Gift giving in China can be a tricky business, these helpful tips will help you give a meaningful gift rather than one that symbolizes negativity.

The ins and outs of gift giving in China
The ins and outs of gift giving in China

Gift giving in China is a serious ritual full of ancient traditional rules and there are certain gifts to avoid according to www.giftsalacarte.com.  In Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), to give is 送; clock is 钟 the words put together sounds like 送终 which means tending to a wake and funeral. Thus it is considered bad luck because this sound is directly linked to death and bad luck. 

Watches and bells are also included in this category. If you've seen Kung Fu Hustle, you might recall the scene where a huge bell is given as a present. Handkerchiefs are also ill advised as well and nothing should ever be given in 4’s because this number is considered unlucky.

In China, giving the gift of death can be mistake that is far to easy to make. The Chinese culture puts more value in symbolism and the presentation of a gift rather than the actual gift itself according to www.cloud9living.com. There are colors and objects that represent a variety of messages and if someone isn’t familiar with the gift giving language, it is very possible to give a gift with an unintended negative message and maybe even the wish of death.

A gift wrapped in black, white, gray or blue paper isn’t pleasantly welcomed as these are considered mourning colors. Opt for red gift wrap instead as this symbolizes luck. Pink and yellow are happy, prosperous colors and also good choices.

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