The giving of gifts

With Eid-Al-Adha coming up, I've been thinking a lot about gifts and what they mean.

The giving and receiving of a gift is a beautiful tradition. It may make me slightly geeky but I adore finding that perfect gift and seeing that look of surprise and happiness in the face of others - it’s totally selfish and gives me a slight high.

The tradition of giving gifts, I've noticed is highly prominent in the Middle Eastern culture, Personally, all of the people I know from this area are extremely welcoming and hospitable. I mean, I can’t ever recall being invited to an Arab household and not being over-fed. So it comes as no surprise that especially around the two Eids, the giving of gifts is pretty renowned. These gifts tend to be simple but of high quality which emanates the lifestyle in certain Arab countries.

But it got me thinking. What do I buy? What’s too much? Why do we even give gifts? So being my inquisitive self, I decided to do some research into gift-giving.

Looking back, the origins of gift-giving dates back to “primitive culture”, giving gifts back then not only represented affection but it was also a symbol of power and status. One of the earliest references to gift-giving comes from ancient Egypt where gifts were given to the Pharaohs. 

Over the span of time, gifts have been given in nearly every culture and part of the world. Whether it be a celebratory gift, a diplomatic gift or even a bribery gift. I have learned from experience, however, that each country and culture has its own etiquettes when it comes to the giving of gifts. What is acceptable in one country is not always acceptable in another.

It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.
— Mother Teresa

If you look back at the diplomatic gifts given, there have been some seriously odd ones passed around, well odd for me but probably normal for the country giving it. 

For example, Vladimir Putin was once given a puppy as a gift from the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, whatever your political views may be. That’s one good gift. China is known for practising “Panda Diplomacy”, yup that’s a real thing. During the period between 1958 to 1982, 23 giant pandas were given to other countries as diplomatic gifts by China. Not something you could easily slip into your hand luggage. Additonally, the government of Mongolia is known for giving horses as gifts to other countries.

I adore the idea of receiving gorgeous animals and unless you are one of those people who don't love animals, I can imagine that they would be incredibly well-received presents. However, if you don’t have a spare giant panda lying around, there are easier alternatives to purchasing an incredible gift for a loved one.

What is a better gift than the gift of time? Our Saa’i watches embody the principles of minimalism and geometry making them the ideal gift for this Eid. 

Whats the oddest gift you've ever received? Comment below or tweet us at @Saai_timepices