Chinese Gift-giving Traditions
June 1, 2005 8:53 AM   Subscribe

Chinese culture question: My friend from work is moving to Canada soon, and I would love to give her a good going-away present... [+]

She is an older woman (late '40s?) from Shanghai who moved to the US a year or two ago. I'm familiar with some Chinese gift-giving customs when it comes to birthdays or New Year's, but what's the protocol with going-away? Is it usual to give presents on this occasion, and if so should I give many presents or just one small one (she deserves many :-)? We've only known each other 4 months, but we are close at work, look forward to seeing each other every day. She has brought me food that she cooked on several occasions, and I reciprocate... She is also about to give me a beautiful green dress that doesn't fit her anymore.

Please, any information on Shanghai/Chinese gift traditions and ideas for good gifts would be much appreciated...
posted by ibeji to Society & Culture (2 answers total)
Whatever you do, don't give a clock or a watch as a gift as it symbolizes death ("your time is up.")
posted by randomstriker at 9:22 AM on June 1, 2005

I wouldn't worry about it, who doesn't like getting presents? Go ahead and do whatever you would have done normally without the cultural consideration.
posted by Stan Chin at 2:40 PM on June 1, 2005

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