Originally Posted by alyssa9933
My husband and I are moving to Thailand in late May for his job. We have been told that his Thai employer has commissioned a 'huge' teak dragon statue for our home as a welcome gift. We are not sure if there is any kind of significant meaning behind this type of gift or if the dragon has any specific meaning but we were told by one person that the dragon in your home sends well wishes and sentiments of welcome and good luck. Can someone tell me if there is any cultural or specific meaning by this gesture.
Also, we in turn would like to reciprocate and bring he and his wife a gift from the US to thank them for all they have done to assist us with our move and to give well wishes for our future partnerhips. I am having a terrible time trying to think of what would have a nice sentimental and welcoming meaning to a Thai person that could be bought here in the US. I don't want it to be stars and stripes and the like, but something spirtual and meaningful if you know what I mean. Are there any Thai customs or any usual protocol any of you can tell me that might help me decide what to get?
I donít think there is a hidden meaning in a special welcome gift. We love to give gifts to welcome newcomers or to special people who visit our homes. The gift can be a big basket of fruit or a bouquet of flowers, local specialties etc. That dragon gift may represent the open friendship and hospitality. The reason he chose the dragon could be because the owner of the business is Thai with Chinese heritage and likes dragons (most Chinese do). He may own a woodcarving place as well or know someone who does an excellent job with woodcarving. (By the way, check the dragonís feet. A superior dragon has five claws on each foot and represents the emperor status.) A son of a wealthy Chinese Thai is sometimes referred to as a dragonís son in the media. Office workers give small gifts, picked up from oversea trips, to each others, e.g., key-chains, little dolls, knick-knacks, snacks. The women love souvenir wallets because they symbolize incoming wealth, according to my Chinese friend. Do not give anything sharp as a gift. They believe sharp objects cut or hurt friendship. One who receives such a gift may give a baht coin in return so the friendship will not suffer. I have done that myself. (Not that I believe so but just in case, ha ha.)
They do not expect anything in return from you. But if you want to give them something from the U.S., that something should be made in America. Hard to find these days, I know.
In my (Thai) opinion you donít need to give anything back in return but when you get to Thailand take him and his wife out to a nice dinner at a fancy place like the famous Italian restaurant, Gianni near Ploenchit Rd. or the New York Steak House on top of the Marriott Hotel or Le Normandie Restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. They have great food but western worldís prices and are frequented by the Have.