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Gifts for Hosts?

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Gifts for Hosts?

Postby Youshen » Mon 05.08.2006 2:42 pm

So I will be staying with a host for a month and I am not sure what type of gift I should bring them? They do not drink, so the simple gift of wine (or drink) would not be appropriate. Any ideas would be greatly appriciated. Thanks.

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RE: Gifts for Hosts?

Postby DreamOfTheFayth » Mon 05.08.2006 2:52 pm

Im in much the same situation that you are :D, The Teacher in charge of the summer program I am doing is japanese and she suggested that the present be something that represents Arizona(the state i live in) or ASU(my school)
私の名前はサンダサンだ.......さんださんだ(you get the idea.)

oh and btw, thats not my real name :P
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RE: Gifts for Hosts?

Postby Youshen » Mon 05.08.2006 2:58 pm

I guess that might work... I'm in california, so I could try to think of something like that. However, I'm going over there with a few friends to visit some people that my friends met last year... so this isn't much of an educational trip (such as being sent out from my college or through a teaching/learning program)... But definitly thanks for the idea about getting them something that would be state related. :)

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RE: Gifts for Hosts?

Postby Frumious Boojum » Mon 05.08.2006 3:03 pm

DreamOfTheFayth wrote:
Im in much the same situation that you are :D, The Teacher in charge of the summer program I am doing is japanese and she suggested that the present be something that represents Arizona(the state i live in) or ASU(my school)


Which really puts Youshen in a bind, since wine is a perfect representation of California....

But the state representation does work well. I'm not sure what part of california you're in, so I couldn't tell you a good idea based on that without knowing.

But, if you're in socal, something from Disneyland or Hollywood would work well.

Or, if you're in an area near one of the national parks, something from that park would be great.

Or just pick something that would be a bit more personal so that they can better remember you.
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RE: Gifts for Hosts?

Postby Youshen » Mon 05.08.2006 3:10 pm

Yeah, actually it's pretty easy for me to pick something up that would be a perfect representation of the state... I'm about 15 minutes away from San Francisco. :) I'm sure I could find something there that would work. Thanks for the suggestions...

Any others?
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RE: Gifts for Hosts?

Postby PandanoTake » Mon 05.08.2006 3:18 pm

They enjoy pictures, postcards, state-representative merchandise, presentations, etc. Stick with the materials to give though.
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RE: Gifts for Hosts?

Postby Txkun » Mon 05.08.2006 3:34 pm

Youshen wrote:
Yeah, actually it's pretty easy for me to pick something up that would be a perfect representation of the state... I'm about 15 minutes away from San Francisco. :) I'm sure I could find something there that would work. Thanks for the suggestions...

Any others?

I remember a shop in San Francisco where they sell very nice little chocolate boxes with the shape of the very unique 'Frisco rail train. They were very nice and brought that to my cousins here. ;)
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RE: Gifts for Hosts?

Postby two_heads_talking » Mon 05.08.2006 4:47 pm

take something with you that is specifically local to the are you live in.. something that the family will be able to remember you by.. maybe your home town is known for log sculpture, or wood carvings or maybe the local area is known for something else.. make it personal and make it something that will last..

to be honest, i never did understand the liquor thing.. it's gone in a few minutes with little in return..

just my thoughts..
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RE: Gifts for Hosts?

Postby Txkun » Mon 05.08.2006 6:40 pm

As a sidenote,
giving your gift I think it would be nice if you follow some of these points. Your host family will surely appreciate that you are willing to know how to behave in their culture

http://zine375.eserver.org/zine1.html
http://www.tjf.or.jp/eng/ge/ge06wrap.htm
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RE: Gifts for Hosts?

Postby DreamOfTheFayth » Tue 05.09.2006 4:49 am

You may already have this information but here are a couple of phrases from my text book when giving a gift:

"あのう、これ、つまらないものですが、どうぞ..." ("this is an insignificant thing but please accept it")

and if/when they 'hesitate or show reservation' you can reply"

"ほんとうにたいしたものじゃありませんから、...どうぞ" ("It is really nothing at all so please,...go ahead)

Hope this information helps someone :D
私の名前はサンダサンだ.......さんださんだ(you get the idea.)

oh and btw, thats not my real name :P
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RE: Gifts for Hosts?

Postby SuzuQ » Tue 05.09.2006 5:44 am

What food is California famous for? Something famous will be a nice present.
Something that has the state name (or the city name) on it will be good present too. (e.g. t-shirt, any ornament)

I think photos of your city are good too. How about a picture of yourself with nice photo frame? I know American people often take nice photo at photo studio!

If anyone in your host family smokes, cigarette which is not sold in japan might be interesting ;)
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RE: Gifts for Hosts?

Postby keatonatron » Tue 05.09.2006 7:50 am

The Japanese tradition of gift-giving is often centered around location and location-specific goods. In Japan, whenever you go on a trip you are expected to bring back gifts for your friends and coworkers (Seriously, one time I got back from a trip and my coworkers literally held out their hands and said "what'cha get me?"). These gifts are always somehow representative of the place you went. This idea most likely comes from the fact that every region of Japan has some special product that you can only get in that region. This also explains why Tokyo Disneyland has so many HUGE stores full of Disney branded cookies and candies--things you can only buy at the real Tokyo Disneyland.

The same idea goes for when you visit someone somewhere else. When I was back in the States, a friend of a friend came to visit from Japan. She didn't know she was going to meet me before she left, but nonetheless when I met her she presented me with a bottle of sake that is only made in the region where she is from. Apparently she brought a bunch of those bottles, not even knowing who she was going to give them to.

Basically, the idea of bringing some local product is by far the best, and you don't need to listen to any others :D

And the reason a consumable item is preferred is easy to understand... If you don't like someone's gift, it's really hard (and disrespectful) to throw it away. With food and drink, even if it's not good, once you've experienced it it's gone and there's no tacky thing left to find a place for B)

That might also relate to the Japanese ideals of "beauty is impermanence", but I'll leave that for another thread...
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RE: Gifts for Hosts?

Postby Youshen » Tue 05.09.2006 2:58 pm

Txkun - Thanks for those sites, they are simple and informative.

Dream of the Fayth - I don't know how to read Japanese (so could you write out the pronunciation). Thanks. :)

SuzuQ and Keatonatron - I worry about bringing a perishable/consumable item with me, because it will have to survive customs and the 15 hour flight over there... which will be quite difficult.

California is known for its Avacados (different tasting than anywhere else in the world - they have a butter texture and taste). It is also known for its Wine (napa valley). It also exports a special type of rice which comprises 75% of Japans rice (only can be cultivated in Napa)... um, we have the original Disneyland... the Golden Gate Bridge... San Francisco is known as the creater of Sour Dough Bread.... haha, but all of these things would be difficult to bring, if possible at all.

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RE: Gifts for Hosts?

Postby DreamOfTheFayth » Tue 05.09.2006 6:22 pm

"あのう、これ、つまらないものですが、どうぞ..." = Anoo, kore, tsumaranaimono desu ga, doozo...

"ほんとうにたいしたものじゃありませんから、...どうぞ" = Hontooni taishitamono ja arimasen kara, ...doozo.

Hope that helps.
私の名前はサンダサンだ.......さんださんだ(you get the idea.)

oh and btw, thats not my real name :P
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RE: Gifts for Hosts?

Postby SuzuQ » Tue 05.09.2006 11:36 pm

California is known for its Avacados

oh avocados... that must be perishable...

My coworkers and friends often bring back a box/can of chocolates and cookies when they go outside of Japan, so I guess sweets would be nice and not perishable gift even if they are not famous but have the state name or city name on it. Sweets don't bring any troubles at the custom either :)

When I visited Portland, there was a shop called "Made in Oregon". Stuffs from that kind of shops will be good, i guess.
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