The Journey of the Mandarin Orange

Have you ever thought about how far the Mandarin Orange travels before it reaches your stomach? Just think about it.

Its because of this Chinese Culture we have of exchanging CNY goodies during CNY. For example, its considered rude to arrive at a guest’s house empty handed. Its also rude to allow your guest who arrives with gifts to leave empty handed.

So this is what happens to the Mandarin orange. Just imagine this scenario.

First it arrives from China. Then it gets wrapped up into pretty hampers. You receive a hamper from work, think its very nice and decide to give it to your older relative. Your older relative gives it to another nephew or niece who comes visiting from outstation. The nephew or niece gives it to a friend who visited them with gifts in return for their gifts. The friend gives it to another friend who gives it to another friend and yet another friend (who happens to know you too) who gives it back to you when he comes to visit you at your house.

Don’t shake your head. This scenario is entirely possible.

Speaking of exchanging gifts. I’m not very good at this gift giving and returning. I always feel a bit awkward doing it. It doesn’t come naturally to me. How about you?

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8 thoughts on “The Journey of the Mandarin Orange

  1. I’m also very bad at this. I always feed awkwards when people bring something to my house.

    Best if they don’t bring anything like you said. Most of the time its just not very useful food items being recycled around.

  2. Don’t need to feel awkward. Just get prepared by buying some cookies and packets of groundnuts and canned fruits put one of each in bags along with some mandarin oranges and possibly an angpow packet with RM2 in it, to give back to your visitors. Since it’s expected to not let the visitors leave empty handed, just go with the flow.

    You are good. Ok. Ok. I try to go with the flow. Hehe.

  3. yea… i m bad at this gift giving too.. many times very ‘pai sey’ wanna receive gift when ppl visited my hse ;p

    Pai Sey if accepting, Pai Sey if never give in return, Pai Sey if go ppl’s hse never give gift etc etc etc. We chinese really very clever to Pai Sey.

  4. Oh! I just learn how to do it since I got married 2 years ago. Not so good at it too. But, it’s good to give. And, when I get something from others, I feel touched too!:P

    Haha. You are different from the rest.

  5. Hope it is not too late to wish you A happy new year.

    When I was young, my sister and I used to laugh at how our mother and the guest would push the bag of gifts to each other, as each tell the other things like “aiya, no need lah”

    Now as a mother,…what do I do? I guess i fall into the trap too. Siao right. The other day my friend calling me very “auntie” to bring the bag of gift to her and my excuse was mine is goodies from Pg not really CNY goodies.

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