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Say It Right Series

What are proper gifts for Chinese?

Posted by bluehorizon June 11, 2007 in the Group General Discussion.

Everyone has had the experience of giving a gift. A proper gift can promote communication and express good wishes, and sometimes it may also bring about unexpected positive results. But, an improper gift may not only fail to convey good wishes, but may even result in embarrassment or misunderstanding. The art of gift-giving calls for more attention, especially in contacts with friends from different countries.

大家都有过送礼物的经历,礼物要是送得合适,不仅能沟通感情,表达心意,有时候还能收到意想不到的好效果。可要是送得不合适,不但心意表达不了,搞不好还会闹笑话、闹误会,尤其是跟不同国家的朋友交往,更得讲究送礼的艺术。

Then, what is the proper way to give gifts to the Chinese?Pay attention to what you should say when giving a gift. In China, people may sometimes say modestly such expressions as “yidiɑn’er xinyi”, or “yidian’er xiaoyisi eryi” (a token of good regard) when giving the gift.Choose different gifts for different people.The best gifts for teachers and older friends are those with commemoratory meaning. For the old people, you’d better choose something very practical. As for the children, the best gifts will be something that can develop their intelligence resources.Understand the customs and taboos.Sometimes in the presence of the gift-giver the Chinese do not open the gift immediately; they wait until gift-giver leaves. People behave this way to show their respect for the gift-giver; it does not mean that they do not like the gift.There is a saying in China: Good things come in pairs. Therefore, on happy occasions such as the Spring Festival and weddings, it is advisable to send gifts in even numbers.In China the color white sometimes symbolizes grief. Black sometimes is ominous as well; the color red represents happiness and good fortune.

A clock is not a proper gift for the elderly because “song zhong”(送钟 giving a clock as a gift ) has the same pronunciation as “song zhong”(送终 taking care of a dying old person and burying him ) and has something to do with death, and hence it is also inauspicious.

在给中国人送礼时,怎样才合适呢?注意送礼物时应该说的话在中国,有时候送礼物的人会谦虚地说一点儿心意”“一点儿小意思等等。不同对象选择不同礼品对师长,礼物最好有纪念意义;对老人,礼物最好是实用性强的;给孩子的礼物,能启发智力的最好。了解风俗禁忌有时候中国人在收到礼物后不会当面打开包装,而是等到送礼物的人离开之后再打开看,这样做是为了表示对送礼物人的尊重,并不是对礼物不喜欢。中国有好事成双的说法,因此,过年、结婚这样喜庆的时候,送礼物最好是送双数。在中国,白色有时候代表悲伤;黑色有时候也是不吉利的;而红色代表着喜庆吉祥。

此外,钟表不适合给老人作礼物,因为送钟送终同音,送终跟死亡也有关系,也是不吉利的.

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