Making A Difference One Purchase At A Time

At Global Gifts, your purchase supports fair wages, gender equity and safe working conditions of artisans from 40 countries around the world.

From Our Blog

Fun Facts for the Global Gifter: China

Fun Facts for the Global Gifter: China

We're working our way around the globe!
In our previous Friday blogs about cross-cultural gifting, we established why finding a gift for your friends from other lands can be a more complex task than it seems on the surface. If you're from the US, you will find Chinese gifting protocols fascinating and quite different from our own...

Personal Gifts:
- Occasions that are (traditionally) appropriate for gift giving are Chinese New Year, weddings, and births. However, in recent years it has become more common for the Chinese to celebrate Christmas as a gift-giving holiday.
At Chinese New Year, money may be given in a red envelope. The gift must be an even amount, using an even number of new bills. The gift is not opened until Chinese New Year is over, or bad luck will follow.
- It is Chinese custom to refuse a gift three times before it is accepted - AND - is customary for the giver to continue to insist that the recipient should accept the gift. If YOU are the recipient of a gift, you should also refuse the gift three times before accepting it.
- Gifts are usually not opened in front of the gift giver.
- Gifts should be handed to the recipient with both hands.

- Red is considered a lucky color in China. Plain red wrapping paper is considered one of the few safe choices. Gold, silver and pink are also suitable wrapping paper colors. 
- Eight is considered a lucky number, so giving gifts in groups of eight is said to bring luck to the recipient.
- 88 and 168 are also lucky numbers. These are good amounts for money gifts.

- Gifts and wrapping paper in the following colors: white, blue or black
- Giving gifts in groups of four. (Four is considered to be an unlucky number.)
- Giving gifts of knives, scissors or other sharp objects. These can be seen as a symbol of the severing of your relationship.
- Extravagant or luxury gifts. These are reserved for romantic relationships.
- Giving or wearing a Green Hat. (If a man wears a green hat it indicates his wife has been unfaithful to him.)
- Clocks, straw sandals, storks or cranes, handkerchiefs, Chrysanthemums. These are all symbols associated with death.

Business Gift Giving:
Business gift giving traditions have fluctuated over the years.Gift giving used to be standard business protocol. Then, for a period of time, the sentiment shifted to viewing gift giving between organizations or colleagues as a form bribery. Recently, however, the Chinese have adopted a more relaxed attitude in giving and accepting business gifts. Always keep in mind that regional differences persist.

- Do some indirect research ahead of time to see if business gifts are considered acceptable for that region, and company.
- Be prepared that your gift may not be accepted due to business practices, though, keep in mind that it is the custom in China to decline a gift up to three times before accepting it.
- Luxury items are becoming a popular choice for business gifts in China. (Extra points for known luxury brands that are difficult to find in China.) The Chinese are drawn to symbolism and hard-to-find, high-end brands such as Gucci, Dior, and Louis Vuitton are well regarded.
- Repeating the same gift communicates a lack of thoughtfulness. Keep a detailed list of the gifts that you have presented and the names of recipients. 
- It is customary to send a letter of thanks after receiving a gift.
 -Unless it's a symbolic event, don't photograph the moment of giving a gift.
- If negotiations are involved, gifts should be presented once they are finished.
- The most acceptable gift is a banquet.

There are lots of other #funfacts to learn as our blog treks around the globe. 
Join us here next Friday as we discuss gift giving in Costa Rica!

We also welcome YOUR gift giving experiences in the blog comments, below...
Jul 22, 2016

Summer Bags, Large and Small

Summer Bags, Large and Small

Global Gifts has colorful summer bags to fit all your necessities!


The Coin Arpillera Garden purse is made using 100% cotton and is a bright way to store coins and small personal items. This purse is created by Jupa, an artisan youth group that Bridge of Hope works with. Bridge of Hope is an organization helping artisans from the most impoverished areas of Peru have opportunity for development. Jupa was established by 15 adolescents in the 1980s during the time of Peruvian terrorism. Arpilleras are a unique South American detailed form of applique used in handicrafts such as belts, coin purses, hair accessories, and wall hangings.


The cross body bag above has handy pockets for all your essentials and is crafted by VillageWorks Cambodia. VillageWorks works with 63 artisans, and about 80% of the artisans suffer from the effects of childhood polio. VillageWorks trains women how to cut and sew hand-printed silk-screened fabrics to make bags and wallets.


The Metallic Pineapple Tote features double layered straps made of upcycled saris. The block printed pattern on the tote is an art form native to Rajasthan, India. Each color is given its own block in this process and intricate designs can take days to create in block printing. Fabric is prepped with herbs to allow it to absorb the natural dyes. Artisans press the carved wood block with wet dye onto the fabric to create the pattern. The printed fabric is washed or boiled in the end for the final color to come to surface. The block print artisans live in scattered rural villages that are impoverished and lack infrastructure.

Which summer bag will you use?

Photo Credit: Partners for Just Trade, Matr Boomie, Bridge of Hope

Check out more ideas on Bloomington's Pinterest page:

Jul 18, 2016

On Our Instagram