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Gift giving around the world

The video discusses the complexities of gifting in different cultures worldwide.

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While gifting has been a part of human civilization since ancient times, it is far from being straightforward. Various cultures have distinct traditions, rules, and superstitions surrounding gift-giving. Some gifts might inadvertently convey negative meanings or be seen as reminders of death, while others are considered appropriate symbols of respect and bonding between families, friends, and business associates.

For instance, gifting an umbrella in China could lead to the end of a friendship due to a linguistic association with breaking up. Sharp objects are best avoided as gifts in several regions, as they can imply a desire to cut off ties with the recipient. In Italy, brooches may evoke tears as they are linked to death. In Japan, a potted plant is considered an inappropriate gift for the sick, as it is believed to encourage illness. Accepting gifts also comes with its own set of customs, such as using the right hand in certain Middle Eastern and Indian cultures.

In conclusion, the act of giving gifts holds deep cultural significance, and understanding the cultural context is vital to avoid unintentional offense or misunderstandings.

Source: Great Big Story

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