Gift ideas for a Chinese family?
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Jul 27, 2012 4:07 AM Last Post By: bai3feng1
Jun 15, 2012 7:12 AM
Gift ideas for a Chinese family?I am a geography teacher that has lived in Shanghai, China for about 10 months. Recently, a student of mine invited me to stay with her and her family for 2 days in August just before the start of the new school year. I feel quite honored that they are driving a couple of hours into Shanghai to pick me up and then show me around their town and surrounding area for 2 days. From what I gather, I will probably spend most of my time with my student and her godfather and probably meet with her mother and father at some point (perhaps they will be busy working). My question......in this situation, is it appropriate for me to bring a gift of some kind for the family or godfather? If so, any suggestions? In a couple of days I will be traveling for 8 weeks through SE Asia (Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia & Myanmar) so if I buy a gift, it will have to be from one of those countries as I will be visiting them the day after I return from that trip? Thanks!
Jun 15, 2012 7:57 AM
1You must buy some gifts, ideally a small one for each member of the host family. The source of the gift is not that important. (I bought some butter shortcake and jar of honey from Marks and Spencer.) On top of that, you can add a large package of snack for all to share, such as a pound or two of roasted chestnuts, or some seasonal fruits, just whatever would be ‘in’ at your time of visit.
Jun 15, 2012 8:07 AM
2It really should be something with a connection to your home country or perhaps your teaching speciality. One of those ugly carved wooden figurines from SE Asia wouldn't do. I don't think you have to hand out gifts to everyone, though. Cost isn't important. You're the teacher -- a highly regarded figure in Chinese culture -- so nobody will expect you to play Santa Claus, and to do so wouldn't be quite right.
Remember that traditionally Chinese don't open gifts till you're gone, so don't be offended if your hosts take the traditional route.
Jun 15, 2012 8:29 AM
3I agree, its is the custom of the Chinese to give a small token to their host, so it can be anything really, from nice tea to candy, it is the gesture that will be appreciated. On that note, good luck trying to pay for anything while you are there, you might have to get into a wrestling match with papa over a dinner tab...so if you plan to do this, arrange with waiter prior to bill arriving, otherwise all hell will break lose...hehe
I dont know if I would bring something from SE Asia, most the Chinese do not revere these countries, and may not have any affection for their culture. Unless something you think maybe your student would adore or appreciate. Anything related to good luck and a healthy life is always a welcome gift.
Jun 16, 2012 12:14 AM
Jun 16, 2012 7:25 AM
Jul 27, 2012 3:44 AM
Jul 27, 2012 4:07 AM
7Fruit may be prohibited at customs when entering China. They are strickt about agricultural products. Dried fruit, however, might be OK. Not sure.
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Liquor for the men, perfume for the ladies, candy for the kids.
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