As Gift givers, we are usually very excited to physically present the intended person with the Gift. However, in today’s world it is very common for these gifts to be given to someone outside of our own culture. So it’s important that we do as much as we can to learn the gifting etiquette to ensure that the gift process is as appreciated as the gift itself.
Towards that end, we wanted create this series on the Gifting Etiquette prevalent in various parts of the world. To kick off this series, we thought we would start with India.
- Gifts in the form of Cash are common in India, especially for Weddings, Birthdays and to welcome a New Baby.
- Cash gifts are commonly given in decorative envelopes especially made for this purpose. These envelopes very often would have they symbol of Ganesh Ji on the front as that is considered very auspicious. You can view a sample image of Ganesh Ji here and here on our own products.
- When gifting cash, it is common to give 1 Rs. (rupee) extra in the form of a coin, or note along with the intended amount. This is considered auspicious. The history of this gesture is not very clear, however many believe that the origin of this custom came from Indian Trader businessmen always including an extra rupee coin in their payments to their suppliers in the case that they miscounted the payment amount. Coins were main form of currency, so mistakes in counting were commonplace.
- Gifts are seldom opened when given. It is often considered rude to open a gift in front of the giver.
- Red, Orange and Yellow are considered as lucky colours. This can be relevant for the colour of the gift itself, or the wrapping outside.
- It is OK to bring a small gift to a person’s house when invited for meal. It is not expected to do so, but also appreciated when done.
- It is respectful to present the gift with both hands.
- It is usually appreciated in the case of a Foreign guest, that the gift be something from their own country representing their culture.
We hope you found this list helpful. Please do note that these are suggestions only. It is always wise to your discretion, and sensitivity based on the background of the recipient of the Gift, and the particular occasion.
Happy Gift Giving!