Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Joys Of Getting Gifts

by Emma Jackson

Gift giving has been a famous tradition among most cultures. It is considered a very virtuous and simple act of kindness. It is a medium of personal expression of emotions towards interpersonal relationships. Gifts have a symbolic connotation attached to them. The particular item is not viewed as mere goods but have emotional associations. The effort made in selecting the gift item and the money spent may have positive or negative effects on relationships. Conventionally gifts are given without expecting anything in return but subjective variables affect the gesture in most cases.

Gifts have different value and meaning in various cultures. In Asian countries especially China, the economic or monetary aspect of gift giving is very important. Generally if someone gives you a present, you have to return the act of kindness by giving them a gift as well. Another thing which you have to keep in mind is that it is considered impolite if you return a gift which is of lesser monetary value than the one you received. Giving more expensive gift is considered nobler and gives an upper hand over the relationship. Thus the implications of the gesture vary cross culturally.

The gift giving behavior is different in personal and business environments in Britain. Although Chinese develop relationships before making business deals whereas British ease in after successive interactions. They mostly keep their personal and business lives separate. In England, people spend money on gifts that are of non-monetary nature. The thought counts more than the money value. The effort put in selecting the gift item and the feelings that the particular item displays are all equally important.

As globalization and cross cultural integration is increasing, it has become more important to understand the gift giving behavior in different cultures. Our interactions with people of different countries and languages have also increased and so has the need to understand the relative subjective values and customs. The symbolic expression associated with gift giving and with each item is different is various cultures. Like giving flowers can be a normal friendly gesture in western cultures but may be viewed as a romantic act in many Asian cultures.

Gift giving is a common practice during holiday seasons. It is a symbol of love and care therefore people distribute presents to loved ones on Christmas, Easter, birthdays and anniversaries. Religious implications of gift giving also vary in distinct cultures.

The most popular and awaited holiday in Britain is Christmas and gifts are generously given during this holiday. Especially it is the favorite time for kids who love to receive presents from their beloved Santa Claus. It is believed that if you be good all year than Santa will give you the best Christmas present. Gifts add to the fervor of Christmas and make one feel loved. So no matter which culture you belong to or what age you are, it is an act which will always spread happiness and joy. - 39969

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