The Gift Question

So I have been writing about life as an immigrant and life on the H4 visa when you are looking for a job. And I think this is a question which afflicts both these categories at some point when planning a trip home or when someone who is visiting home comes calling.

That is : What do I take as gifts for all back home

Well, when I was a girl and back in India, aunts and uncles would bring discounted american merchandize, even Revlon and Maybelline and be greeted with eternal gratitude. Hand me down toys such as a globe showing India with Kashmir lopped off would be accepted only because they were American.

Not any more, my friends. Most of the brands such as Revlon, adidas, nike are there in India and their products there are more customized to Indians. Lipstick colors for example, or tastes of cereal and clothing.

In cities like Delhi Malls gleam and show off wares that surpass or equals your Macy’s, so forget the Walmart stuff or extra gifts from last christmas to take along.

And its now a very proud country (which makes me proud too :)) so forget any kind of hand me downs.

net rezult – shopping for gifts is an expensive and tiresome proposition, becuase while so many things are available in India, the expectation that the phoren returned relative will bring gifts has not gone away.

So anyway, this is a cry for suggestions. What do you take as gifts?

Last 5 posts by Amrita Bakshi


  1. Smitha

    You are right Amrita.People know now the brandnames.They know walmart stuff.One of my cousin asked last time for a GAP jeans..I was like..I dont have one…

  2. winfried

    Amrita, In this post you can see how India’s economy has grown.! Gee I dont know what to say, last christmas we gave everybody gifts cards, its was easy, fast, and we took the hassle of xmas shopping, but you guys talking ’bout India hings changes a lot… What about a Visa Gift card lets say $25 for teens $50 for couples and toys for da kids..? That way they can spend it in whatever they want, you dont fill your laggage and everybody is happy!

  3. Priya

    Winfried, I dont know if people will like it if we give them visa cards..They want American stuff the real thing..but expensive brand ones now..But thats very good idea not to fill up the suitcases with things and give them the cards…Only thing is if they will like it or not…

  4. winfried

    Yeah Priya, I was thinking it might give them the freedom of buying what they wanted, but I see your point. But on the other hand, the way airlines are charging for excess luggage, that is how is gonna end up….

  5. Amrita

    You know Winfried, gift cards are a great idea for the US – I will use it next Christmas. I am not sure if it works in India – I mean if they are still valid. But we can always give cash. I think that is worth trying. Also Priya is right, many people in India want some gifts from ‘abroad’ .

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