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Traditions & Taboos for

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Customs


Customs


  • If invited to dinner at an Argentinian’s home, bring a small gift for the hostess.
    Flowers (red or white roses), chocolates and wine are good options.
  • Gifts should be properly wrapped with a card enclosed.
  • Gifts are opened immediately.

Customs


  • Business gift giving is rarely expected but is considered a nice gesture. Gifts related to the person's business or hobbies are appropriate.
  • Australians have embraced the green movement of recycled and eco-friendly products: small "eco gifts" such as reusable shopping bags; recycled paper gift cards, stationery or calendars, natural fiber wallets or coin purses are appreciated.
  • Gifts are opened when received.
  • Thoughtful gift choices are considered more important than the gift’s actual cost.

Customs


  • Gifts should be nicely wrapped.
  • Children receive gifts on December 6th, the feast of Saint Nicholas.
  • Gifts should be opened upon being received.
  • When invited to an Austrian’s home, it is polite to bring a gift. Suitable gifts include pralines, other sweets, a bottle of fine wine or flowers.
  • Academic titles are important and should be included in written correspondence.

Customs


  • When invited to a Belgian’s home for dinner, it is polite to bring flowers or a bottle of wine for the host or hostess.
  • Gifts should always be wrapped in quality paper.
  • Gifts are normally opened when they are received

Customs


  • Gifting knives or scissors symbolizes wanting to sever ties with the gift’s recipient.
  • Black and purple are colors that represent mourning, while handkerchiefs are associated with tears and funerals.

Customs


  • It is recommended to include both French and English translations on your business card.
  • If you are invited to someone’s home, it is customary to bring the host or hostess chocolates, flowers or a bottle of wine.
  • When receiving a gift, it is normally opened immediately in front of the gift-giver when received.
  • A child's birthday cake will typically be a layer cake, and within the layers a wrapped coin is hidden. The child that finds the coin is the first to get a turn at all the party games.
  • Children attending a Canadian birthday party may receive birthday crackers as a party favor. Birthday crackers are small cardboard tubes that are decorated with colored paper, and when the children open them they make a popping noise and they will find a hidden treasure inside, typically a small toy or candy.
  • In Quebec, sending flowers in advance of a dinner party is proper protocol.
  • Red roses symbolize romantic love.

Customs


  • When invited into a home, flowers or wine are an appropriate gift to bring along.
  • Gifts should be more conservative than lavish or expensive.
  • When offering a gift, make sure that it is nicely wrapped.

Customs


  • When purchasing gifts for friends and family during Chinese New Year, consumers pay particular attention to product packaging.
  • Ideally, gifts are wrapped in red paper for happy occasions, as red is a lucky color.
  • For weddings, gold and silver are also appropriate gift-wrapping colors.
  • Gifts should be given with 2 hands.
  • Gifts should be refused 1 or 2 times before being accepted.
  • Opening gifts hastily or in public view is considered impolite.

Customs


  • When a gift is given, the recipient should express tremendous gratitude.
  • It is customary for a dinner guest to bring a gift for the hostess when invited to someone’s home. Typical gifts include flowers, pastries, chocolates, fruit and nuts.
  • When meeting a business associate it is thoughtful to bring a gift for their children. American-made games and candy are very popular items for these occasions provided they are not widely available in Colombia already.
  • Wrapped gifts are not opened in public.
  • In Colombia a girl's 15th birthday is considered an important milestone. The typical gift is gold.

Customs


  • It is customary to remove one’s shoes before entering someone’s home. Guests may be offered house slippers, called pantofle.
  • It is customary to politely refuse a gift when it is first offered.
  • When invited to someone’s home, it is customary to take a gift. Flowers, food, and alcohol are acceptable gifts.
  • Gifts should always be wrapped in quality paper.
  • Gifts are normally opened when they are received

Customs


  • It is customary to bring a gift when invited to someone’s home for dinner. Good choices include flowers, high quality chocolates or a nice bottle of wine.
  • Flowers are best sent ahead of time so as not to burden the hostess.
  • Flowers should be wrapped.
  • Gifts are opened immediately. Red wrapping is always a good choice

Customs


  • Bring a gift if you are invited to an Egyptian's home for dinner. Ideas include good quality fruit, pastries, chocolates, cookies or other sweets. Another suitable idea includes practical gifts for the family.
  • When a man offers a gift to a woman, typically it is presented as from his mother, wife, or sister.
  • Generally, gifts are opened later unless it is to be enjoyed right away. In that case, it may be opened in front of the giver.

Customs


  • When invited to someone’s home, gifts of flowers, chocolates or wine are appropriate gifts.
  • Tulips are a popular choice when gifting flowers in Finland.

Customs


  • When attending a party or dinner at someone’s house, never arrive empty-handed. A bottle of champagne, dessert liqueur, or box of chocolates are appropriate offerings.
  • On May 1st, which is the French Labor Day, one should offer a small bouquet of “muguet” or Lily of the Valley, to loved ones and close friends.
  • If offering flowers for a dinner party host, it may be a good idea to either send them the day before or to bring something that requires minimal arrangement, since the host may have their hands full for the evening.

Customs


  • When arriving in a home, it is customary to bring a small gift, taking into account the occasion and the recipient.
  • Small gifts are polite when meeting a business contact for the first time.
  • It is customary to open a gift when it is received.
  • Birthdays are very important in German culture. On their birthday, children expect to wake up to gifts and a birthday cake.
  • Anniversaries are important (“first meeting”-day and marriage day).

Customs


  • Gifts are typically exchanged between family and friends for Christmas and “namedays” (the birthdate of the saint that one was named for). Some Greeks also celebrate birthdays, but namedays are the predominant day for celebrating and gifting.
  • Gifts should be presented wrapped and should be opened immediately.
  • Visitors should bring a small gift when invited to someone’s home.
  • Visitors may also send flowers to a hostess in advance of an event.
  • For weddings, Greek grooms typically purchase the bride’s shoes as a surprise and tuck money inside them as a gift.

Customs


  • Gift giving is an important practice in Hong Kong. If one receives a gift, it’s considered polite to give a gift in return.
  • Gifts should be accepted with both hands.
  • Unwrapping a gift in front of the gift giver implies that the recipient is greedy or impatient. To avoid awkwardness, gifts are usually accepted with a polite “thank you” and then set aside to be opened later.
  • It is an increasingly common practice for companies to send cards to business associates for Christmas as well as Lunar New Year.
  • When invited to a home, appropriate gifts include candy, cookies, fruit, liquor, or related gifts.
  • It is important to avoid excessively admiring things (for example, a decorative object in a home) as the host may feel obligated to give it to you.
  • For Lunar New Year, it is customary to present a gift of money in a red envelope to children and service personnel who one encounters on a regular basis. This offering is called a “hong bao.” Bills should be new and in even amounts. Many employers will give employees a “hong bao” equivalent to one month’s salary.

Customs


  • Gifts of cash are appropriate for major life events such as marriages and births.
  • It is advised to wrap gifts in green, yellow or red paper, as Indians consider these colors lucky.

Customs


  • Unwrapping a gift in front of the giver is not a part of Indonesian culture.
  • Modest but thoughtful gifts are appropriate on first meetings.
  • With the exception of dinner parties, food can be a welcome gift.
  • It is customary to refuse a gift three times before accepting.
  • It’s expected to give a gift when returning from a trip, celebrating an occasion, invited to a home, and to thank someone for providing a service.

Customs


  • When invited to someone’s home, gifts of flowers, chocolates or wine are appropriate gifts.

Customs


  • Always bring a gift when invited to someone’s house for a holiday meal – this is especially true for Passover (April) and Rosh Hashanah (September). Customary gifts include decorative platters, vases, gift baskets, wine, flowers or candy.
  • The same rule applies when one is invited to a Sabbath meal – gifts and flowers are appreciated.
  • If one knows that children will be present when invited to a home, acknowledging them with a small toy is appreciated.

Customs


  • Gifts should always be nicely wrapped.
  • Birthdays and Catholic holidays are the most popular gift-giving occasions.
  • Gifts may be given at baby showers but even more so at baptisms or christenings. Common baptism gifts include religious memorabilia, photo albums or money.
  • Italians are generous gift-givers and appreciate well-known and respected brand names when offering or receiving gifts.

Customs


  • Always wrap a gift and put it in a bag, to be less conspicuous before giving it.
  • Do not wrap a gift or package in white colored paper.
  • Gifts should be offered in private, as doing so in public may be embarrassing for the recipient, or others may become jealous.
  • Gifts should be offered with both hands.
  • In Japanese society, it is polite to turn down a gift once or twice before accepting it.

Customs


  • It is a moral requisite for the rich to give to the poor. Among peers and equals, it is customary for the gift to be reciprocated in significance.
  • In formal settings, a gift is a powerful way of honoring someone. Give sweets when visiting the sick or making the first visit to a home. At the birth of a child, bring baby clothes or cash, and at the graduation of a family member, gift clothing.

Customs


  • Gifts should be received with both hands.

Customs


  • Gift-giving in Mexico symbolizes affection and appreciation, and not giving gifts on some occasions may be perceived as a deliberately discourteous act.
  • When invited into a home, the Mexican gift-giving etiquette is to bring a gift. Flowers are the best gift; alternatives include wine, gourmet candies and cakes. White flowers are the best for gift-giving as they are considered uplifting.
  • If your hosts have children, it is thoughtful to offer a gift such as a small toy that cannot be purchased within Mexico, or sports team apparel from your home country.
  • There are no particular rules in regards to gift wrapping.
  • A birthday custom in Mexico for children is to have a piñata at their celebration. The piñata is filled with candy and small toys, then it is hung from the ceiling or a tree to be hit with a stick until it breaks.
  • Celebrated throughout Latin America and Latino communities in the United States, the Quinceanera is celebrated by young women on their 15th birthday. This celebration is an important rite of passage which represents the transition from girlhood to womanhood. The celebration typically includes a mass and is usually followed by a party.
  • Business gift-giving in Mexico is not usually required, but it is appreciated and viewed as a gesture of good will.
  • Traditionally expensive gifts are not appropriate unless you have established a close friendship.

Customs


  • Hostess gifts are expected and good options include pastries, figs, flowers, or mint tea and cookies.
  • Weddings and births are the most popular gift giving events.
  • Gift bags are the most common way to conceal a gift, while others are wrapped in cloth or a scarf.

Customs


  • Gifts are not traded casually, and gift-giving occurs in close, personal relationships.
  • General gifts often include books, art objects, wine or liquor.

Customs


  • New Zealanders have embraced the green movement of recycled and eco-friendly products: small "eco gifts" such as reusable shopping bags; recycled paper gift cards, stationery or calendars, natural fiber wallets or coin purses are appreciated.
  • New Zealanders tend to appreciate gifts that reflect the culture of different nations or traditional New Zealand food and wine.

Customs


  • When you are invited to a Norwegian’s home for dinner, it is polite to bring flowers, a bottle of wine, or chocolates to the host or hostess.
  • Gifts should always be wrapped in quality paper.
  • Gifts are normally opened when they are received.
  • Norwegians send flowers to the host of the dinner party in the morning so they can be displayed that evening.

Customs


  • When invited to someone’s home, gifts of flowers, chocolates or wine are appropriate gifts.

Customs


  • When selecting wrapping paper for a Filipino recipient, you may use any color you wish, which makes the Philippines an anomaly among other Asian countries.
  • At Christmas, you will be expected to give a small, modest gift to nearly everyone you encounter in a business context. This includes everyone who works for you and all service personnel you depend upon regularly.
  • It is important to bring back souvenirs after traveling. These souvenirs should be emblematic of the place where you spent time. For example, books, small electronics, and other items unique to a country are appropriate gifts.
  • When gifting electronics, it’s important to include batteries or ensure the device is charged. It’s also important that the recipient has the means to recharge the gift.
  • Candy is a good gift to bring if you are invited to dinner.

Customs


  • Lavish or expensive gifts are seen as excessive in Polish culture, unless it is for a very close relation or a truly special occasion.
  • Gifts are typically opened upon reception.
  • It is polite to offer a gift to the hostess when invited to a dinner party. The most common gifts are flowers, desserts, or a bottle of wine.

Customs


  • Gifts should always be nicely wrapped and are usually opened when received.
  • Birthdays and Christmas are the most popular gift-giving occasions.
  • Gifts for the hostess are expected when you’re invited into a Portuguese home, and the gift should be luxurious with a nice presentation. Typical gifts include chocolate, candy or flowers. If you do not bring a gift, it’s proper to send flowers the next day.
  • When gifting spirits, avoid wine as the Portuguese believe their own is the best. Whiskey is the preferred gift of spirits.
  • Giving gifts to business partners or colleagues is common practice, and they should be presented unwrapped at the beginning of an encounter or meeting.

Customs


  • If you are invited to someone’s house, bring a small gift for the hostess. You won’t meet the hostess, but the gesture will be appreciated. Presents for children are also welcome.
  • Always bring a gift to a host. Acceptable items include perfume, chocolates, or art.

Customs


  • Because Russians celebrate four winter holidays, small gifts or tokens of appreciation are common – extravagant, expensive gifts should be reserved for family.
  • Gifts such as jewelry or watches are not suitable for a Russian woman unless it is a romantic gift. Women prefer to select these gifts for themselves. The same is true for makeup and cosmetics.
  • Unlike many Western countries, Russians purchase more gifts for New Year’s Eve celebrations than for Christmas.
  • Typical gifts to give to Russian men are nice bottles of hard alcohol, cufflinks, ties, and tech-y accessories like styluses for smartphones and tablets, phone cases or headphones.

Customs


  • Any gift must be the best that one can afford.
  • Status is important and must be acknowledged when addressing an individual. It is customary to use Sheikh (chief, for a man), Sheikha (for a woman), Sayed (Mr.), Sayeda (Ms.).
  • The modesty of personal attire is very important. One should wear attire that is non-revealing (covering the shoulders, arms, legs, and feet).
  • When visiting a religious site, women should cover their hair.
  • When offered a gift, the recipient may open and examine it in front of the giver.
  • Traditional perfume is the most appreciated gift, though high quality is of the utmost importance.

Customs


  • Gifting customs and preferences are dependent on culture; as Singapore has a mixed population with Chinese, Indian, and Malaysian influences, one should pay careful attention to the cultural nuances that impact etiquette (gift-giving or otherwise).
  • It is considered polite to refuse a gift once or twice before accepting it.
  • During the Lunar New Year, red and gold are considered the most auspicious colors.
  • For the Lunar New Year holiday, it is customary to offer a gift of cash in a red envelope.

Customs


  • South Africa is one of the most multicultural countries on the planet, and the gift giving traditions can be as varied as the people of South Africa.
  • Mostly, gifts are reserved to birthdays and Christmas. The 18th, 21st and 40th birthdays involve lavish gifts and large gatherings. Christmas is mainly a religious celebration, but holiday gifts can include an outfit to wear to Christmas services. Poorer communities exchange practical goods such as books, soap, or candles.
  • South African wine always makes a thoughtful gift, especially when invited to someone’s house for a meal.

Customs


  • The gift is presented with both hands, and a Korean will usually apologize for the gift’s insignificance even if it’s valuable.
  • Baskets of flowers or potted plants with ribbons and notes are common congratulatory gestures, while money is always an appropriate gift for Korean family vacations.
  • Traditional gifts for a family that just moved include candles, toilet tissues, and laundry detergent.
  • Brand names are more important than the item itself, especially if it’s a first-class or luxury brand. Where your gift was made is of crucial importance.
  • Gift wrapping is almost more significant than the gift itself. Visual appeal is very important.
  • Good gift ideas include items that are very difficult to find or very expensive in Korea.
  • Something associated with your home country will be appreciated.
    Whenever a person receives a gift, it’s customary to return a gift of similar value or meaning at a later time rather than writing a thank you note.
  • A gift of money should always be given in an envelope.

Customs


  • When invited to someone's home, one should bring a small, wrapped gift for the hostess such as chocolates, dessert items such as pastries, or a bottle of high-quality wine.
  • Gifts should be opened immediately in the presence of a host.
  • Flowers are only sent for special celebrations. When gifting flowers they should be given in odd numbers (except for 13).
  • When purchasing flowers, one should give something bright and colorful (red roses connote passion; yellow roses, infidelity).
  • Recommended food or gifts include pastries, cakes, chocolates, champagne, and fruit baskets.

Customs


  • Gifts are opened when received.
  • During the holiday season, boxes of chocolate are popular gifts.

Customs


  • Gifts should be nicely wrapped.
  • Children receive gifts on December 6th, the feast of St. Nicholas.
  • Gifts should be opened upon being received.
  • When invited to a Swiss home, it is polite to offer a gift. Suitable gifts include fine chocolates, flowers or a bottle of fine wine.

Customs


  • Ideally, gifts are wrapped in red paper for happy occasions, as red is a lucky color.
  • Gifts should be wrapped with great care. The wrapping can be as important as the gift.
  • Gifts should be given and received with two hands.
  • Gifts should be refused one or two times before being accepted.

Customs


  • Gift giving in Thailand is far less formal than elsewhere in Asia.
  • Gifts should be both given and received with the right hand.
  • Gifts should not be opened until the recipient is invited to do so.

Customs


  • Any color is acceptable for gift wrap as long as the present is nicely wrapped.
  • Gifts can be presented in public but will usually be opened in private.
  • As Turkey’s culture is primarily Islamist, gifts of alcohol may not be a good choice.
  • Desserts and flowers (especially roses and carnations) are popular Turkish gifts.
  • It is polite to offer a gift to the hostess when invited to a dinner party. The most common gifts are desserts and candles.
  • Weddings are arguably the biggest gift-giving occasion in Turkish culture. Traditionally, the bride and groom are given gifts of gold coins.
  • Baby gifts are very common and are usually clothes and money.

Customs


  • Any gift must be of the highest quality that one can afford.
  • Status is important and must be acknowledged when addressing an individual. It is customary to use Sheikh (chief, for a man), Sheikha (for a woman), Sayed (Mr.) or Sayeda (Ms.).
  • The modesty of personal attire is very important. One should wear clothing that is non-revealing (covering the shoulders, arms, legs, and feet).
  • When visiting a religious site, women should cover their hair.
  • When offered a gift, the recipient may open and examine it in front of the giver.
  • Traditional perfume is the most appreciated gift, though high quality is of the utmost importance.

Customs


  • Corporate gifts are typically not exchanged in the UK business culture. However, for business social events, small gifts are generally appropriate, such as a gift from one’s home country.
  • Since many businessmen are golfers and business is often conducted on the golf course, golf gifts are popular, particularly when they are customized with the logo or identity of one’s club or hometown.
  • It's acceptable to offer a small memento such as a pen, paperweight, diary and other things with a company logo, coffee table book about one’s country, or a bottle of good whisky.
  • If one is invited to someone's home, flowers, chocolate, cheese or wine are appropriate offerings.

Customs


  • If invited into a family home, it is traditional to bring a gift. A bottle of imported alcohol, chocolates or pastries, or a bouquet of flowers are acceptable. If your hosts have a child, it is appropriate to provide him/her with a small gift as well.
  • Be prepared to accept all food and drink offered when visiting friends. Turning down food may be considered rude. It is traditional to toast when drinking, which is usually with vodka. Refusing to drink alcohol on certain occasions or to a certain toast may sometimes be considered rude.
  • Gifts don’t have to be expensive — it is the act of giving that is important because it is a gesture of friendship.
  • Ensure gifts are nicely wrapped.

Customs


  • A gift can be as simple as a card and personal note. Gifts become more elaborate for a person with whom one is close.
  • Gift-giving is not an elaborate event, except at Christmas or birthdays
  • When invited to someone's home for dinner, it is polite to bring a small box of good chocolates, a bottle of wine, a potted plant or flowers for the hostess.
  • Gifts are normally opened when received.
  • Gifts from one’s home country will always be appreciated. Good choices are local and regional arts and crafts, books, candies, specialty foods, and wine or spirits (if it is certain that the recipient drinks alcohol).
  • Many companies have policies that discourage their employees from giving or receiving gifts. Most government employees are not allowed to accept gifts. No offense should be taken if someone cannot accept a gift.

Customs


  • Gifts are always opened when received.
  • Venezuelans place much pride in their physical appearance and sense of style.
  • Orchids, Venezuela’s national flower, are preferred when offering a bouquet.

Taboos


Taboos


  • Do not give knives or scissors as they indicate a desire to sever the relationship.
  • Avoid black and purple wrapping as they are associated with mourning.

Taboos


Taboos


  • Flowers should not be gifted in even numbers—they signify misfortune in Austria.
  • As lilies are the customary flower for funerals, they should not be offered in gifting circumstances.
  • Generally speaking, Austrian women do not appreciate appliances such as toasters, pressure cookers or waffle makers as gifts.
  • Austrian consumers are often conservative in their tastes. This should be taken into consideration when offering unique or unusual gifts.

Taboos


  • Belgium is renowned for its chocolate; it is recommended to select the highest quality when offering chocolate as a gift.
  • When gifting flowers, it is a good idea to avoid chrysanthemums, lilies, and red roses.
  • Flowers should never be given in an even quantity.
  • Belgium does not have a large gift-giving business culture, except for around Christmas time when gifts are exchanged.

Taboos


Taboos


  • White lilies or chrysanthemums are reserved for funerals.
  • It is considered impersonal to gift cash or money.
  • Gifts are not normally exchanged in a business setting.

Taboos


  • Avoid objects such as knives, letter openers, or scissors, as they can imply the severance of a relationship.

Taboos


  • During the Spring Festival, Chinese custom prohibits the use of a broom for three days after New Year’s Day, so as to not sweep away the good luck the New Year brings.
  • Clocks are associated with counting the seconds until a person’s death.
  • Fans signify scattering or splitting up upon getting married – for example, a young woman will give her parents a fan to signify she is leaving them for her husband.
  • Never give a man a green hat - it insinuates his wife is cheating on him.
  • Do not gift scissors or sharp objects.
  • Do not give a gift in sets of 4 (in Cantonese, the word for “four” sounds very much like the word for “death”).
  • Yellow chrysanthemums/white flowers are only for funerals.
  • Gifts wrapped in yellow with black writing are only for the dead.
  • While red paper and gift-wrap is recommended, red ink is symbolic of severing ties. When signing a card or gifting a pen, red ink should be avoided.

Taboos


  • Avoid lilies and marigolds, as they are reserved for funerals.

Taboos


  • When gifting flowers, avoid chrysanthemums, as they are customary for funerals and cemetery visits.
  • Flowers should never be given in an even quantity.

Taboos


  • Do not give knives or scissors as they indicate a desire to sever the relationship.
  • Avoid white roses as they are associated with mourning.

Taboos


  • Do not gift flowers, as they are associated with weddings or illness and should only be given to very Westernized Egyptians.
  • Never give the Qu’ran as a gift, it is an inappropriate personal or business gift because of its religious significance.

Taboos


  • Flowers should not be offered in even numbers.
  • White or yellow flowers are reserved for funerals—do not offer them as gifts.

Taboos


  • Wine should generally not be offered when invited for dinner, as the host typically expects to make that decision themselves.
  • When gifting flowers, do not give 13.
  • White chrysanthemums and lilies are reserved for funerals.
  • Red carnations represent ill will.

Taboos


  • Carnations symbolize mourning; lilies and violas are also not good gifts.
  • Pointed items such as knives, scissors or umbrellas are considered bad luck and should not be offered as wedding gifts.
  • For family members, money is considered very impersonal for a wedding gift.
  • In a relationship, shoes are an inappropriate gift as they represent the act of walking away.

Taboos


  • Do not give knives or scissors as they indicate a desire to sever a relationship.
  • Do not give expensive gifts, as tradition dictates the recipient offer you one in return.

Taboos


  • Gifting clocks should be avoided as they symbolize death.
  • Blankets are believed to cause a decline in prosperity.
  • Giving a green hat implies that the recipient is a cuckold or that his or her sister is not honorable.
  • Not wrapping a gift is considered impolite.
  • Blue should be avoided as a gift-wrapping color as it is the color of mourning.
  • Shoes are not good gifts, as they denote unhappiness and bad luck.
  • The Chinese word for four, sounds quite similar to the word for death in many varieties of Chinese. Special care may be taken to avoid occurrences or reminders of the number four.

Taboos


  • Gifts should not be accepted with the left hand; this gesture is considered impolite.

Taboos


  • The following items are associated with funerals and should be avoided: straw sandals, clocks, handkerchiefs, gifts or wrapping paper in white, black, or blue.
  • Items to avoid include scissors, knives or other cutting utensils as they indicate that you want to sever the relationship.
  • Avoid giving gifts to an observant Muslim that include alcohol, pork, or pigskin. Other items to avoid gifting include toy dogs or pictures of dogs, underwear, and images of nude or partially clad women.
  • For an observant Hindu, avoid giving them beef or cattle products, which includes leather.

Taboos


  • Flowers should not be offered in even numbers.
  • White or red flowers (especially lilies) are reserved for funerals—do not offer them as gifts.

Taboos


  • For life stage events - like weddings or Bar Mitzvah– cash is the proper gift.
  • Gifts have a proper time and place with superstitions in mind. For example, no baby showers are held, and no items are bought for babies before they are born. The best etiquette is to have a gift delivered a couple of weeks after the baby is born.

Taboos


  • Black and gold should be avoided as gift-wrapping colors, as they are reserved for mourning.
  • Purple is considered bad luck and should be avoided when choosing gift wrap or packaging
  • Italians never give chrysanthemums as a gift, because they are traditionally reserved for bringing to funerals or cemeteries.

Taboos


  • Do not give any gift in 4’s or 9’s (4 has a very close connotation with death, and 9 is unlucky).
  • The color white, along with white flowers (especially lilies) represent mourning.
  • Gift-givers typically avoid jewelry and house decor, or anything the recipient may feel obliged to wear/display.

Taboos


Taboos


  • Do not offer gifts of alcohol.
  • Avoid white wrapping paper as it is a symbol of mourning.
  • Gifts should not be opened in front of the gift-giver.

Taboos


  • Yellow flowers symbolize death.
  • Red flowers can carry negative connotations and are believed to cast spells.
  • Purple flowers are associated with funerals.
  • One should be cautious when gifting silver, as Mexicans are one of the world’s top producers and exporters of silver and thus take much pride in silver products.

Taboos


  • Never gift alcohol to a Moroccan.
  • Don’t overspend when giving a gift to a Moroccan, as they will want to reciprocate with a gift of equal or greater value.
  • Avoid the colors pink, violet, and yellow since those colors are associated with death.
  • Gifts typically aren’t opened when received.

Taboos


  • Knives should never be gifted.
  • Ostentatious or lavish gifts are considered embarrassing and unnecessary.

Taboos


Taboos


  • Norwegians never send carnations, lilies or white flowers, as they are displayed at funerals.
  • Flowers should never be given in an even quantity.
  • Wreaths are never given, even at Christmas.
  • Norway is not a large gift-giving business culture, except for around Christmas time when gifts are exchanged.
  • Giving a large amount of gifts is perceived as a bribe.

Taboos


  • Flowers should not be offered in even numbers.
  • White or red flowers (especially lilies) are reserved for funerals—do not offer them as gifts.

Taboos


  • Avoid gifts that imply your host’s house is poorly decorated or needs more decoration.
  • Opening gifts is private and opening gifts in front of others is considered rude.
  • Only send a thank you gift after a business meeting, not during or before. A basket of fruit is appropriate, and will demonstrate how you appreciated the hospitality.

Taboos


  • Flowers should not be offered in odd numbers.
  • One should avoid offering red or white flowers, especially carnations and lilies.
  • Yellow chrysanthemums are associated with funerals.

Taboos


  • Red flowers are considered a sign of revolution and should be avoided when gifting flowers.
  • The number 13 is considered unlucky.
  • The Portuguese do not give lilies or chrysanthemums as a gift, because they are traditionally reserved for funerals.

Taboos


  • Never use your left hand to give or accept gifts, or to eat food.
  • Never offer a Qatari alcohol. Fruit and expensive gifts are also unacceptable.

Taboos


  • Chocolates or flowers are not appropriate gifts for a Russian man.
  • Yellow flowers should not be gifted as they can signify illness or separation.
  • It is taboo to gift a wallet without a token amount of money inside.
  • Many Russians consider gifting sharp objects, like knives or scissors, to be taboo.
  • Some Russians consider giving watches as gifts to be a sign of separation or farewell.

Taboos


  • Never offer a carpet or gold jewelry to a man.
  • Do not offer a gift of alcohol unless it is certain that the recipient drinks.
  • Do not offer knives, pork (or pork products), or toy dogs (or gifts that picture dogs).

Taboos


  • Avoid wrapping gifts in white as the color symbolizes mourning.
  • Avoid giving gifts in quantities of 4, as this number is considered unlucky.
  • Do not use the left hand to give or accept a gift.
  • Avoid black and other dull colors.
  • Avoid giving clocks and handkerchief as gifts. It can be considered ill will in the Chinese culture as these items are associated with death.
  • Do not give any gifts made of pigskin to Muslims.

Taboos


  • Never give a gift that the recipient cannot repay. Thoughtful, rather than lavish, gifts are always appreciated.
  • It is expected to open a gift when it’s received.
  • Be sure your gift is wrapped conscientiously and is presentable.

Taboos


  • Gifts are not usually opened in front of the giver.

Taboos


  • When giving flowers, one should not offer chrysanthemums, dahlias or white lilies.
  • One should not give anything associated with the number 13 (considered an unlucky number).
  • High quality gifts (something name brand) are acceptable, but anything too extravagant may be considered a bribe.

Taboos


  • When doing business in Sweden, it’s recommended that you don’t offer gifts to those who you are doing business with.

Taboos


  • Flowers should not be gifted in even numbers—they signify misfortune in Switzerland.
  • As lilies are the customary flower for funerals, they should not be offered in gifting circumstances.
  • Switzerland is mainly famous for chocolate, cheese, pocketknives and watches. Exercise caution when offering such items as gifts to Swiss people.

Taboos


  • The following gifts are associated with funerals: gift wrap in white, black or blue; clocks; towels; handkerchiefs; straw sandals
  • Do not give a gift in sets of four (in Taiwanese, the word for “four” sounds very much like the word for “death”).
  • Do not give scissors, knives or other cutting utensils as they indicate that you want to sever the relationship.
  • Opening gifts hastily or in public view is considered impolite.

Taboos


  • Avoid wrapping gifts in green, black or blue as these colors are associated with death and mourning.

Taboos


  • As Turkey is a Muslim country, the vast majority of the population does not recognize Christmas.

Taboos


  • Never offer a carpet or gold jewelry to a man.
  • Do not offer a gift of alcohol unless it is certain that the recipient drinks.
  • Do not offer knives, pork (or pork products), or toy dogs (or gifts that picture dogs).

Taboos


  • Red roses, white lilies, or chrysanthemums should be avoided when gifting flowers

Taboos


  • If you bring flowers, make sure the number of flowers is uneven and do not bring white lilies or yellow flowers. Even numbers of flowers and white lilies or yellow flowers are brought to funerals.
  • Do not shake hands or give things across the threshold of a door. It is considered bad luck.
  • Gifts are generally not opened when received.

Taboos


  • The number 13 is considered unlucky.
  • It is considered unseemly to leave the price tag on gifts, but gift receipts are frequently included.

Taboos


  • Do not offer handkerchiefs, as they are considered unlucky.

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