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International News

A gift? Avoid This!

작성자HANBAT HERALD  조회수1,724 등록일2022-01-14

A gift? Avoid This!


By Lee Jun-hyeong Cub Reporter, Senior of Chemical and Biological Engineering

   “I want to buy you shoes, but I’m always worried that you will leave.” -SG Wannabe-Sunflower - As you can see in the lyrics of the song, you may have heard at least once, that if you present shoes to your lover, they will run away. In Korea, giving shoes as a gift to your lover is a kind of taboo. There are cases where people think that gifts may lead to big mistakes or relationships may go wrong as a result. In that case, what kind of gifts are taboo in other countries?

① USA
Lilies: They are used at funerals, and are not given as gifts because they represent death. This is the same in the UK and Canada.
Do you want a tip?
They like practical gifts, and it is polite to immediately check the gifts when you receive them.

② China
Turtles: In Chinese, the pronunciation of the word for ‘turtle’ is similar to that of ‘ghost’, so it’s better not to give presents that are related to turtles.
Bouquet: Flowers mean a short life, and they are usually taken to funerals.
Handkerchief: This is related to sadness, breakup and death, so avoid it as a gift.
Do you want a tip?
I recommend traditional alcohol because they love drinking alcohol.
Congratulatory money or gifts must be paid in even numbers, and condolatory money must be paid in odd numbers.
They like red, but they do not like white, black or blue colors because that means unhappiness.

③ Japan
Knife: It represents suicide and relationship disconnections. Handkerchiefs also mean relationship disconnections.
White color means death. Thus, do not give white  things, or use white wrapping paper.
Do you want a tip?
They prefer kimchi, seaweed, and ceramics.
Do not use shiny packaging and ribbons. 

④ France
Red rose: This means proposing. Therefore they only exchange it with their lovers.
Perfume and wine: French people have a clear personal preference, so we do not recommend perfume gifts. Gifting wine is not recommended because it is similar to giving soju in Korea.
Carnations: They are used for funerals, so do not give them as a gift.
Do you want a tip?
They drink a lot of tea, so we  recommend tea gifts.
Also, they eat jam on bread every morning, so I recommend jam gifts.

 

⑤ Germany
White, black, and brown wrappers and ribbons are considered ominous colors, so it is better to avoid them.
The number, 13: This number is considered ominous in Germany.
Do you want a tip?
In Germany, it is polite to take off the wrapper of the bouquet when giving flowers, and unlike when giving them to Chinese people, it is customary for Germans to give them in odd numbers.

⑥ Hungary
Red rose: There could be a misunderstanding because it means love feelings.
Wine: Wine gifts are not recommended, because they have strong pride in the wine they produce.
Do you want a tip?
Unlike Germany, they must wrap a flower gift.

⑦ Poland
It is good to give flowers as a gift because they like them, but you must not give them in even numbers.
Do you want a tip?
Practical and easy gifts, such as lighters and writing utensils, are recommended.

⑧ Argentina
Wine: It is rich in wine and also a major producer of leather, so it is recommended to avoid wine and leather gifts.
Do you want a tip?
Tariffs on imported alcohol are quite high, so Scotch whiskey or French champagne are recommended.

⑨ Brazil
Knife: It means the end of a relationship, like Japan and Mexico.
Black and purple gifts: They think that black and purple are ominous colors.
Do you want a tip?
We recommend giving small electronic devices.

  We have studied many items that are considered to be rude if they are given as gifts in different countries. There are some parts that you might understand, and some parts that you will think are very unusual. However, they are all related to each different country’s culture and history, so we need to have an attitude to respect and follow those ideas. So, if you have a chance to give a present to your foreign friends, you can consider the information in this article, and make sure you can give them a present that they will appreciate, and not one that will be considered offensive in their culture.