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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). The clock symbolizes time is passing by or time is running out. If a Chinese gives you a 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 an umbrella as a gift in China very bad omen because 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 ghosts in Asia. So it’s believed that giving a mirror as a 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.


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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