Fun Facts for the Global Gifter: Hong Kong

Fun Facts for the Global Gifter: Hong Kong

We're working our way around the globe!
In our previous Friday blogs about cross-cultural gifting, we've established why finding a gift for your friends from other lands can be a more complex task than it seems on the surface. That's especially the case in a place like Hong Kong where customs differ from those generally held in the U.S. It's wise to understand certain social protocols before you select a gift and plan its presentation.

General Do's and Don'ts:

Hong Kong shares many of the same gift giving protocols as other Asian countries.
- Avoid the color white as it is synonymous with death. Do not dress all in white or give gifts wrapped in white.
- Do not give a gift wrapped in blue. Along with white, blue is considered a color of mourning.
- It is inappropriate to give a knife or other sharp object like a letter opener. This symbolizes severing a relationship.
- Do not give a clock as a gift. The words in Cantonese, "sung jung," sound like "saying farewell to a dying person."
- Don't give anything in sets of four. Four is a very unlucky number Chinese culture, much like the number 13 is in many cultures.
- Always refuse a gift several times before accepting it. If a gift is accepted right away, it can be seen as being greedy.
- The color red is considered a lucky color in Hong Kong.
- On certain occasions when money is exchanged, such as Chinese New Year or weddings. An envelope is always used to hold the "Hong Boa" (gift of money).

Personal Gift Giving
- When the Chinese want to buy gifts, it is not uncommon for them to ask what you would like. 
- When invited to someone's home, always give your host a gift. As a tourist from another country, a gift from your native country is appreciated.
- When dining as a guest, don't turn a fish over. It's bad luck because it represents a boat capsizing.

Business Gifting:

- Always use both hands when presenting a gift.
- When receiving a gift, do not open it in front of the giver. (Some Asian forms of gift wrapping actually show what is inside, so opening it is not necessary.)
- A business gift should be reciprocated. Not to do so is considered bad etiquette.

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 Hungary!

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