Indiana Statesman: Gift giving requires different etiquettes around the world
By Shana Dennis
Published: Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Source: Indiana Statesman
In Mexican culture it is bad luck to give yellow flowers as a gift since they are predominantly used for funerals, and pearls as a bridal present are bad luck because pearls represent sorrow, said Patricia Saylor, a Spanish instructor in the languages, literatures and linguistics department.
"But some mother-in-laws who do not like the bride give them anyway," Saylor said.
Today the exchange of presents will be discussed with a global perspective in mind for "International Gift-Giving Customs" at 3:30 p.m. at the Events Area of Cunningham Memorial Library.
"Saylor has organized a panel of six teachers' assistants (TAs) and two adjuncts who will use PowerPoint to present ‘International Gift-Giving Customs,'" said Lisa Calvin, associate professor of the LLL. "They will talk about gift-giving in Japan, Thailand, Egypt, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Spain and Germany."
Saylor, an adjunct in the LLL, said that it is important to be prepared for the little things in a culture you are visiting.
"It's one thing to learn the language; it's another to live in the culture," Saylor said. "You hardly see this information in textbooks."
The kind of gift a person gives and even the way it is given can be highly offensive if the foreign giver is ignorant of the customs of the culture he or she is visiting.
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