[Chinese culture] Gift giving-Mistakes not to make

Do you know that there’s a special Chinese taboo about gifts in our culture! Not all gifts will be happily received!!
Those are common sense in Chinese culture and applies to every household, mistakes you will not want to make
👇🏻 Here we go, let’s see those things through our perspective

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Don’t give



chinese gift taboo

Since mother’s day has just passed, I’ll begin with flower. Never give chrysanthemum to anyone as a present. Not your friend, not your lover, not your relatives!! This is the flower we use on funerals…so…


White envelope

chinese culture tabooIn any circumstances, if you really need to give someone something with an envelope, avoid white envelopes especially the 👆🏻 form.
When somebody passes away in your family, people who come to visit will have to give the family “白包 white envelope” with money in it and the form is just like👆🏻 (please, if you ever meet this situation, never give them money with an envelope of another color😅)

You might have the ❓, why money? Anyways, the family which receives White envelope usually returns the money using Red envelope.

You can read more about White Envelope culture here


Watch or Clock

chinese gift culture

Gift (verb) in Chinese is 送 Sòng
Clock in Chinese is 鐘=Zhōng
Gifting a clock =送鐘(Sòng Zhōng) has the exact same pronunciation as paying Last respect to your parents = 送終 (Sòngzhōng)…
(lol, until here I felt it myself..how depressing is our culture😂)

In Chinese culture, many things are prohibited or welcomed because of the way it is pronounced is similar to another thing.
As the above example👆🏻, or another example, we buy a lot of orange during Chinese New year.
Orange=橘 Jú    Fortunate=吉
Their pronunciation is not exactly the same but very similar, so we love it for Chinese New Year.

More about what we do on Chinese New Year



chinese culture about gifts

The reason is the same as above👆🏻: Pronunciation
Umbrella =傘 Sǎn
Break up/ split =散 Sàn
They sound almost the same but just with a different tone.



chinese taboo gift

There are 2 sayings for this.

👆🏻 Shoe =鞋 Xié
Evil = 邪 Xié
Both pronunciations are exactly the same

✌🏻We think that if you give someone shoes as a present, they will walk away from you.
(We believe more in this one than the 👆🏻 I think)

Luckily! There is a way to Dissolve~
The Recipient can give the Giver 1 cent or 10 cents (anyway, a coin with the smallest value), which is a bit like “buying” this gift.

This happens many times in my case with shoes or umbrella, we just give each other coin in return.!

Knife, scissor or sth Sharp

chinese culture and traditions about gift

We think that receiving a sharp item as a gift is like cutting the relationship..so better not

More about Asian culture here

If you want to dig deeper, of course, there are more. Above are the most common ones to avoid.
Hope you enjoy this post🤗 And feel free to ask me questions

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