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9 Things You Should Not Give As Presents According to Chinese Superstitions

9 Things You Should Not Give As Presents According to Chinese Superstitions

Gift giving is universal but not every culture has the same tradition. Gift symbolism and mannerism is a big part of Chinese culture. Here is a list of items you should never give to a Chinese as gift.

1. Clock/Table Clock-

Giving an object that keeps/measures time is considered an abomination in Chinese culture. In mandarin “giving a clock as gift/present’ is translated as 送钟 (sòng zhōng), which sounds just like the words for being at a funeral ritual, 送终 (sòng zhōng). Clock symbolizes time is passing by or time is running out. If a Chinese gives you clock as a gift, better look for the nearest airport and leave the country. Do not give Clocks as a gift in China.

2. Umbrella

Giving umbrella as gift in China very bad omen because the Chinese translation sounds like “fall apart or lose”. The word for an umbrella in Mandarin, 伞 (sǎn), sounds just like the word for loose or fall apart, 散 (sǎn), thus representing that the relationship with the recipient has ended.

3. Mirrors

Mirrors are thought to attract ghost in Asia. So it’s believed that giving a mirror as gift cause the recipients to change for the worse.

4. The Number 4

It will interest you to know that the fourth floor does not exist in almost all buildings in China.
The Chinese pronunciation of the number 4 is 四 (sì), similar to the word for death 死(sǐ), so this number is considered unlucky.

5. Handkerchief- A symbol of goodbye forever

Generally, people give handkerchief at the end of a funeral. So giving a Chinese handkerchief as a gift insinuates you’re saying goodbye forever.

6. Knives

Any objects that cut things into two should be avoided as a gift. It symbolizes hatred and break up or separation in Chinese Culture.

7. Green Hats

Giving green hats as a gift is a bad idea in China because it implies that the wearer’s partner is unfaithful to them.

8. Pears- Parting

Fruits as a gift are wonderful but giving pears is a taboo. This is because of the Chinese word for ‘pears’
(梨 lí /lee/) sounds the same as the word for leaving or ‘parting’ (离 lí). It means separation.

9. Avoid White or Black Objects as a gift.

White and Black colors are mostly used in funerals. So avoid them.

It’s worthy of note to say that ‘RED’ is a lucky color in China. Chinese love red colors.
A gift in red wrapping paper is the lucky gift.

About the Author

1 Year in Singapore, 2 Years in Malaysia, 2 Years in Thailand. 1 Year in India, 1 Year in Bangladesh, 2 Years in Nepal, 10 Years in China, 1 Year in Laos, 1 Year in Phil, 1 Year in Hongkong, 1 and Half Year in USA, Canada, UK etc. A Strategic Business Analyst: Import and Export Investment

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