We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Presents for future grandmothers-in-law?

Level Contributor
6 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Presents for future grandmothers-in-law?

Hello,

I apologise if this is the wrong forum to post this question but I am in need of some advice.

I am soon to visit Hong Kong, with my partner who is BBC, I am British born white. I am to visit both his grandmothers, I am trying to learn how to address them, I think it's Por Por and Ma Ma (please bare with me I am learning very slowly!), and I would like to know if I should buy a gift for them?

My partners parents, who both live here in uk, with whom we are travelling to Hong Kong have said this would be nice, but have not offered advice on what I should buy.

I would like to ensure I do the right thing, as first impressions count!

And...he is the eldest son, of the eldest son, so I know how important it is for me to make the right impression.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
Level Contributor
53,962 posts
158 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Presents for future grandmothers-in-law?

Por Por is the maternal grandmother. Ma Ma is the paternal grandmother. The grandfathers are "Gung Gung" (maternal) and "Yeah Yeah" (paternal).

Buying a gift never hurts. You might want to discuss with your partner as to what's appropriate though. If he thinks they want something fancy, then perhaps a decorative piece for the shelf would be nice. Usually, cookies are probably always a safe bet. Do not buy a clock since the same words phonetically also refer to a funeral.

Dublin, California
Level Contributor
20,485 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Presents for future grandmothers-in-law?

Something made in England, perhaps a nice warm wool wrap.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong
Level Contributor
7,094 posts
129 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Presents for future grandmothers-in-law?

It's always welcomed to receive gifts. With this question, you are bound to get all kinds of answers. All very subjective.

I personally think the older generation in HK would like to receive:

Tea (could be fruit tea) in a nice English style Tin can, and cookies.

Nice tea cup/tea pot set. (pain to bring over because it's fragile)

Anything from HARRODS. (Hahaha)

Something warm like scarf, or shawl... as suggested.

Just throwing around ideas.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
2,099 posts
254 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Presents for future grandmothers-in-law?

For Po Po and Ye Ye just make sure it is not MADE IN CHINA!

Check the label(s). as it would defeat the object of the exercise.

Tea Towels from london or any well known city eg Cambridge are ideal small but simple and not overbearing.

I am surprised your Husband's parents have not offered any advise.

Still if they have been away from HK for a long time perhaps they are out of touch.

Edited: 26 October 2011, 21:18
Australia
Level Contributor
4,089 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Presents for future grandmothers-in-law?

Personally, I don't think it's a matter of "a gift would be nice", but "a gift is necessary"! In my family and those of my friends, you don't marry (or date/court/etc.) just the person, you marry their whole family, and grandparents are particularly important, especially, if they're the "matriarch" of the family, or simply highly respected by all other family members.

I would certainly go with your partner's suggestions or ask your partner's parents for specific ideas again. What you might think is a nice gift might be something they absolutely don't like. My grandma wouldn't appreciate fruit tea, but, I might. It's very much an individual thing - I know in my family, we don't need to necessarily bring quintessential Australian items because, to be honest, certain family members will hand them back to you (saying, "oh, you shouldn't have!"), put it aside or give them to someone else (not a good sign!). So, instead, we might end up bringing simple things (even if they already have it in HK) that we know they'll like for sure. Having said that, I know other people's family are completely different to mine, so, it's really difficult to suggest anything in particular.

I think tea is a good idea though, but I'd go as far as checking what type of tea they'd more appreciate (e.g. black, green, fruit, etc.), and likewise, considering the finer details of any gift you think of purchasing. It's not easy, I realise!

Good luck with your gift search, and I hope you have a GREAT time in HK! :)

Edited: 27 October 2011, 06:49
Australia
Level Contributor
4,089 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Presents for future grandmothers-in-law?

Forgot to mention ... Apart from the gift, your actions/behaviour/etc. are even more important (which I realise is rather obvious). My grandma, for one, would have taken great notice of the simple things like ... Every time you see her, do you go and say 'hello' straight away or are you busy chatting to Person A/B/C? Do you pour tea for everyone (e.g. including her first) at lunch/dinner, or is everyone pouring tea for you instead? Once again, it's probably different for every family.

Anyway, I really hope everything goes well for you, and that you find a great gift! Have an AMAZING trip! :)

Level Contributor
4,196 posts
163 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Presents for future grandmothers-in-law?

Whatever you buy, please do not buy a clock!

Level Contributor
6 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Presents for future grandmothers-in-law?

Thanks to all of you for the replies, they have been very helpful.

My partner has no idea what to buy, which is what prompted me to ask on here. He doesn't like the idea of a shawl/scarf - but I have read all restaurants are quite cool due to the aircon, so I thought that might have been a nice idea. I need to take one myself!

I will not be buying a clock, great advice - thanks.

I like the idea of a teapot ( always useful ), and some tea. I'll ask his parents the preferred choice of tea for both Ma Ma and Por Por and get the tea once in hong kong.If I could find an English bone china tea pot here that would be great!

I appreciate the advice too, I was advised by another friend too that I should pour tea for all, with either Ma Ma and Por Por served first. I am petrified I will spill it everywhere! I am rather clumsy when under pressure. I need to start practicing.

I have also just purchased a 'learn Cantonese' cd, I am rather hopeless at languages, but I intend to learn a few greetings etc to try to make a good impression. If anything it will give all the family something to laugh about, my appalling attempt at Cantonese.

I am looking forward to it, only a few weeks before we go. Lots to read on here too, lots of great threads on advice where to go etc. I plan to do both authentic and tourist so the best of both worlds.

Many thanks for your advice.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong
Level Contributor
7,094 posts
129 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Presents for future grandmothers-in-law?

Fruit tea can be very welcomed or rose tea or jasmine tea, it isnt the tea....it's more the tin can that one is looking at. English tea cans are nice keepsake if you choose nice one.

Fruit tea has become super popular in HK, for health benefits. No caffeine, natural,.organic....etc. Many fine restaurants offer choice of different fruit teas by per person price. Served in beautiful tea pot on a warmer with a unique teacup. I see many people of older generation enjoying it.

Chinese tea like oolong, pu li, tian guan yin...etc...the popular ones, we,have the top money can buy here, so no point buying chinese tea from abroad. It is the packaging that will make the statement.

Just my opinion.

I still think a small teapot/cup set (western style) would be best gift!

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
Level Contributor
53,962 posts
158 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Presents for future grandmothers-in-law?

I like the "anything from Harrods" idea. It's pretty safe (besides the clock).