socializing and each type serves a different purpose. For example, a date is meant to be for two people who wish to get to know each other better on a more intimate level while a meeting is meant to be for a group of people who need to discuss common issues or subjects. The different places in the world may have certain terms they use to refer to a type of socializing and in Japan, there is a type of socializing called Gokon or Goukon which is happening more frequently these days.
The Meaning and Definition of the Goukon That Happens All Over Japan Like In Nagasaki
Much like most term in the Japanese language, if broken down, you can easily understand the meaning of the word. In this case, the Japanese words that make up the term gokon are the words “konpa” and “godo”. “Konpa” means company while “godo” means a combination or together. It was originally just “Konpa” when it first came to be in the Meiji Period but somewhere along the line, specifically in the 1970’s, the get-together known as “konpa” was coined into the “gokon” term that is now being used by the people of today.
This practice is known as gokon happens in Japan but it certainly also exists in different countries. In the USA, it is referred to as group dating while in the UK it is called a “Crewdate”. In any case, this is when two groups of the opposite sex mingle with one another. It can happen casually or as a planned get-together but usually, it is the latter because it is initiated when a single guy and a single girl agree to bring 3 to 4 single and eligible friends to meet and get to know each other over a couple of drinks and laughs. To put it simply, it is a blind group date.
The participants of this soiree must be single because the intention of this is to find a partner for the night or a partner for life. Of course, friends can be made here as well but it would be very useful to you to keep in mind that all the people going to this get-together are openly looking for a love interest. With this in mind, you should come with your best foot forward, even if your true intention for coming is just to talk and meet new people.
Given that the activities that people intend to do in the gokon can be quite noisy, it is usually held in a place with great food, great drinks, and great music to accompany the interesting conversations that will most probably arise during the gokon. In other words, the ideal location for such a thing would be a restaurant or an izakaya. For those who do not know what an izakaya is, it is a Japanese pub that is considered informal due to its casualness. It’s the kind of place people go to after work to kick back and have a nice cold beer or to replenish themselves with a hot gohan-filled meal after a long day of work. That kind of vibe in a drinking place can be very soothing and that is exactly the environment you want to be in when meeting new people for the first time.
The Flow of a Goukon and Ideas for the Games You Can Play
Before anything else, you should know that the gokon may also happen under the arrangement of a married couple. When this is how the gokon is planned, the married couple usually plays as the kanji or the organizer of the event. This can be very helpful because having an organizer will make it easier to pick and join into conversations that everyone can relate to. Now that is all cleared up, you should learn about the overall flow of the gokon. There isn’t a rulebook that you have to follow with these types of things but there are certain things that you must remember to do.
Self-introduction can happen anytime between the time you meet up until the time you do your first kampai or cheers. Once the first "cheers" is done, you should by then at least know the names of the people you are going to spend the evening with. You all drink together and once everyone is done with their first drink, they all move onto the second round of drinks. This continues until you all get drunk with one another. Note that getting drunk is also a goal for these types of get-togethers because, in the Japanese culture, getting drunk shows the true character of a person. With this in mind, the belief is that you get to know the real person once they are intoxicated because they are unable to filter their thoughts and words hence showing you and the rest what they truly feel and think about something. This is done in business or work meetings and it makes all the more sense to have it in a gokon because the relationship you are looking to find in this thing is an intimate one so knowing their true color is essential to finding out if you really click together or not.
The drinks definitely help loosen up the people but another important part of the gokon are the games or the konpa games, as they refer to it. The drinking session of friends and families in different cultures play games to break the ice even more between the people involved. These games make it easier to bond with one another because it gives the people something common to enjoy and talk about. In addition to the common ground it proves, it is also a fun and interesting way to get certain messages across to make your time with the group a bit more enticing. These drinking games work the same way when used in the gokon and there are some classic games you can try if you ever find yourself needing it.
If you find out that people in the group like to sing, you can suggest playing a game wherein you hum or whistle the tune of a song from a certain genre and the others are to guess what song it is. This is a great way to get the crowd involved because it includes self-humiliation at sometimes. This self-humiliation from the humming or wrong guesses can make you less aware of yourself so that you can be more natural.
Another great game to play if you want to get a feel of who likes who is the famous hand game. In this game, the girls and the boys take turns to cover their eyes as they leave out one hand in front of them. Once a certain gender has covered their eyes, the opposite genders are to squeeze the hand of those they find attractive in the group. Despite the fact that they will not know who likes them since their eyes were covered, knowing that someone does should be enough of a confidence boost for you to go for what you what at the end of the night. There are several other games you can play and there are no limits to how many games or what games you guys play as long as everybody is on board so maximize this fun tool to make your gokon a really fun and unforgettable one.
These gokons do not require anyone to go home with anyone else against their will. This should be clear to all because there are some gokons are said to give off the vibe that the women are to certainly go home with a man from there as well. This notion may scare the ladies into joining your planned gokon so if you find yourself as the host, make sure to never let this be the case for the get-together you are handling. It should be about meeting people, talking about life, making relationships, and maybe finding love along the way.
Things to Remember to Ensure a Great Goukon Experience
Social events excruciating for some people, especially those who consider themselves socially awkward. If you are an awkward person and you know it, it doesn’t matter if the event is in the month of January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, or December because a social event will always be a hassle in your eyes. Though, at some point, you must realize that it is also something you can never get away from because it is a part of life and with that said, the best that you can do is come prepared with your own mental notes of do’s and don’ts.
The most basic don’t for a gokon is to go there if you are in a serious relationship that is working out for you. This is because it would waste the time of the others due to the fact that they are there to find what you already have. If ever you get too anxious, just remember that they too will be experiencing the same feelings and emotions you will so just try to relate and find common ground from that rather than freak out and be awkward for the rest of the night. That type of behavior doesn’t help create a good atmosphere to meet people so you have to be more aware of the vibe you give off because it doesn’t only affect you but also the people around you.
Since the point of this thing is to meet people, remember to not stay on your phone. The world is a modern place now and everyone is connected to another in one way or another but if you are face to face with people, prioritizing them over those in your phone will mean a lot to them, especially if you truly are interested in them and in getting to know them. You also aren’t required to dress to impress in these things but if you want to find a man or a woman, you might as well look for best for it.
It is always appealing to people when they feel considered so if you notice that the conversation you guys are having is excluding some of the people in the group, do not hesitate to be their hero and try to find out what topics work for them too. The world is a big place so there is surely something you all have in common that you can talk about together. If you are able to do these things, you should experience a smooth and laughter-filled night with your new friends and maybe even your new lover.
Considering all the things said here, you basically just have to be your best self to make this night a fun one. No one likes hanging out with a corny and obnoxious guy or girl so don’t be that person. The gokon is meant to be fun and useful for the people partaking in it and you should keep this goal in mind when in such an event. You should also know that the gokon, although similar to the different social drinking events in different places in the world, is something worth experiencing especially if you already find yourself in Japan because of your travels. You get to meet new friends and be a part of an experience that you can share and laugh about in the years to come, whether it be a good experience or a horrible one.