A gift - the Chinese way

Giving presents in China is almost a ceremony. To the Chinese extremely important is not only the type of gifts, but also their packaging and way of giving. It is worth to learn Chinese Gift savoir-vivre, so that gifted person actually read our intentions. Especially that for Asians gifts is a way to build good personal and business relationships.

Chinese culture is full of symbolism. Chinese people surround themselves with symbols everywhere - at home and at work, so all the amulets and figures related to the Chinese tradition will certainly be a welcome gift. Among them there are images of dragon considered as a symbol of happiness, but also a symbol of home peace. As a gift very good are also figures of frog sitting on a pile of coins, as a gift meaning that we wish wealth to the receiver. The two fish symbolize prosperity. In addition to the symbolic figures of animals, Chinese also include as happy figures, for example, figure of an old man holding a peach, which is interpreted as a wish of longevity. Peach is indeed always a good gift for the Chinese, because besides being a symbol of long life, it is also resembled with youth, spring and freshness. In China, people often give each other food in a form of baskets of fruit, mushrooms, cookies and expensive teas. If we decide to give wine, we need to add a corkscrew as well, because the fact that the gift is practical is very much appreciated in the Middle Kingdom. A gift that will please Chinese is definitely a social game - Chinese chess, mahjong. In China, because of the fact that smoking is a common habit, such a gift will also meet with a positive reception.

Occasional gifts

If one is invited to a Chinese wedding it is worth buying a bouquet of lilies, orchids or peonies, which are considered to be happy flowers or giving flowers of Happy Bamboo. Lilies symbolize marriage for 100 years and bamboo wish success in the workplace. Most welcome gift for the bride and groom are… red envelopes that contain bank-notes. Red symbolizes the wish of happiness. It is worth remembering that the bank-notes placed there should be new, they also cannot be creased. The amount of money should be round and should exceed the amount which the bride and groom paid for us during the wedding reception. In China also future mothers are bestowed. The most popular gift is the fruit of longan and lotus seeds. The combination of their names in Chinese means the wishes of the boy's birth. The infant should be given jewelry or a red envelope, of course with the appropriate content. The latter is also the most popular gift in occasion of celebrating the Chinese New Year.

Blacklist of gifts

On the `black` list of Chinese gifts, that is, the ones which should be avoided when dealing with the Chinese, a watch is at the first places. In Chinese culture it is regarded as a symbol of counting down the days and hours of death and is resembled with the worship of the dead. Towels and tissues also have similar funeral associations, as they are used in funerals. High places on the `black list` of gifts also take sharp instruments (scissors, knives or tools) which, according to feng shui, produce bad energy and lead to breaking ties. In this `sharp` category there are also roses which have thorns. Similar associations, regarding the end of the relationship, have all kinds of mirrors symbolizing the fragility, which are also considered in China for items attracting evil spirits. Bad idea is to give the Chinese umbrellas. This is in fact read as an announcement that probably there will not be any further meeting. Likewise, giving shoes may be read same - as an omen of going away. Giving the Chinese hat in green may suggest that his wife is unfaithful. Welcome gift in China is the food - but apart from pears which are also resembled there with the separation. The negative sense have flowers, already mentioned roses and chrysanthemums.

Symbolism of numbers

In China high importance is also attached to this, in what amount you receive gift. Forbidden digit is 4 - its name in Chinese sounds like `death`. In this case, it should be noted that in Chinese some syllables, although they differ in character record, they are pronounced the same way. This makes, that so many names, although typically well associated to the European has negative connotations for the Chinese. On the other hand, when it comes to cash gifts the amount which is a multiple of 8 is welcome. This number symbolizes prosperity in China. Besides, in the symbolism of the Chinese even digits are regarded as successful. An old Chinese saying states: `Blessings come in pairs`, which is why gifts in the number of two are so much appreciated.

Not only gift is important

 In Chinese culture great importance is attached to the gift wrapping. It should not be wrapped  in a white, black or blue paper. Also gifts in these colors are of course forbidden. Same as white flowers. They resemble the Chinese with misfortune, funerals and mourning the dead. On the other hand, as happy and festive colors the following are considered: gold, yellow, pink and green. A special place in Chinese symbolism is red – it is resembled with the wishes of happiness and prosperity. Gift wrapping in red will definitely gain recognition in the eyes of Chinese. Interestingly according to the Chinese savoir-vivre of gifts, you should not tie a bow on a present.

Business gifts

In business contacts gifts are welcome, but... after completed negotiations or signing of the contract. In the other case it can be seen as bribery. Interestingly, in China you cannot photograph the ceremony of giving presents. You should inform your business partner in advance, that you are willing to give a present, in order not to make him surprised, because the Chinese do not like to be brought in awkward situations. In business contacts most proper will be gifts or accessories related to the company or the country we come from. In China, less risky is handing a gift ... to the company rather than its boss. If you decide to give a present to a private person, however, you have to remember about a gift for his wife or her husband. Pay attention to the cost of the gifts. Here the best is principle of `golden mean` - too cheap gift can hurt, and too expensive can be associated with a bribe. The best gifts in business situations, in addition to the already mentioned company`s accessories, would be pen, photo albums or alcohol. It is important that they were branded things. These types of gifts in China are considered to be synonym of higher status. However, do not give twice the same kind of gift. As a form of gift Chinese also consider an invitation for lunch or dinner. Gift should be handed with both hands and also received with both hands. It is worth remembering that the Chinese custom is to refuse three times accepting the gift. It is then necessary to insist. We must also be prepared for the fact that after receiving the gift the Chinese people will thank in the demonstrative manner. Gifts in China require a rematch, so gifted Chinese bestows us a gift of similar value at the next meeting. If such has not happened we would get written thanking for the gift. You should not unpack a gift to the public, but in private house, unless you are given such permission from the person handing a gift.