Gift Taboos in Singapore

While our business focus is on flower delivery in Singapore, we are also well aware of the gifting culture in Singapore because flowers are one of the most common gifts that are both given and received in Singapore. A huge part of the gift culture is knowing what not to buy. Unlikely other countries, it is much more complicated in Singapore. This is because Singapore is a mishmash of various cultures and religions, with each religion having strict rules about what we should not give as gift. Today we will be looking at some of these things and also a few tips about how to mitigate these factors if you really want to give these gifts.

A quick note that some ofthese taboos will be more applicable to the older generation of Singaporeans ascompared to the younger ones. The younger Singaporeans seem to not view theseitems that negatively when they receive them as gifts.


Well, since we run a flowershop in raffles place, it is appropriate to first start with flowers. IF youever want to give someone a birthday present or a romantic gift, please do notuse Chrysanthemum flowers. This is because Chrysanthemum is associated with thedeceased and funerals and it is not a good idea under any circumstances to givethese.


Giving shoes can sound like a great idea especially given the fact that most girls do not mind having an additional pair of shoes. However, apart from getting the right size, getting shoes as gifts may send the wrong message in Singapore. This is because it is perceived as giving the recipient a reason to leave you.

However, there is a quickfix. If the recipient pays a small token amount for the shoes then it will notbe considered as a reason for the recipient to leave you. It doesn’t have to bemuch. Just a dollar or two will do!


In Singapore, it is best not to give knives as gifts. This does not just refer to kitchen knives or samurai swords but can also refer to small knives like swiss army knives and other types of contraptions. As many of these metal instruments are associated with causing grievous hurt, it is best to steer clear of these when you are thinking of what gifts you want to send to your loved ones.


Books have the same pronunciation as ‘lose’ in Chinese. While we have no qualms about buying books for the younger generation, the older generation may perceive that you are cursing them. With that in mind, it is best not to send any books as gifts. However, there is a very easy work around for this. With the advent of online bookstores like Amazon, come those great gift cards that can be used to acquire books and other things on Amazon as well. People may not like to receive books as gifts but that does not mean you can give gift cards!


Another great pronunciation mishap will be that of the clock. In Chinese, giving a clock has the same pronunciation as holding a funeral for the person. Hence do not be surprised when Singaporeans are less than happy when you give them clocks. This is not just referring to those big grandfather clocks and can also apply to small time pieces. Generally, it is a good idea to avoid anything that tells time when it comes to giving gifts.

IF you have any other queries about what not to give, do let us know and we will be happy to help!

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