Starting with the country we live in, a country that values diversity, materials, and celebrations, there are many opportunities to give gifts. The United States is the country of greeting cards. You can find aisle after aisle of cards for any occasion from birthdays, Christmas, and anniversaries, to retirement, and even holidays such as Thanksgiving or Halloween. Furthermore, there are whole stores filled with them, such as Hallmark that specialize in greeting cards. Greeting cards like to be given at any occasion, big or small. They are perfect for saying “Congratulations” or “Feel Better Soon”.
Gifts also like to be given, but people must consider them carefully so that the gift is not over the top and might make the receiver uncomfortable, because they don’t feel like they can reciprocate the gift.
In North America it is common practice to open the gifts in front of the giver and thank them right away. The only exception is at weddings where the gifts will be collected, but not opened until after the celebration at home. Another exception is examining money cards, sinc...
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... of what is considered lucky or bad luck (odd numbers of cash amounts in India, or never giving 13 flowers in a bouquet to someone in Europe). We also learned that colors play a big role and can influence the gift presented and its meaning.
Another way to give gifts is through offerings to deceased ancestors usually put by their graveside. Many cultures do this as well and it is a perfect example of how giving isn’t just about materials being handed to another person, but about the bigger picture of being thoughtful. Furthermore, the importance of gifting varies from highest to low by country. Some cultures find it very important to give extravagant presents and give them often (Japan), whereas for others they are saved more for special occasions and situations.
The way people give is different everywhere, but they all have one thing in common – they like to Give.
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