The Yami Guide To Asian Gifting Traditions

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The Yami Guide To Asian Gifting Traditions

Asian Heritage Month is upon us, and that means that it’s time to take pride in the many different cultures that call Asia home. Each culture has its own traditions, foods, and manners. It’s amazing to explore each one!

Throughout the continent, one thing always remains true: Asian cultures place a very high focus on the art of gifting. Gifts aren’t just tokens of appreciation. They’re a way of life and a way to show people precisely what you think of them.

Gifting is a major part of tradition—both new and old. Some classic gifts have been a part of Asian tradition for over three thousand years, while others were as recently “traditionalized” as 2000. Let’s take a look at the coolest gifts you can give during Asian Heritage Month!

Tea Sets

There isn’t a single culture in Asia that doesn’t hold tea in high regard. The act of gifting tea has been a part of Asian traditions for millennia. It was the classic gift among Chinese royalty and Japanese nobility, and it’s easy to see why. A good cup of tea will make anyone feel like a king!

In China, tea represents clarity, joy, and respect. In Japan, a gift of tea is an offering of respect and tranquility. There are different types of teas you can choose to gift, but it’s generally safe to say that anything involving high quality tea will work well.

With this option, presentation and quality are number one. We suggest getting a pre-packed tea set that’s already meant to be a gift. It’s a safe bet.

Japanese Cookies

To a point, one might argue that gifting people sweet pastries is a universal thing. After all, who doesn’t enjoy cookies? Japanese cookies come in a wide variety of different styles. Generally speaking, you can gift cookies at any time of year without much issue.

However, some have specific meanings. These include:

Akai Boshi. This brand, with its famous red hat, is often given as a formal gift representing happiness. In Taiwan, this brand gained fame for being an engagement gift.

Shiroi Koibito. This is a chocolate cookie or treat that is given by women to the men they have a crush on during Valentine’s day.

Chinese Pastry

China also has its fair share of delicious desserts that are perfect for a gift. While Japan is surprisingly lax when it comes to its cookie decorum, China actually has quite a bit of tradition surrounding its pastry culture. These snippets give you a good idea of what would be a smart gift for friends.

KitKat Bars

In Japan, the KitKat company became a modern version of a food tradition. The company became popular in Japan thanks to the name’s similarity to the phrase, Kitto Katsu, which translates into “You will surely win.”

People started to gift one another KitKat bars as a way to wish luck to someone who needs it. Needless to say, KitKat bar sales go through the roof during the country’s hyper-competitive exam season.