India Trip Taking Zero Gifts From America?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Rihana, Jan 15, 2024.

  1. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    The very thought of choosing and ordering things online or visiting any stores locally makes me want to slide deeper into my comforter. : )

    All I want to take are my clothes, toiletries, shoes and electronics. Nothing else. I want to go with literally zero gifts bought in the U.S. I will be meeting only some friends and my side relatives, no in-laws. I am thinking I can buy some thing locally there and take when I go to meet people.

    Does anyone do this? Take nothing as gifts when going to India?

    One friend has always done this. All other friends say "you should take some small thing from U.S., some token gifts."
     
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  2. gamma50g

    gamma50g Gold IL'ite

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    @Rihana I want to add another option for you - just buy a product that is US origin but available in India once you go there and gift it. That way they are happy and you travel light.

    P.S. Personally Im fine getting fruits purchased locally in India during visits than stuff purchased here in US because almost everything you get here is also available in India.
     
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  3. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    As gift in 2011 he brought for me a heavy lap top from usa. This person went there to study MS. He finished MS got Employed in US and in 2013 came to India and gifted me an i-pad Mini. In 2015 he brought for me from New Jersy - a horizontal striped ribbed sleeve ribbed collar T Shirt. In 2022 he wound up from NJ for good and returned to India. At that time he brought black and white chocolates in various shades and ground-nut laden toffees. I wonder what he gift would hv got for me if he had continued living in US for few more years.... to cut the long story short, I must say this person is no other except my son in law's elder brother.
    Life is like that.
    But one thing, when he finally packed for India he did ask me whether he can bring an iPhone?
    I said a big NO.
    My only sister's daughter came to India alone with her baby of just a year old from Cupertino CA . She stayed for just a fortnight and had a whirlwind tour in India and left without meeting me. I heard she brought few gifts but she didn't handed a gift even to her parents. I longed to look at her and her product- I mean the baby -Anhitha. But then after her reaching back CA, I heard later that gifts she brought all lying undistributed in her inlaws house at Adayar.
     
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  4. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    Another lady came to India nearly after five years with her toddler son . She gave away beautiful gift packets at the hotel where she had arranged for a get together of her very close relatives and few friends. To save time visiting close relatives she organised a get together at hotel. In one go one day ine luncheon the meet is over and every one damn pleased with food gift and her bye bye. But gift for all same "Made in India"
    @Rihana welcome to Bharath ( not barath) your kin would receive you with wide open arms .
     
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  5. Srama

    Srama Finest Post Winner

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    Dear Ri,

    I do that every now and then. My trips to India are super short and sometimes unexpected. This past trip (in Dec) I did that - we decided like in two days, packed up! But I ended up buying some duty free perfumes for my nephews & nieces before exiting. That can turn out a little more expensive. That said, I do carry a bag/box or two of really good chocolate, and some good nail polishes - mostly keeping in mind the children I will inevitably end up meeting. I haven't shopped keeping people in mind at all or even carrying token gifts in a long time now. But then, my family is very small - mostly older adults, most youngsters have left the nest, and friends that I care a lot about are just one or two. For people I really love and care for, I have this habit of buying nitty gritty stuff as and when I see it someplace and that will go with me to India.

    That said, I have shopped in India to give to people there when I visit them. The interesting comment I have always received is "We live here only but don't find these things. How do you manage?" I think, that my friend is the trick. Shopping when done mindfully keeping people, their tastes in mind will always work out.

    You don't have to slide deeper into your comforter unless you want to - like I did this morning :) I must say that there is a sense of abandonment and freedom in just throwing in stuff you might need into your carry-on and setting off! Sometimes for India, I go with an attitude of "Oh! It is India! I can get whatever I want there and right away!"

    My suggestion is don't worry, have fun. This is not your first trip to India that you have to go home with gifts laden in your hands. It is alright. Enjoy your trip and stay warm under those blankets.
     
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  6. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    @Rihana

    Initially when I migrated to the US, when we prepare for a trip to India, we created a list of friends and relatives and decided what to buy for each one of them. Even we used to be transporters of things some people send to their relatives from either end. After 10 years, it became a short list of family members only gifts and no transportation of things for anyone except for ourselves. Even things we need in the US, I courier them ahead of my return trip so that it would come and wait at our residence. Now, our packings only include things for those who work in our Indian residence as maids every time we make the trip. No one else gets anything from us. If I visit anyone, I just buy some fruits and flowers as a courtesy especially if I visit people elder to me. I have also stopped visiting all relatives and I only make phone calls to them when I visit India except a few extended families who have been so close to us throughout our lives.
     
  7. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    I think it makes a lot of sense. India today is not the place many of us left a quarter century ago. Everything is available and many of my friends and relatives in India are even better off financially than people in the US thanks to smart real estate moves.
    I don’t visit often, but I take actual gifts only for my brother’s kids and very few close relatives. Some people will ask for specific items like art supplies, which makes my life easy. Otherwise when I go to visit people I will take a sari bought locally for the ladies,and some fruits. No one wants chocolates either since they are all watching their diet.
     
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  8. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    That is exactly what we do if we visit relatives!
     
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  9. anika987

    anika987 IL Hall of Fame

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    Actually we get everything from India now..

    However just for friends and close family members you can get some
    Gifts..

    I get small handbags or pouches ,perfume etc..

    It’s not about the gift but the thought for them that you brought something..people are conditioned that way :)

    Elders you can buy sarees there
     
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  10. peartree

    peartree Platinum IL'ite

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    I think this is very dependent on the age bracket of said relatives/friends.

    In my experience, the novelty of gifts from the US has worn out. My parents, in-laws and other older aunts/uncles are all in the mode of gifting us THEIR stuff now, because they want to get rid of things they have. Every year my mom and MIL choose some of their golu dolls or nice kitchen utensils and pack them ready to either bring it when they come or hand it over to us to bring back when we go! Their silk sarees are stitched into pavadais for the grand daughters and my aunts all keep some exclusive silk sarees for me and my sister. That's how it has become.

    As for cousins with young kids, what they seem to be interested in are books or educational toys for the kids! I think in general, people's mind set has changed from accumulating things to actually keeping homes free and clear of stuff.

    If at all there is anything my parents or people of their generation are interested in, they want the zip-loc bags from IKEA, and that too is used to eventually pack sambar podis and pickles back for us! Other times, I might take essentials like one of my uncles finds the varicose veins socks we get here in the US a great relief for him. Even chocolates, there is almost every brand that's available here that's also available there and people are usually able to afford them!

    I think the gift of your time, in going and paying them a quick visit, especially the elderly relatives will be cherished more than anything you can take for them!
     
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