When selecting gifts for Asian women, there are a lot of cultural factors that should be taken into account: what types of gifts are appropriate, how to present it, and even how to wrap it! Everything is laced with cultural undertones, and it may not be as simple as picking something up at a department store!
When to Give a Gift
Gifts should be given for birthdays and, in China, for Chinese New Year. (Inside tip: A New Year gift should actually be bigger than a birthday present!) It would also not be out of the question to have something to offer on a first, second, or third meeting – provided that it is small and is more symbolic than anything else.
What to Give
Throughout Asia, the choice and cost of gifts depends heavily on the closeness of the relationship. Keep in mind that gift-giving carries a certain expectation of reciprocity, and overly extravagant gifts can actually lead to embarrassment on the part of the receiver.
Instead of a lavish material object, try to select things that reflect some part of you. Something that represents your home will always be appreciated, as will be anything handmade, or something not easily accessible in the country.
Wallets and watches are great gifts to give a woman. And in China, a belt is an idea for someone that you care deeply for, as it symbolizes that you want to “hold them” forever. Similar to western culture, chocolate and flowers are popular, especially because chocolate in Asia tends not to be extremely flavorful.
However, in China especially, avoid giving white flowers (particularly white chrysanthemums) as they are used at funerals.
How to Best Wrap and Present a Gift
Gifts for Asian women are wrapped in a style similar to in the Western world. Wrapping paper, boxes, bags, and bows are all acceptable! But the best colors to use are red (which symbolizes luck), pink and yellow (which represent happiness), and gold (which brings good fortune). White, blue, and black can remind people of death, and so should be avoided.
When presenting a gift, extend it with two hands to suggest that it is an extension of oneself. It’s likely that the gift will be refused at least once for politeness- keep trying! It’s also very common for gifts not to be opened in front of the giver, but instead saved for a private moment.
A gift is a perfect way to lay the foundations of a romantic relationship and to establish intimacy – if it is done with the culture in mind! This guide to gifts for Asian women will ensure that you are prepared and set exactly the right tone!