The governor inadvertently committed a cultural faux pas by presenting Tsai with a clock bearing the Texas State Seal. In Chinese culture the phrase “giving a clock” ( 送鐘) is a homophone with “attending a funeral,” and therefore symbolizes an untimely demise for the recipient.
What, for real?
I wouldn’t expect a local government to be aware of such of thing. They met her in Texas and gave her a culturally appropriate and totally respectful gift by local standards.
Oh, come on. Didnt he have even 1 person of Chinese background look over the plans, talk to him about basic etiquette for even 5 mins?
I mean, she is a head of state, do we always have to look like we don’t know ?//#$%$all about other cultures?
It would be especially funny if they mixed up “Republic” and “People’s Republic” like the DC people did a few years ago.
Probably not, why should he? It’s a local government not the State Department. What are they going to call in an expert every gift they give to someone. You can’t expect the rest of the world to recognize your obscure superstitions. I’m sure Tsai or her team weren’t remotely troubled by it.
I’ve seen the State Department do the same thing. Americans get so concerned with issues and adminis-trivia that they/we don’t always give enough attention to what might be culturally important to their counterpart.
But you can be damn sure the font was correct.
I’m not a Ted Cruz fan, but am glad that he doesn’t feel the need to ask China’s permission to meet with any world leader. Tsai is savvy. She knows the clock is a gift and not a curse.
But will it play in Pingtung?