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Nancy R. Mitchell gives us some protocol and etiquette advice on gift giving, such as where to find information about gift ...
giving customs in other countries
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Where can I find information about gift giving customs in other countries? Nancy Mitchell: There are many resources available and they have books, websites, and people. I think first and foremost about a book called “Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands” is a wonderful resource. There is a chapter on an individual country. It will tell a lot about the history, the travel, the food, the business etiquettes if you will when you are traveling or doing business there. Then there is always something about gift giving, when you give a gift; should you wrap it, should you be prepared to get gifts at all levels, what are some taboos, gifts to avoid, it is a wonderful book. There is another series called “Global Etiquette Guides,” a book on each country or each region of the world, the same information there, what to avoid so that when you are doing something that is so sincere giving a gift is not having the opposite effect and that is embarrassing or offending the recipient. There are websites available as well. One that comes to mind it is called ExecutivePlanet.com. Again, you click on the country, go right to the gift giving etiquette, find out what is acceptable and what gifts to avoid. Then people who work in protocol are also a resource, find somebody on the website, send an e-mail, ask a question. The important thing is to do the research and not to make mistakes.