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Why can’t we give Thai people handkerchief as a present?

       There are a number of gifts that it is considered bad luck to give in Thailand, particularly if the person is your loved one or a close friend.

      This article will explain mainly about why you shouldn’t give Thai people a handkerchief as a gift but we will also touch on other taboo gifts.

      A handkerchief in Thai is paa chet naa, cloth for wiping your face. Apart from blowing your nose in your handkerchief it can also be used for drying tears when you cry which is where the bad luck part comes in.

        If you give someone a handkerchief as a gift, it is like you are expecting them to cry a lot and need a handkerchief to dry their tears. If you don’t want someone to cry a lot, avoid giving them a handkerchief.

Other items which are considered bad luck to give as a gift include:
  • Shoes, especially if you give them to your partner.
  • Black clothes, this is an old Thai superstition that if you give someone black clothes then you will be going to their funeral.
  • Watch/Clock, if you give someone a watch or a clock as a gift it is believed that your relationship with them may be over when the clock stops ticking.
  • Perfume, As Thai people like to say if you don’t believe it, don’t disparage it. Many Thai think giving perfume to your partner could make your love lessen like the scent of the perfume that is fade away over time.
  • A Photograph of Yourself, another thing that you absolutely don’t want to give to your beloved is the photo of yourself because giving a photo for memory when you are apart.
  • A Comb, Thai people compare relationship to the teeth of a comb, you don’t want to go apart like the comb’s teeth.

We know that this may sound a bit crazy but if you want your gifts to be graciously received avoid giving handkerchiefs or any of the other items listed here.

Stay safe and enjoy the land of smiles!

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