Giving a housewarming gift to a Vietnamese family requires that you pay attention to a few cultural rules of etiquette. Vietnamese housewarming gifts typically are focused on practicality and usefulness in the new home. It is also important to pay attention to how the gift is presented.
When visiting a Vietnamese family's new home for the first time, it is customary to give items the family can put to use in the house. Picture frames, towels and kitchen items are traditional. It is also acceptable to give items meant to beautify or perfume, like fragrant soaps or aromatic candles, which act like potpourri for the home. If you would like to bring flowers, keep in mind that flower bouquets should only be exchanged from a man to a woman.
There are some gifts you should avoid giving during a Vietnamese housewarming gathering. Handkerchiefs should never be given, as these are used during sad times and can be a bad omen in the Vietnamese culture. You should also avoid giving objects with blunt or sharp edges, like chopping knives or scissors, as this is seen as an omen that the relationship between the gift-giver and the recipient might be severed.
It's imperative that you pay attention to how you wrap your present for a housewarming party. In the Vietnamese culture, you must never give a gift wrapped in black or dark paper, as this is associated with death. It's best to wrap presents it bright, cheery colors like red or pink. Adding a flower to the top of the present adds extra life and vibrancy and will be well-received by the Vietnamese family.
- Kristine Ratanaphruks/Demand Media