There’s no Mango in Mangosteen

The Sandy Chronicles

MangosteenIf we were having coffee we’d be looking at the gift of mangosteens from my hubby’s tennis friend. It’s an old, familiar Chinese tradition, to bring gifts of fruit when visiting. When I was young, my Aunties used to do it and depending on whether they were shop keepers or gardeners, I’d have little treats of imported grapes or homegrown mangoes.  It’s a cordiality of friendship that I’d almost forgotten while living in Canada.

Outside of birthdays and Christmas, Westerners do not typically exchange gifts.  In fact, a business colleague once told me how uncomfortable he was when his Chinese employee kept giving him little gifts or souvenirs from her vacations abroad.  I remember feeling similarly dismayed in Beijing,  when direct reports gave me elaborate gifts for Chinese New Year and Harvest Moon Festival. US corporate policy promptly stopped the business habit.  I hear that in newly reformed China,  it…

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