Gift for older Khmer man - alcohol okay?

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StroppyChops
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Gift for older Khmer man - alcohol okay?

Post by StroppyChops » Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:20 pm

A Khmer grandfather and I are building a non-speaking (often the best sort) bromance, we bow and greet each other in Khmer every day, and recently he's unexpectedly done me a personal favour. I'd like to take our bromance to the next level but dinner and a movie don't seem appropriate yet. I thought alcohol would be a good move and bought him a $10 bottle of port. Any comment/thoughts on whether this is socially appropriate and if his generation would receive such a gesture well?
Bodge: This ain't Kansas, and the neighbours ate Toto!
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StroppyChops
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Re: Gift for older Khmer man - alcohol okay?

Post by StroppyChops » Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:21 pm

Joon, OD, hoping you'll comment please? Others too, of course.
Bodge: This ain't Kansas, and the neighbours ate Toto!
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PSD-Kiwi
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Re: Gift for older Khmer man - alcohol okay?

Post by PSD-Kiwi » Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:28 pm

Do you know whether or not he even drinks, may be a little insulting to give him booze if he doesn't.

I have found Khmers generally feel embarrassed when receiving gifts( unless its Khmer NY or Pchum Benh), and they feel compelled to reciprocate. Hopefully someone else with more knowledge and experience can advise you on the etiquette.
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StroppyChops
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Re: Gift for older Khmer man - alcohol okay?

Post by StroppyChops » Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:32 pm

PSD-Kiwi wrote:Do you know whether or not he even drinks, may be a little insulting to give him booze if he doesn't.

I have found Khmers generally feel embarrassed when receiving gifts, and they feel compelled to reciprocate. Hopefully someone else with more knowledge and experience can advise you on the etiquette.
I don't, to be honest, and was working on the blind assumption that anyone who lived through the genocide might not mind a tipple, or at least have someone in the family that would enjoy a bottle. I'm also reciprocating to the favour he's done me in the hope that it's the done thing. Thanks for the input.
Bodge: This ain't Kansas, and the neighbours ate Toto!
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Digg3r
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Re: Gift for older Khmer man - alcohol okay?

Post by Digg3r » Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:58 pm

StroppyChops wrote:
PSD-Kiwi wrote:Do you know whether or not he even drinks, may be a little insulting to give him booze if he doesn't.

I have found Khmers generally feel embarrassed when receiving gifts, and they feel compelled to reciprocate. Hopefully someone else with more knowledge and experience can advise you on the etiquette.
I don't, to be honest, and was working on the blind assumption that anyone who lived through the genocide might not mind a tipple, or at least have someone in the family that would enjoy a bottle. I'm also reciprocating to the favour he's done me in the hope that it's the done thing. Thanks for the input.
Through my research I concluded that the majority of older Cambodians didn't survive the Khmer rouge but they were indeed the Khmer rouge.

Get the old guy a whore for the evening...
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Re: Gift for older Khmer man - alcohol okay?

Post by StroppyChops » Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:07 pm

Digg3r wrote:Through my research I concluded that the majority of older Cambodians didn't survive the Khmer rouge but they were indeed the Khmer rouge.
That may be the case, but I wasn't here so I don't know - and I'm not going to ask. He's treated me very civilly, I'm just looking to respond in kind.
Get the old guy a whore for the evening...
I won't be doing that.
Bodge: This ain't Kansas, and the neighbours ate Toto!
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Digg3r
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Re: Gift for older Khmer man - alcohol okay?

Post by Digg3r » Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:08 pm

It was a joke.

Or was it...
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Re: Gift for older Khmer man - alcohol okay?

Post by Bitte_Kein_Lexus » Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:42 pm

I'd think he'd feel obliged to reciprocate as well. I mean, if someone you barely know randomly gave you a gift how would you feel? He probably figures neighbours do that where you're from, so he'll feel like he should do the same. Does he live with his family? If so, why not just give him some fruit or something?

Not saying it's a bad idea, just not sure... Then again, maybe you guys can sit silently and drink in each other's company. Could be a good thing.
Ex Bitteeinbit/LexusSchmexus
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Re: Gift for older Khmer man - alcohol okay?

Post by StroppyChops » Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:52 pm

Thanks BKL - I spoke to his son in law earlier and asked if he drinks, and if it would be appropriate to give a gift of alcohol to say thanks for said deed. He was quietly amused but very supportive, so it's either a good idea or he's pranking me. Given how much respect the SIL has shown me to date, I doubt the latter.
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Re: Gift for older Khmer man - alcohol okay?

Post by OrangeDragon » Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:55 pm

Is he provincial? If so, multivitamins. The really good ones from U-Care. Perhaps even if he isn't in the provinces, as they're pricy and something they tend to avoid shelling out the money for.

I was amazed at how grateful my extended family were when I brought over 5 big jars of Walgreens generic vitamins. They give them to the old and the young in the family nearly religiously, being acutely aware of the malnourishment that plagues their country. It's sort of a big deal thing we from the lands of enriched foods easily forget and take for granted.

Aside from that, honestly most of my ideas will be for people who live in the provinces. With alcohol, if he drinks, it's fine... so long as you plan to drink it with him. The feeling they should reciprocate, as mentioned above, will drive them to want it to be shared with you. Generally the time to give a gift is when they invite you into their homes for food/etc so that by feeding you and being good hosts the reciprocation aspect is covered.
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