A furoshiki is a piece of cloth, often brightly coloured, which the Japanese use to wrap gifts. In Japan, as in many cultures, it is traditional to bring a gift when you visit someone.
Once your host receives the gift, he or she removes the furoshiki and returns it to you for future use. The giving of a present is a ritual of exchange with the formal handing over of a gift balanced by the receiver’s returning of the wrapping.
It made me think of the packaging and wrapping we throw away after a present is opened the made me aware of the genius and simplicity of the furoshiki.
Not only can the packaging be reused but the giver and receiver both recognise that their friendship is not only contained between them but it is part of a longer chain of givers and receivers who have, over time, been handed the furoshiki and returned it.
I wonder if there could be an Irish equivalent?