Asian Weddings

Ideas for gift for new Chinese FIL?

I won't be meeting my new in laws until right before the wedding, and thought I'd get them a gift when I meet them (or right after, as I'll meet them in the airport).  

I want to get them something nice as I've never met them or even talked to them due to the lanuguage barrier.  Also, while I know they are excited their son's getting married, I know they were always expecting he'd marry a Chinese woman and not a white woman, even though they have lived in Canada for 30+ years.  

He suggested a box of bird's nest soup for his mom, but has no idea for his dad except for "Maybe he'd like a new pair of shoes?"  Not really sure on that one...it'd be random to get a pair of shoes for someone I never met, you know?

Any ideas?  I want to get something appropriate.  

Also, I'm trying to plan a tea ceremony.  If anyone has a site that is useful to reference, I'd be very grateful as I've never been to one before.  I did get a nice double happiness teapot though.  

Thanks for the help!

Re: Ideas for gift for new Chinese FIL?

  • sparent2010sparent2010 member
    1000 Comments
    edited May 2012
    Like a Chinese Way of Tea Ceremony? http://blog.yayateahouse.co.nz/2007/10/27/gongfu-cha-the-chinese-way-of-tea/

    Generally Tea Ceremonies I have seen have been at Japanese weddings, so I might check on that.

    The gift really depends on you FFIL. You can do a Canadian cultural gift as easy as some really good maple syrup or the likes. Edible things always go over well and if they are flying back you really want to get him something that would travel well.

    Gifts that come from the heart and that help promote long life and happiness are always appreciated. I would stay away from traditional medicinal herbs b/c it can make them feel old...

    What is his zodiac? And is he observant of the zodiac? You can always buy a gift in line with their animal, but obviously if they are Christian I would advise against this.

    If he is a practicing Buddhist maybe some good incense, talk with an owner of a Chinese shop.

    You can always give shoes, or perhaps a book that means a lot to you, a journal or something that is in line with his hobbies. Find something personal that he can enjoy.

    EDITED: I jsut re read you post it seems like they are coming from China
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  • Shoes are a bad gift in Chinese culture. Many bad luck items are funny. Shoes mean that you are unhappy with them. Fans are bad because the word sounds like the word "to separate". Things in groups of 4 are bad because 4 sounds like death. There are so many good and bad luck items. Birds nest, red ginsing, boxes of fresh fruit (preferably Korean or Japanese in groups of 8 because 8 sounds like "prosper"), expensive whisky, expensive tea (like $100/lb or more) are good. If you can find it, chaga (mushroom) tea is a great gift. Planted orchids are generally good but avoid cut flowers and chrysamthemums (sp?). They will always tell you not to bring a gift but giving thoughtful gifts will make them think well of you. 
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