Sunday, July 25, 2010

What gifts to bring to a nation that makes everything?

It isn't just adoptive parents who have trouble bringing appropriate gifts to China.  According to this article in the L.A. Times, Chinese-Americans traveling to China to visit relatives have the same problem:

Times have changed. Living standards in China have risen fast — especially in the wealthier coastal areas. Hand-me-downs from the U.S. will no longer do.

And now that China has transformed itself from communist backwater to manufacturing powerhouse, it's not so much what the gift is but where it comes from that matters, said Bao.

"They may not all speak English, but everyone in China recognizes those three words," he said. "When they see the label 'Made in China,' they will think, 'How come you gave me this?' "

These days, in other words, buying gifts to take to China is a major headache for Chinese Americans.

"It really does consume people when they make preparations to go back to China," said Clayton Dube, associate director of the U.S.-China Institute at USC.
The article also has some suggestions for good gifts from America.


Anonymous said...

I so agree with this, our friends from China do have this same issue. I am now resorting to homemade goods, plenty of pics and homemade DVD's, and special gifts usually equal electronics or colognes. I can't wait for international gift cards!

Anonymous said...

True, but during my time living in China, friends would comment on the higher quality of goods made in China for export compared to (most) goods made in China for domestic consumption.