When we give gifts to people of another culture, we need to know their customs and taboos. Otherwise, things will not turn out as we wish. Do you know the taboos in sending presents in China? Welcome to our world learner Chinese class to know.
In China, people seldom offer fans, umbrellas and scissors as gifts, because the pronunciations of fan (扇shan4) and umbrella (伞san3) are similar to 散(san4,) which means separation or parting in Chinese.
In our club of Chinese learn online you can know that there's a folk saying in Chinese which is "If you give a fan, you will never meet each other again." (送扇，无相见。 Song4 shan4, wu2 xiang1jian4.) So giving fans as gift may raise the suspicion that you want to break up. The same is true for scissors and knives. They may also lead to misunderstanding or breaking off.
In China, people don't give pears (梨li2) as gifts, because it's pronunciation coincides with that of Chinese Characters "离li2," which means separation. When we give gifts to a newly wedded couple, the gifts should be in even numbers, which is a symbol of good wishes that the couple will grow old together The gift in an odd number means loneliness and separation.
Beside, in by visiting our Chinese learning forum you can also learn that when people are preparing gifts for an old man to celebrate his birthday, it's a taboo to send bells and watches, because bells and death have the same pronunciation (钟、终zhong1) in Chinese. The bell implies death, so it means bad luck. If you bring a bell as a gift to celebrate the birthday of an old man or old woman in China, it is possible that you will be driven out of the house. To save trouble, you have to be very careful when giving gifts.
Dear friends, if you want to know more information about taboos in sending presents in China please come to take our Mandarin learning online lesson and I believe you will get a lot!