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Hi, I work with Chinese at a restaurant. I would like to buy a small gift for each worker. Can anyone ( or perhaps your Chinese spouse ) recommend me what I shpuld buy? i live in a metropolitan area, so there are Chinese supermarkets if that helps. 新年快乐

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Thread is moved from Off Topic to the China regional forum, for highest concentration of advice.

06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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Money in red envelope!!! ❤️

ROC Timeline

Service Center: Vermont

90 Day Window Opened....08/08/17

I-751 Packet Sent..............08/14/17

NO1 Dated.........................

NO1 Received....................

Check Cashed....................

Biometrics Received..........

Biometrics Appointment.....



IR-1/CR-1 Visa

I-130 NOA1: 22 Dec 2014
I-130 NOA2: 25 Jan 2015
NVC Received: 06 Feb 2015
Pay AOS Bill: 07 Mar 2015
Pay IV Bill : 20 Mar 2015
Send IV/AOS Package: 23 Mar 2015
Submit DS-261: 26 Mar 2015
Case Completed at NVC: 24 Apr 2015
Interview Date: 22 Sep 2015
Visa Approved: 22 Sep 2015
Visa Received: 03 Oct 2015 

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I guess I was looking for fresh ideas in gift giving. I am aware of Chinese tradition. The red envelope 红信封, is not s new concept to me. I was giving them in the year 2000. Perhaps I already know what to give. or what not to-


Never give scissors, or knives.That would seen to wish to sever a relationship. 


Never give handkerchiefs, that is a symbol to say goodbye.


Never give anything in sets of 4. The tone of the word four  sounds similar to the tone in the word death. 


Cut flowers- ouch! They are presented at funerals. To cut a flower is to steal it's life, it will soon die. If you desire to give flowers, try to find a potted plant that is in blossom.


The colors yellow, and black are used at funerals. White can be seen at funerals as well. If I'm not mistaken it is seen as mourning. Stay away from that combination when giving. 


Shoes in gift giving is seen as evil.


Clocks are seen as bad luck.


Giving a wallet is seen as giving away one's wealth.


The word pear in Chinese has a similar sound to the word leaving. So giving a pear is a seen that you will be parting company in the near future. 


Candles are used at funerals. Never give candles as your Chinese friend will refer it to death.


You can give-


Fruit baskets, tea, tea pots.


Dried fruit, and or nuts.


Wine, liquor especially imported.


Money is always good!


Tobacco if they smoke.


Chocolates, uh, assuming the person eats sweets. Many Chinese I know stay away from sweets.


Above all. Give a gift that your receiver will be able to reciprocate. As the person certainly will. Giving a gift your friend cannot afford is to cause the person to lose face. Giving a gift to cheap will also cause your Chinese friend to lose face. it will be seen as an insult.


I speak some Chinese. I can navigate the country without an interpreter. I studied Chinese calligraphy. I studied Shaolin Kung Fu for 10 years. I sometimes do live in China. I hope that satisfies your curiosity.

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