Two theme based phones for gifting to those with adventurous and spiritual streak

Here are two off-beat and unusual mobile phone models that you can definitely consider for the purpose of gifting to those with a peculiar personality traits. These are two mobile models that are conceived to cater to those with adventurous and spiritual streak.
Bleu466x: one for the spiritually inclined
If you think that a celestial theme for gifting is cool, the Sagem Bleu466x is the ultimate choice. The device comes in a Ramayan themed box that comprises a spiritually inclinBleu466xed user’s manual! With this hand-set, the makers have blended technology with spirituality. The company has exclusive rights for Ramanand Sagar’s once highly popular TV serial, which they are trying to leverage – cleverly and successfully.
It has Ramayan wallpapers, animations, and also incorporates the mobile version of the Ramayan serial video, lasting well over an hour, more than two hours of songs, hymns and a power-boosting Hanuman Chalisa! The phone is available at Rs 4,000 plus.

C902, Cyber-shot series: Ideal gift for James Bond buffs
It was reported in the media that Sony Ericsson has plans to roll out exclusive James Bond edition of their C902 phone. The firm has finally announced the launch of the limited Cybershot James Bondedition of the James Bond device in the Indian market. The special edition of the C902 is based on the Bond movie ‘Quantum of Solace’.

Apart from the usual features, it is packed with exclusive content like wallpapers and screen savers, full color trailer of the film and behind-the-scenes interviews with the actors. James Bond fans in India will be able to buy the phone for Rs 21,000 plus for a limited period of time.

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Nice Nokia handsets make a perfect gift: Our three picks

Nokia E71: a perfect business device
Make the most of your precious time with convenient email solutions offered by Nokia E71feature-rich Nokia E71, a perfect business device. Nokia E71 is probably one of the slimmest business-oriented devices currently on the market. Its features include: quad-band GSM connectivity (850/ 900/ 1800/ 1900 MHz) with GPRS and EDGE, Push-to-talk, built-in GPS, FM radio.

Other add-ons that make it an attractive buy are a 3.15 Megapixel camera with auto focus/ flash/ video recording facilities, Nokia Maps, Wi-Fi, Office document viewer and editor, advanced Web and email capabilities, Music and Video players, Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP, USB 2.0, and microSD card support for up to 8GB. Nokia E71 has a retail price of Rs 23,000.

Check Nokia E71 features

Nokia E66: make the most of your work time
Just as Nokia Nokia E66E71, this will also serve as a handy business accessory. It will allow you to make the most of your work time with efficient email solutions. The features of Nokia E66 are pretty much like those of E71, but it brings some enhancements, including an accelerometer for auto-rotate, turn-to-mute ability and VoIP capabilities. Like the E71, this model comes in two attractive color versions (white and gray). Its retail price is a bit higher at Re. 23,5000 plus.

Check Nokia E66 features

Nokia N96: Perfect for mobile phone enthusiasts
The feature-packed, awesome Nokia N96 is scheduled for a ravishing release. The Nokia N96 is the new flagship product from Nokia Nseries. It combines many great features from the Nseries into a dual-sliding, long & thick form factor.

The multimedia phone will come loaded with powerful content from Bollywood, music videos, music tracks and 3 NNokia N96-Gage games (with an unlimited license for Asphalt Urban GT 3), and 3-months free navigation for Nokia Maps and pre-loaded maps. It comes with a built-in music player, standard 3.5mm headphone port, FM Radio, 3D stereo speakers, Visual Radio, and TV-out support. The retail price is expected to be between Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 36,000.

Check Nokia N96 features

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Catchy Cell Phones that make an Ideal Gifting Object

Here are a few (affordable and higher end) cell phones that you can consider for gifting: These are mobile models that are made in order to help a user deal with everyday personal and business-tasks more successfully.
Fly LX610 Mega: a perfect work and entertainment combo
This is one of the premium brand Fly models in the line of their business telephones. It scores on both looks and functionality. The miniature, light-weight device liesFly LX610 Mega comfortably in your palms. The steel frame in the rich black color in the combination with the chromium-plated details and control key of the multimedia abilities make it appear stunning.

Fly LX610 Mega comes with 2 mpix camera with auto-focus. This telephone is ready for shooting both video (maintaining formats: MPEG4 and 3GP) and photos with the full resolution 1600×1200 pix. It contains the special camera’s work modes like multi shooting, auto-timer and digital zoom. The multimedia files may be stored in the embedded memory (88 MB) or by using the micro SD card. The melodies may be downloaded in any format both from Internet and from PC. The downloaded or embedded JAVA-games will help you relax.

The browser WAP 2.0 allows access to the WAP resources and for Internet-surfing. The admirers of the mobile office will appreciate the GPRS-modem function. Priced at Rs 8000 plus, it is a perfect gift for the young working men and women.

Intex IN3333: for those who want to gift a simple yet fabulous phone
For those Intex IN3333who want to gift a simple phone with no complicated controls, this could be the perfect choice. It’s a simple candy-bar that can be used as an USB PC webcam and doubles up as an integrated webcam.
User-friendly Intex IN3333 mobile phone features and accessories include 1000 number phonebook, 100 SMS memory, 300 SMS storage, GPRS Class 10, Bluetooth v2.0 connection, MP3 Audio Player, FM Radio Tuner, Live Recording, Video Recording, 1.3 Megapixels Digital Camera, Up to 5 unwanted caller block, Java Games and Handsfree Speakphone
It also comprises applications like Alarm, Calendar, Stop Watch, Calculator, Unit Converter, Currency Converter, To-do-list, World Clock and Bio-rhythms. Hinglish Messaging provides language support in Hindi and English. The new Intex IN3333 mobile phone is available for Rs 5,000 plus. This device is as simple to operate as a basic electronic gadget can get.
Check more Intex models here

Gifts – are they really stimulating and socially efficient?

In the previous blog, we provided an interesting viewpoint on gifts and the receiver’s psychology. Investment strategist B. Venkatesh’s observed that the person is pushed into a state of depression, if he or she does not get an exclusive gift. In fact, a friend of the author happened to pick up an argument with him over his observation that birthdays could get really depressing when one did not get what one badly wants.

His friend, the author notes, contends that cash remains the best form of gift because that way the recipient can buy whatever he or she wants. “You may spend Rs 3,000 to buy, say, a nice shirt or top for your friend, but what if the receiver does not fancy it? The gift might be worth less than the amount spent. There is, hence, a dead-weight loss — a gap between how much you spend on the gift and how much your friend considers it worth. A gift is, hence, economically inefficient.

“His argument is economically correct. But, socially, it is not. Why?” the author states, and then goes on to make an interesting observation on the social relevance of gifts by considering a practical example. He explains: “I call you for a party that I am hosting for recently remodeling my house. Borrowing from the North American custom, you think it would be appropriate to bring some wine for the party. But you are unsure whether I would like it or even drink alcoholic beverages.

“If you give cash, it would look as if you did not think hard enough about an appropriate gift. Besides, I may feel embarrassed to accept cash. But what if you give me wine that I actually do not like? I may at best gift it to someone who calls me for a party! But importantly, I will appreciate your gesture. Now, sometime later, suppose you plan to remodel your house. You call me, hoping to gain some knowledge from my recent experience with remodeling. What will my response be? The wine you gifted me would be a social lubricant. I will be willing to help.”

The writer concludes that gifts build a long-standing relationship, and if you gift something that is really liked by the receiver, it would ‘sit in his or her mantle for a long time’. Cash, he rightly argues, loses its identity because the person may use it up to buy some innate object the next day!

Sometimes, economically inefficient process can make social sense, and gifts certainly do! True, isn’t it?

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Gifts and the receiver’s psychology

Dealing with a curious topic of ‘gifts and the receiver’s psychology’, an investment strategist tried to find out what happens if one does not get a much desired gift.

An investment strategist by profession, B. Venkatesh, recently made some pertinent observations regarding the social relevance of gifts. He penned two interesting articles in the Business Line column Simple Economics that explored different angles of the gesture of gifting.    He started off by narrating: “It was my birthday recently and I was expecting a certain book as a present. I did not get the book, but received some useful gifts. I began wondering how it would have been had I received the book I wanted. Neuroscience seems to have an answer to this behavior.”

How, the writer posed a query, and then tried to explain the phenomenon by mentioning: “It is all about the dopamine. This is a naturally produced chemical in our body. It is the cause for our pleasure or depression when we unexpectedly get or do not get what we want. Suppose I were hoping to get the book myself.

My wife, understanding my passion for quirky psychology, gifts that book on my birthday. That would be a surprise — a pleasant one at that. My neural system would release more dopamine and help me enjoy the moment and some beyond.

The writer noted, tracing his emotions, that if he had expected his wife to gift him the book and she did, it would not have been a big surprise. So, his neural network would have released less dopamine. That means less pleasure!

But what happens when the person does not get the desired book as a gift? His or her neural system goes on strike and stops producing dopamine. And that pushes the person into a state of depression, prompting over-reaction at times…

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Timely, trendy ideas for those looking to please someone special


 PSP: The PlayStationPortable (PSP) packs a punch with its stylish and compact design. The PSP offering magical mobile fun with music, video and gaming abilities, all rolled in one. It would be a perfect gift that takes a leap into a new-age of mobile digital entertainment.

The PSP is an ergonomically fashioned device. It lets the user enjoy gaming-on-the-go. Plus, you can have all your favorite movies and music labels packed in one cute, tiny gadget. You may access your pictures in an instant – anytime and anywhere. Internet features allow you to engage in battles with other players. Slimmer & lighter PSP, the ultimate portable entertainment, comes at Rs 9000. Check PSP and more

The Palm Treo 680 smartphone: It’s a phone along with e-mail, messaging and web access wherever it’s carried. The user can check contacts; view calendar; store photos, and listen to songs. The applications are easy to use. The design is sleek with a large color touchscreen and an easy-type keyboard. There’s an ‘off’ button, if you feel like staying out of loop. It’s perfect for some work and play at Rs 14,400. Know about more Palm products here

A digital camera: For someone who loves shooting, and happens to be more of a casual camera user, what you can look for as a gift is a point-and-shoot kind digital camera available at a reasonable price. One can take family photos to store on their computer; e-mail them to friends and family, and print photos on a home printer.

Features that make a good digital camera are Ultra-slim body; faster shutter speeds; Precision optical Zoom lens; Electronic VR image stabilization for sharper results; Large, bright LCD monitor with wide viewing angle better exposure in lower light; In-Camera Red-Eye There are many reputed brands like Canon (, Nikon (, Kodak ( available starting from roughly Rs 6,000.

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Timely, trendy ideas for those looking to please someone special

Gift for someone special

Truly thoughtful gift is the one that strikes a chord with the receiver; the one that reflects that you have taken efforts in selecting, packing and presenting it. Your emotions should be attached to it. Why not shower your friend or a coveted colleague with something valuable? This is the way to build and strengthen the bonds of love and affection…

If your friend or colleague is a youthful, upcoming and dynamic executive who loves looking sporty, sleek at work, you can well pick ready-to-wear line that will perfectly suit him. Get a gift that will help him in his daily life like contemporary clothing or something that will help him in his recreation or relaxation like a CD of soothing songs or challenging puzzle game.

Check out the contemporary style and look that is in. For instance, the distressed, rugged looks (at least in terms of clothes) for men have given way to neat, simple elegant wear, veering more towards the resort look. The new menswear exudes a subtle hint of relaxed, succinct street style. It’s stylish and practical. You may go for t-shirts, elbow length sleeves, shirts with turn up, multi-pocket trousers.

Take the effort to find out what your friend or colleague has been thinking to buy for quite some time, but has been indefinitely postponing the purchase. This well might be a favorite book title or a music CD that he had mentioned as his choice, but is still lacking there in his collection. If your friend or colleague is a ‘do-it-your-self’ type, he no doubt would be happy receiving utilitarian items like a tool kit.

If you want to leave the choice to the receiver, a gift voucher will be a good idea. A majority of shopping chains, stores and malls have on offer attractive Gift Voucher plans.

Hopefully these quick, smart gift ideas will help you make someone special happy.

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Unraveling Chinese kitchen secrets will make a mouthwatering gift

The red is hot! Everyone is talking of China, Chinese culture and Chinese way of living as Beijing gets set for Olympics. This is the perfect time to serve your business buddy or a crucial corporate contact an authentic Cantonese or Hakka fare. Unraveling Chinese kitchen secrets at an authentic Chinese restaurant will make a mouthwatering gift.

We suggest a few awesome options for traditional Chinese cuisine.


Sem Mon Ling or Nini, as he’s called, has his roots firmly in the restaurant business. His father, a trader from Swatow in China who migrated to India in 1937, started one of the earliest Chinese restaurants in Colaba, Mumbai. It was called Nanking, and along with Kamling in Churchgate, it was the only surviving Chinese restaurant of its time till 1995, when it had to be shut down because of rising rents in south Mumbai. Nanking served simple, home-style Cantonese food. “Our parents struggled against all odds to set up our legacy,” says Nini. At that time, Nini was studying in North America, where he later worked as an electronics design engineer. But the family business beckoned, and in 1986, he left his job to join his father and brother, Baba Ling, at the restaurant.

In 2008

The brothers wanted to raise the bar and have a bigger place that would cater to a clientele different from that which Nanking had had for years. Ling’s Pavilion opened in 1991. “Although it’s more spacious now, we have maintained the homely atmosphere,” says Nini. The restaurant staff is friendly, the ambience warm, and the food delicious. According to its owners, 80% of the clientele consists of regulars who have been coming here for years. “The credit goes to my entire family, my brother Baba and our wives, who are active participants in the running of the business,” he adds. Baba went on to open a branch of Nanking in New Delhi a few years back and another in Bangalore recently.

We recommend

When Ling’s Pavilion opened, clay-pot rice and bamboo rice were innovative dishes on an Indian-Chinese menu. They continue to be favourites among loyal customers. The spare ribs, available in three flavours, and the Chimney Soup are legendary in the city. The huge pot in which the Chimney Soup is served has underwater delicacies boiling in a delicious broth. Vegetarians will love Ling’s Buddha’s Delight, with chunky cut vegetables, such as broccoli, asparagus, water chestnuts, mushrooms and carrots, in a mild sauce.

Meal for two: Rs800


As is the case for many Chinese families now settled in Mumbai, this family’s story doesn’t begin in China. Tham Mon Yiu, who was born in Kolkata to a family of hairdressers in 1931, moved to Mumbai about 60 years ago, and started a hair salon with his wife. But his business acumen told him to turn to the restaurant business and he bought an existing Chinese restaurant near the Gateway of India, Colaba. Mandarin opened in 1968 and went on to become a popular Chinese eatery. Tham was also one of the partners at Kamling, a Chinese restaurant that was was set up in 1969 to cater to Chinese sailors who visited Mumbai for trade. Kamling continues to attract many Mumbaiites too.

In 2008

Three years ago, the new generation of Thams, which included Tham Mon Yiu’s son Henry and grandsons Ryan and Keenen, decided it was time to give things a new spin. Henry Tham, then a partner at Olive, decided to concentrate on renovating Mandarin. His sons, who were studying restaurant management in Australia, returned in time to join in. The change had to begin with the name.

Mandarin was a Chinese food joint open to everyone; Henry Tham was planned as a fine-dining restaurant and lounge. They also decided to do away with the accoutrements of Chinese kitsch decor—dragons, red tassels, lanterns and lots of gold—for a classic, elegant look. “I wanted to change the positioning, and so creating the right impression was essential,” says Henry. His sons were instrumental in envisioning the trendy bar and lounge.

We recommend:

Popular with the swish set from the very beginning, Henry Tham’s bar is known for its cocktails, such as Pomegranate Martini, Asian Infusion and Cuban Island, and is packed on weekends when live bands play. A few dishes have been retained from the Mandarin menu but the food now is “contemporary Chinese”, as Henry likes to call it. Sample their Shredded Lamb in Garlic Foam, served in a martini glass, or the Prawns in Wasabi Mayo, and you’ll know what he means. The restaurant is most popular for its set lunch menus, priced between Rs490 and Rs750.

Meal for two: Rs1,500


Xie Ying Xing came to India from China in 1956 as an eight-year-old to join his father, who worked in the tanneries of Tangra. “In those days there was a direct steamer service between Kwantung and Calcutta,” says Xing, 60. Though his family, being Hakka, were tanners, Xing dabbled in the restaurant business as a youngster, working for Park Street big names such as Bar-B-Q and Waldorf. From 1986 to 2003, Xing was busy with his tannery. It was only when the tanneries of Tangra were required to shift to a new leather complex far away that Xing, like many other local tanners, decided to take up the restaurant business. “I was always interested in food so the shift wasn’t too difficult,” he says.

Big Boss, so named because Xing and his sons Edward and Edwin want it to be the biggest and best of the Tangra restaurants, can comfortably seat 300 people on its two floors—the ground floor being set aside exclusively for men. It has a well-stocked bar, but the decor is a little cavernous and assembly-line, perhaps owing to its tannery lineage. There is also a surfeit of plastic and chrome but overall, the ambience is warm and clean. The restaurant’s staff is friendly, and here’s an authentic Chinese menu, apart from the standard Indian-Chinese fare. “That is meant for Chinese visitors as locals find it rather bland,” says Xing. “I go to the market myself to buy supplies so that only the best enters our kitchen,” adds Xing, whose family lives on the floor above the restaurant.

Big Boss is clean and the staff, though a little clueless at times, is friendly and eager to help. However, the biggest plus is the restaurant’s multi-level parking, which comes in handy during weekends and festivals, when the serpentine lanes and bylanes of Tangra are chock-a-block with cars.

We recommend

Their best includes the Eggdrop Tomato Soup, Whole Steamed Bhetki, Zap Kim, Prawn Wat Dan and Ma Po Tofu.

Meal for two: Rs700


The Huang family—Joseph, Josephine, Joel and Jennifer—claim that theirs is the oldest Chinese-owned restaurant in the country. Set up by Achumpa Huang in 1927, Eau Chew has been going strong despite its unusual location on Mission Row in the central business district, and rather dour demeanour. “The pots we use in our signature Chimney Soup are the ones he (Achumpa) got from China,” says Joseph, who has never hired a cook, and mans the kitchen himself with help from wife Josephine and son Joel. “My sister wasn’t too keen on the restaurant business,” says Joel, who says he loves messing around with pots and pans.

Eau Chew is located on the first-floor of a derelict building behind a petrol pump which houses mostly offices. One has to scale a steep flight of stairs to reach the restaurant whose décor is spartan at best, with mica-topped tables sans tablecloths and a bare floor. The menu card is a four-page laminated affair. However, the delicacies that stagger out of the kitchen more than make up for this. The food is served by family members, generally Joel—he can be a bit brusque at times, but compensates by adding a personal touch to all he does. Most of Eau Chew’s clients are regulars who know exactly what they want, and it’s not unusual to spot one of the Huangs parked with a diner, chatting like old friends.

We recommend

The Chimney Soup, to do justice to which at least six very famished people need to be roped in. All sorts of vegetables, meat and seafood are dunked in the soup, which is kept on the boil by the burning coal placed under the container, while a chimney allows the steam to escape. There’s also Chicken Satay (strips of chicken marinated and skewered), Stuffed Sugarcane (chicken pieces stuck to sugarcane), Roast Chilli Pork and the most unique item—off the menu and available only on request—Josephine noodles, named after the lady of the house. It’s a complete meal by itself.

Meal for two: Rs700

Chinese Noodles


“My grandfather belonged to the Hakka community, who are nomadic,” says Peter Lu, managing partner of Jerry Wong’s Noodle House, and a third-generation Indian of Chinese descent. “He was a carpenter from Muian, which is near Hong Kong, and he was attracted to India.” Starting out in Kolkata, Lu’s grandfather took up the shoe trade before moving north. “We had shoe shops in Lucknow, Kanpur, Dehradun, Mussoorie, Ludhiana and Delhi,” he says, with a touch of pride. “My father was born in Lucknow, and studied only till class VII, but he was fluent in Hindi and Urdu.”

Lu, who grew up in Dehradun, speaks better Hindi than most Delhiites. “Unka uchcharan theek nahin tha (their pronunciation wasn’t correct),” he says when speaking of the hardships his grandfather’s generation of Chinese had to face in India. His restaurant can be best described as modest, and is located in Connaught Circus. “We don’t serve authentic Chinese food here,” says Lu, who has spent the greater part of his working life in the employ of different luxury hotel groups.

We recommend

The Crispy Shredded Lamb, Chilli Chicken with Black Bean Sauce for non-vegetarians and Vegetable Teppanyaki are good choices. The entrées are supplemented by vegetarian Hakka noodles and vegetarian fried rice. The meal is hearty and completely along expected lines. The vegetables in the Teppanyaki are lightly cooked and therefore a bit crunchy, and retain their natural flavours. They could be a bit bland for Indian tastebuds, but make for a refreshing change.

Meal for two: Rs700

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What exclusive and exotic gifts to get from China?

Beijing has a rich history spanning over thousands of years. Even in ancient times it was a metropolis with a prosperous economy and developed businesses. Many skillful craftsmen settled there, and passed down over generations their excellent skills.

Handcraft: You can still get the traditional handcrafts with typical eastern features in many of the business streets and popular markets. Cloisonné, Jade, Lacquer and Ivory Carving are considered the best traditional works of Beijing. China’s ancient ceramics tradition is still flourishing. You will be dazzled by these art treasures.

Antique pieces: Beijing attracts antique-seekers from across the globe. There are some amazing antique shopping areas like Beijing Curio City and Liulichang Cultural Street. Export of genuine antiques is not permitted without the official sanction.

Silk: Smooth silk is also worth buying. Government tourism stores and friendship stores are the best places for a good silky bargain.

Herbal remedies: Leading hospitals and pharmacies prescribe herbal remedies. China’s system of traditional medicine is time-tested.

What else to buy: Curios, snuff bottles with pictures inside, pearls and attractive artificial flowers are also worth buying for your friends back here. Tourists also relish candied fruits and mouthwatering confectionaries. Prints of old Beijing are still available at some time-honored brand shops.

Beijing Curio City is the largest curio center in the country. The curio city is spread over 23,400 square meters. It comprises hundreds of stores selling ancient porcelain, paintings, jade, carving, calligraphy, bronze artifacts, carpets, and jewelry. It’s like a big museum that will provide you peep into the Chinese culture and history.

Liulichang Cultural Street is a famous antique market for curios, calligraphy, painting or other form of traditional art. Rongbaozhai Bookshop sells books on authentic calligraphy and Chinese art & craft – both classic and contemporary.

You will also come across many large shopping complexes. Just follow the crowd and you will be able to enjoy the authentic atmosphere of Beijing. Popular pedestrian streets are Da Zha Lan, a busy street in Xuanwu District, northwest of Qianmen Dajie, which again is one of most famous and the oldest commercial streets.

Silver Street, starting from Dongdan in the south to Dongsi in the north, is a venue for exotic fashions. Xin Jie Kou, located in Xicheng District, is a street famous for digital products.

You can get some wonderful presents from Beijing for your friends.

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What gifts to give to your Chinese business associates and which ones to avoid?

Gifts For Chinese Associates

This indeed can be tricky, choosing the right gifts for your Chinese business associates whom you are looking to form a long-term partnership with. Gift giving is a rather delicate issue in China. There are various unspoken but set norms of gift giving in the country, which you need to rigorously stick to. First and foremost, it is illegal to offer gifts to a government official.

Gifting a business contact is more acceptable. The most preferred gift is a banquet. You will find it curious that quality writing instruments are a favored gift in China. However, the following gifts and/or colors should be avoided since they are considered inauspicious:

* Anything white, blue or black
* Clocks
* Cut flowers
* Straw sandals
* A stork or crane
* Handkerchiefs

Do not give any sharp, pointed object as a gift; it symbolizes severing of relations. Also, avoid giving things in sets of four.

The Chinese do not appreciate really entering into a business partnership with strangers. If possible, try to bring into play an intermediary, who enjoys an established relationship with the Chinese counterpart, for the first meeting.

Gifts are a vital way of creating guanxi in China. According to Chinese etiquettes, a person will usually decline an invitation or a gift three times before eventually accepting it. The giver is expected to persist gently so that the gift is accepted. Be sensitive to genuine refusals, and don’t force it on the receiver!

Never present a lofty gift that your Chinese business associate cannot reciprocate in kind, since this would put the latter in an awkward position.

The Chinese people will not open a gift immediately on receiving it. You should follow suit unless the other person insists that you check it. Foreign cigarettes, fine whisky, quality wines, cognac are acceptable as gifts. However, food items as a gift is a strict no-no as it can denote poverty. Wrap gifts tastefully, but again avoid white, blue or black. (Avoid elaborate wrapping.)

Imbibing nuances of Chinese culture and traditions will help you get into the good books. Understanding and following the gift giving formalities is very important or else you will end up offending your Chinese host.

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