Thursday, February 13, 2014

V-Day Gift Guide: What NOT To Buy

Dear all,
Tomorrow will be THE day to celebrate love and romance. Whether you are in a relationship, single, or married, you should go right ahead to take advantage of this special occasion. If you are still doing the very last-minute Valentine's Day shopping, you can check out some gift ideas(here)I shared couple of weeks ago. However, gift guides are literally everywhere. So today, instead of suggesting you what to buy, I'd like to tell you what NOT to buy.

If you are chasing after a Chinese girl, or just started dating a Chinese boy, you'd better avoid the following four gift ideas. (Just for fun!)

明天就是一年中传说最浪漫并具有诗情画意的日子了。无论你是在谈恋爱,单身还是已经结婚了,都应该好好趁机享受并庆祝一下。如果你还没有买好情人节礼物的话,可以在这里找到点灵感吧。不过,到处都在引导你们要买什么,所以我今天就来个反的,我要告诉大家不要买什么。作为华人吧,有些比较迷信的说法使得一些礼物成为了最糟糕的头条。今天就来分享几个。 (仅供参考哦)

1. Clock
One thing you should never give a Chinese is clock as its pronunciation is exactly the same as another Chinese word: death (or the end of something). So giving a clock as a gift means you are wishing the recipient an early departure of life or away from something good. In addition, clock also symbolizes time is running out, so ending a relationship and life is the message you are sending. Although watch has totally different pronunciation as clock, its generally not a pleasant gift to give a Chinese either.


2. Umbrella
Another gift idea that may seem innocent and gesture could turn into something unpleasant. In Chinese, umbrella has the similar pronunciation as "separation", so it's not hard to understand why giving umbrellas in Chinese culture is a no-no.


3. Shoes (especially running shoes)
This one started as a joke but has turned into a quite serious taboo in Chinese gift giving. As your partner/friend might walk/run away in those shoes you are giving her/him, it's better not to give your loved ones this gift.


4. White Flowers
Giving flowers in all cultures is considered a romantic act and the shade of white is generally seen as purity and innocence. However, in Chinese culture, white flowers are normally brought to funerals or hospitals, so it has been associated with death, illness, and so negativity and bad luck.

Okay, to be honest, I've found these gift taboos very funny and ridiculous some time, so I usually look at it as an entertainment. "Love" is the strongest among all which I believe can easily melt all of these superstitious transitions. Mr. S gave me a pair of moccasin as a gift on our first Valentine's Day, and since then, we have been walking along side by side for more than four years now, and our relationship is still going strong. I didn't run away in those moccasins, did I?


Wish you all a Happy and Loving Valentine's Day!




  1. I like this post, Sash! In Filipino culture, we also aren't advised to give someone shoes as a gift for the same reason. If we do, the recipient would have to give us any amount of money (even if it's just a quarter or a loonie) so that it would look like the shoes weren't given for free. So many superstitions. ;)

    1. Thanks for liking this post, little Thessa :)
      I know eh, so many don'ts in our asian cultures. haha Do you follow them though?