Thursday, 18 July 2013

Ten Random Culture Facts

Here are some ten random facts about gifts I've learned from people all around the world during my course at Waseda University:

  1. Japan: Never give a potted plant to some who is sick, because the roots in Japanese sounds like the Japanese word for sleeping forever, white flowers are no good as well, only give white flowers at funerals.
  2. Indonesia: They bring milk to sick people.
  3. Taiwan and China: Taboo gifts include, umbrellas, watches and shoes, the Chinese words for these items are synonymous to death.
  4. Korea: Don't give shoes to your girlfriend or boyfriend, because it represents running away from each other.
  5. Japan: Don't give an even amount of money to a couple, because the even number can be separated thus representing the separation of the married couple.
  6. Taiwan: The above taboo is the opposite, the two parts are able to become one, except for four, because four is the same as death in Chinese.
  7. Japan: The super popular photo booths called 'purikura' is a short form of 'purintokurabu', which in English means print club.
  8. Japan: On Valentines day, only the girl gives the boy valentines, which are usually in the form of chocolates, there are three levels of chocolates on valentines day: the expensive one where you give to the boy you really like, the reasonable prices chocolates you give to your friends and the cheap obligatory chocolates that you give to your teacher or boss etc.
  9. Japan: There's this day called white day and it's basically a day where the gift recievers on valentines day give back a gift as a form of thank you.
  10. Western countries such as Australia, Canada and America don't particularly have taboo gifts, it's more common in Asian cultures.