Do you like to receive gifts? Or do you prefer to give gifts and watch the reaction of the person who is receiving them? Josh and ShaoLan talk about gift giving and receiving in Chinese and the whole culture that surrounds this phenomenon. In fact, gift-giving can be quite complicated, especially when it comes to the “red envelope” tradition, which involves putting money in a red envelope and giving it to someone to congratulate them on a major life event, such as getting married, having a baby etc. The amount of money that you should put inside varies according to many factors, which ShaoLan explains.
She also goes on to describe some popular gifts that are given at particular festivals, such as “moon cakes” at the mid-autumn festival, or rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves at the “dragon boat festival” and finally gives some pointers on how to receive gifts from Chinese friends in a polite way!
The way to say “gift” in Chinese is 禮物/礼物. The first character 禮/礼 means “good manners” and 物 means “physical object,” so the “object that is well mannered” is a “gift”, 禮物/礼物. To give a gift you say “送禮物/送礼物” and to receive a gift you say “收禮物/收礼物.”