Ask the Yangxifu: Chinese Wedding Gifts for the Parents | Speaking of China

8 Responses

  1. ordinary malaysian
    ordinary malaysian September 23, 2011 at 7:22 am | | Reply

    Ah, I am really at sea here. But reading what the Laus wrote, I remember the traditional wedding basket here in Malaysian exchanged between the wedding parties. Not all but some of the items mentioned, with some local variations. But live chicken instead of live fish. As for modern wedding gifts, I believe Jocelyn has given a very good coverage. Whatever the gifts, it is always a good idea, as Jocelyn has mentioned, to gift wrap them in red or gold because red and gold are the auspicious colours of the Chinese, especially the red.

  2. HamLover
    HamLover September 24, 2011 at 12:46 am | | Reply

    I would go for food + money – Chinese people love both. If there is some local delicies that you think they could try, bring them as a gift. Coffee is becoming more and more popular in China – could be an idea? Cash still reigns surpreme though 🙂

  3. Dingle
    Dingle September 25, 2011 at 7:55 pm | | Reply

    I got married a few months ago to a Chinese girl, and I can honestly say this is the first time I heard of these traditions. There were no gift exchanges between families, just an informal banquet with plenty of drinking and warm toasts over the booze.
    Mind you, my wifes family did decide (at the last minute) that the date wasn’t particularly auspicious and wanted to change the date of the wedding in the days before the banquet (my family were already here etc..). In the end she had to go back home a day earlier, and they held the “official” banquet on that, more auspicious, day, the banquet we held the next day was an unofficial celebration.
    Gifts here still mystify me though, I remember visiting an ex’s parents for the first time and rushing to the supermarket on the way to buy gifts. “Maybe I can buy them some expensive washing up liquid” I quipped, my ex thought this was a marvellous idea and we spent a good ten minutes in the kitchen area before I could convince her there was no way I was buying cleaning products as gifts. I think we ended up buying a jar of raisins..

  4. ordinary malaysian
    ordinary malaysian September 26, 2011 at 11:51 am | | Reply

    @Jocelyn, there are many Hokkiens here who originally migrated from southern Fujian. I myself am Hokkien.

  5. ordinary malaysian
    ordinary malaysian September 26, 2011 at 12:03 pm | | Reply

    @Dingle, I don’t think that the Chinese will appreciate washing liquids as gifts, even expensive ones. LOL. Anyway, here’s wishing you both a happily married life. I second Jocelyn in wishing 白头偕老 (baitou xielao) or the Chinese idiom for living to a ripe old age in conjugal bliss.

  6. Todd
    Todd June 15, 2013 at 1:21 pm | | Reply

    Don’t know if anyone is still following this? My wife is from Nanjing also my step daughter who just married a young man from Hong Kong here in the USA. My wife is upset because his family didn’t buy any traditional gifts or send money. I on the other hand is trying to be understanding, his mother lost her husband years ago and is about to lose her father. She has a small business and lives with her daughter. Her daughter has a good job. My wife is angry to the point where she doesn’t want my step daughter to return her mother inlaws phone calls. I think it’s just not worth it, for other things in life are more important.

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