It’s spring and a good time to go on a business trip, to receive business partners or to give new friends and family a gift. If these new partners come from China, Taiwan, Singapore or Hong Kong then there are some gifts that you’d better not give.
There are few things that would be considered inappropriate in the Netherlands. In Asia, there is an unspoken blacklist of gifts that you better not give. Especially if you want to make a good first impression.
Many of these taboos come about because the pronunciations of certain words in Chinese are very close together, or because there is a cultural story behind them. This article lists some of the most famous taboos.
Of course, not everyone will equally be offended by a faux-pas. But at a formal first meeting is probably better to avoid these gifts. (more…)