Gift Giving Can Be Tricky!
We all want to give the perfect gift -- the one that speaks to a positive regard and delights the receiver. That's difficult enough, even when we know the recipient very well, right?
When approaching cross-cultural gift giving, however, questions like, "What color does she like?" take on a far more complex nature, because in some parts of the world, color can hold a specific meaning... and so can the container... and the manner in which the gift is given.
Let Us Help You Avoid Any Faux Pas...
Want to avoid being the perpetrator of an international incident? Let us help! Subscribe to our Friday "Global Gifting" blog for weekly tips about cross-cultural gift giving. For the next few weeks, we'll provide quick tips for enhancing your protocol skills in all quarters of the world -- including right here in the US!
But First, Awareness:
Not only do gifting customs vary from culture to culture, but the importance placed on exchanging gifts, and the protocol associated with giving, vary widely. Indeed, certain items might be viewed as thoughtful or generous gestures, business promotions, bribery, payment for special favors, declarations of love, or even declarations of hostility!
With such a mine field of potential gifting gaffes set before you, you can imagine how important it is to have a knowledge of personal gifting customs across cultures -- and that importance only escalates in matters of business!
Beyond picking the right item, it's also important to know the etiquette, precedence, and procedure that each culture considers important. Some cultures place more importance on formal codes of behavior than others.
Let's give you one example:
In Japan, a high level of importance is assigned to the ritual nature of gift giving, including:
- how a gift is presented and received
- what is said at the presentation
- proper wrapping and color
- the number of items in a gift
- knowing when to open a gift, and last but not least...
- knowing how to reciprocate.
That's just for one country. There are lots of other #funfacts to learn as our blog treks around the globe, so... let's meet here in the Global Gifts blog, every Friday, for some practical tips and tricks that will make you look like a protocol professional. We also welcome YOUR gift giving experiences in the blog comments, below.
Next Friday: Gift Giving in Argentina!