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 friend from another land can be a more complex task than it seems on the surface. Read on for some important gift-giving tips to keep in mind when in Canada (or when presenting a gift to a Canadian).
Though Americans often think of Canada as a very similar culture, there differences that should be respected. Therefore, if you're planning a trip to Canada it's a good idea to become familiar with the nuances of their customs. In case your trip includes opportunities to exchange gifts, here are a few tips abooot gift giving etiquette in Canada:
If you are invited to someone's home, the custom is to bring your host a small gift such as a box of fine chocolates, flowers, or a bottle of wine. Guests should consider having their gift sent to the host or hostess's home early on the day of the party or the day before.
Gifts are usually opened immediately when received and in front of the gift giver. If you have received a gift, it will probably be enough to express your appreciation of the gift to the giver when you open it. However, a particularly thoughtful or expensive gift might better elicit a mailed note of appreciation within a few days of receipt.
Gifts to Avoid:
- Red Roses are associated with romantic love.
- White lilies or chrysanthemums are associated with funerals.
- Do not give cash or money as a gift.
Business gift giving in Canada is not a norm, even between associates. However, it is appropriate to send greeting cards between associates, and between businesses.
It's best to avoid the following controversial topics:
- comparing Canada with the United States
- any discussion or comparison of French and English languages
- using the term "Native Americans" referring to indigenous peoples
(often known officially as "people of the First Nations")
- the Quebec sovereignty movement
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 Chile!