10 Vietnamese Gifts that Won’t Work in Other Countries

The Vietnamese gifting culture is a significant piece of evidence of the peoples’ sentimental lifestyle. From a piece of candy, homemade cakes to a luxury gift set, almost everything can be representations of different forms of affection such as kindness or love. To know more about the Vietnamese gifting tradition and how it is reflected according to the perspective of different cultures, let’s check out this infographic.

Chung Cake and Giay Cake

Chung Cake and Giay Cake are traditional Vietnamese dishes. Giving them to loved ones on CNY symbolize prosperous beginnings.


With pork as one of the main ingredients, these dishes are not suitable for Muslim culture.


As these dishes are meat-based, they may not work in India, a country whose population mainly favours a vegetarian diet.

Can be mistaken as offensive since only the host can decide on the wine that is being served.

Arab Saudi
Wine is considered as an unlucky omen.

Alcohol is restricted in Muslim culture thus the gift of wine can be considered as insensitive.

Wine is regarded as an insincere and superficial gift in Argentina.


In Mandarin, the saying giving someone a clock sounds similar to the words “song jong” (送钟) which means “saying goodbye to the deceased”. It is thus considered an unlucky omen.


The main subjects of Dong Ho paintings are pigs and dogs, which are culturally sensitive subjects in a Muslim culture.

Red-Colored Items

Red is a lucky colour that is associated with fortune. It is commonly given during special occasions such as weddings and Tet; the Vietnamese new year.


Red cards and red carnations represent a life filled with struggle and is also an omen of death.


The word “shoes” in Mandarin sounds similar to the Mandarin word for sighing; which represents a life full of complains and misfortune.


In Korea, giving shoes as a gift to your lover means “partings” or “find someone better than me”.


In Japan, tea is a gift reserved for funerals. Giving people tea also means “You are bad”.


Money is a common gift from elders to youngsters. It stands for fortune and prosperity.


Money is not a common gift amongst Canadians. They gravitate towards non-monetary gifts such as flowers, chocolates and cards.


Along with yellow daisies, white lilies symbolize mourning and loss in many European countries.