For people in Chinese-speaking places like Taiwan, Hong Kong and China, a clock is best avoided when it comes to gift giving. It sounds like the word for "end" and many associate the object with death, says The Shanghai Daily.
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Fruit is a common gift in China when visiting friends or relatives, the paper says, but you should steer clear of pears, especially for couples. It sounds similar to the word for "separation."
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Flowers also present a number of pitfalls. Unless you're going to a funeral, don't buy a bunch of chrysanthemums, which are used to commemorate the dead, the paper advises.
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Green hats are also a no-no, says the paper. "Wearing a green hat" is an expression used when a woman cheats on her husband, so definitely a poor choice of gift.
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Sharp objects like knives might lead the recipient to conclude that you want to "yi dao liang duan" -- to make a clean break.
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Don't give your boyfriend or girlfriend a pair of shoes - it suggests the end of a relationship.
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Umbrellas should be given a wide berth - the Chinese word sounds like "san" - which can also mean separation.