Deeply rooted in Chinese culture is a system based on ethics, morals, hierarchy and behavior. The behaviors in which Chinese people show and accept appreciation are very profound. In the Western culture, a sincere thank you or a thank you note is an acceptable way to extend appreciation. However, in China, a more tangible form of thank you or gift is preferred. The gift selected to show appreciation must be appropriate in the Chinese culture, and if one is receiving a gift, they should show proper gratitude when accepting the gift.
The typical way to show gratitude, similar to Western culture, would be a simple thank you ( 謝 謝 ). Chinese people tend to prefer giving gifts in order to show their true appreciation. Some typical gifts may be alcohol, cigarettes, fruits, dried seafood, or pieces of artwork or sculptures. It is important that the gifts will not offend the recipient in any way. Never give a gift that would cause someone to loss face and place them in a difficult position. Refrain from giving gifts in sets of four or any gift that carries the association of death or funerals such as clocks, cut flowers, or white objects. In addition, do not give scissors or anything sharp as it symbolizes severing relations. When wrapping, be aware that the Chinese ascribe much importance to color. Red is lucky, pink and yellow represent happiness and prosperity; white, grey and black are funeral colors. Your good intentions or gratitude should be given priority to but not the value of the gifts. Otherwise the recipient may mistake it for a bribe.
When presenting one's appreciation, it is important to present it in a respectable manor. Gifts should be presented with two hands and given to the recipient directly. It is common in the Chinese culture that the recipient will reject your gift the first few times, saying it is too gracious and cannot except. However, this is because it is expected that the giver will persist,...
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