Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Our next door neighbor, who happens to work at my school, has the cutest kids. This morning the kids dropped off some sliced peaches. They are always are so excited to see us, and I think it is safe to say the feeling is mutual.

We have lived in cultures where gift giving was common, but it seems to be different here. People seem to do it because they get genuine pleasure from giving versus doing it strictly out of obligation. I did not understand this at all at first, so I generally felt bad when I got gifts. Now I get it.

There are other traditions of giving that are nice also. When you have a drink with others, you should allow others to pour your drink. This was also the case in Japan, and I thought it was a bit old fashion and maybe even foolish. Now that I have lived in Asia a while, I see it as a nice small way of social bonding. Of course this can lead to a lot more consumption of alcohol, but that is neither here nor there.

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