Discussion Topic - Giving gifts

Discussion Topic - Giving gifts.

Part 1: Introduction & Interview

Q. 1. When do people give gifts or presents in your country?
Answer: In my country, people give gifts or presents on a number of different occasions, such as marriage ceremonies, wedding anniversaries, birthdays, mother’s day, father’s day and valentine’s day. People also give gifts during different religious festivals such as “Eid” holidays and Christmas holidays. Sometimes, people give gifts on graduation ceremonies also.

Q. 2. Do you take a gift when you visit someone in their home? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: Yes, I do take a gift when I visit someone in their homes primarily because the act of gift-giving makes me feel good. Besides, I like to take gifts also because the people, who I am taking gifts for, appreciate it as the act proves that I really care for them. Moreover, if a family has kids and I present them with a gift or a present, they become excited and joyfully express their delight.

Q. 3. When did you last receive a gift? [What was it?]
Answer: It was about a couple of months ago when I received a gift for the last time, and the gift was a smartphone. My cousin brought the gift for me when he travelled to abroad, as he joined a new job.

Q. 4. Do you enjoy looking for gifts for people? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: Yes, I do enjoy looking for gifts for people because it is really gratifying to be a part of a good cause, especially, if it involves making someone happy. Besides, it also gives me an idea as to what kinds of new gift items are available in the market.

Q. 5. Do you like flowers as a gift? [Why/why not?]
Answer: Yes, I do like flowers as a gift because they are just naturally beautiful with great colours and smells. Besides, I like flowers also because they represent good wishes and luck. Flowers have a special meaning in our culture and we all love flowers as a gift.


Part 3: Details Discussion

Q. 1. What is the purpose of gift-giving in our life?
Answer: Generally speaking, the purpose of gift-giving in our life is to show how much someone really means to us, and also that to celebrate the person who the gift is in honour of, and to adore them for the occasions at hand, such as their birthdays or wedding anniversaries. Sometimes, the purpose of gift-giving in our life can also be aimed at making someone’s life easy and comfortable by offering something like a “toaster” or “washing machine”, for example. Besides, the purpose of gift-giving can also be aimed at amending our past bitterness and misunderstanding in order to “renew” our relationship. Finally, gift-giving acts can also be considered as a way to develop understanding between two different cultural traditions.

Q. 2. What kinds of gifts are popular in your country?
Answer: The kinds of gifts, that are popular in my country, largely depend on the occasions on which gifts are offered. Of course, people give gifts in my country even when there are no occasions for it.  But, normally, things like nice dresses, watches, books, pieces of jewellery, perfumes, cosmetics, aeroplane tickets to go for a holiday, mobile & smartphones, computers & laptops, television and electronic appliances like coffee makers & micro oven are popular gift items in my country.  Sometimes, people also like to offer handcraft products, cash, flowers, greeting cards or things that are made with their own hands, as gifts in my country. Finally, different types of toys and dolls are popular gift items in my county when we intend to give gifts to a child.

Q. 3. What kinds of gifts people can give to others when there is no special occasion?
Answer: In my humble opinion, I don’t really think that we should make any distinction between the “gifts offered on an occasion” and the “gifts offered without any occasion”. Having said that, however, I think that gifts like storybooks, novels, books on spiritual uplift, books on motivational stories, and world travel guides can be considered as great gift ideas when there are no occasions for gift-giving. Besides, just offering some cash, gift cards or gift certificate can also be considered as some great gift ideas where there is no special occasion. It all just depends on the mood of the gift offering persons.

Q. 4. How has the gift-exchanging trend changed over the last few decades?
Answer: Gift-giving is a beautiful universal act that is ingrained in each and every culture for thousands of years, but it has changed over the last few decades. For example, before several decades, people used to give gifts mostly on different kinds of occasions like birthdays, Christmas and other religious occasions, just to name a few. But today we don’t really have to have an occasion for it. Sometimes, in the past, people also used to choose some unique products as gifts after visiting some distant and interesting lands and buying them from there, but today gifts can be anything that is easily found at a local shop. Finally, unlike the past, these days we can choose and send gifts online by using internet technology.

Q. 5. Do people today still give the same kinds of gifts that people used to give, many years ago?
Answer: No, I don’t really think that people today still give the same kinds of gifts, with some exception, like that of many years ago, depending on the culture and their eras. For example, during the ancient times, people, or “caveman” used to choose an animal tooth, a tree bark, or a unique-looking stone as gift items, which could then be worn as necklaces or other accessories. In the same way, the ancient Egyptians, among some of the first civilizations to practise the tradition of gift-giving, used to offer “flower grains”, “crops” and “jewellery” as gift items. Finally, in the middle ages, people used “love songs”, “washbasins”, “personalized garments” and “sewing strands of hair” as gift items for their loved ones.

In the modern era, however, we have books, chocolates, electronic items, greeting cards, air tickets and flowers as common gift items.

Q. 6. Do people today still give the same kinds of gifts that people used to give, many years ago?
Answer: Yes, I think that it is a good idea for people, who are doing business with each other, or for that matter, people, who are involved in any other professions, to exchange gifts as the practice allows them to build a strong and meaningful relationship among them or minimize/eliminate the cultural differences among them. Of course, we must make sure that such “gift-giving” practice doesn’t affect “the normal professional or business ethics”, but, again, there shouldn’t be any “bar” on exchanging gifts among people, because of their professions, if it helps them bring closer emotionally, professionally, socially and culturally.

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