Clocks as gifts?

No!  At least not to someone who is Chinese.  Why?  The Chinese word for clock and bells that toll to measure the hours in time is zhong (1st tone) 

and the Chinese word for end, finally, death or die is also zhong (1st tone). 

The characters are different, but the pronounciation is the same.  Therefore, giving a clock to someone is like saying, “I hope you die!”

Hmmmmm, puts starting a clock at our wedding in a whole new light, huh?  Marriage, a long, slow death?  Naaah!  We’ll stick to our version.  But don’t give a Chinese person a clock or a watch as a gift — unless…, now let’s not be rude.

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4 Responses

  1. Interesting. I was at our clinic “White Elephant” and one of the sought after swaps was a nice KNIFE set. One woman insisted that whomever took it from the last “paid” the other at least a penny – b/c it was bad luck to give/accept a set of knives in Chinese culture. According to her, it insinuates a “cutting off” of a relationship.

  2. PS – That fish looked so colorful and YUM! I wish I could get a close up so I could see everything that you put on top. Was this a Chinese recipe?? Did you fry the fish before topping it?

  3. but a pack of marlboro’s is good right???

  4. I’ll have to ask about Marlboro’s in Chinese. Apparently there’s no bad omen there. Smokin’!

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