10 Interesting Gifts in the Human and Animal Kingdom

10 Interesting Gifts in the Human and Animal Kingdom

Have you ever received the exactly wrong gift? I don’t mean an ugly sweater from your Aunt and Uncle, I’m mean a toaster from your boyfriend, a how-to book from your hubby. There’s an art to finding the perfect gift. Certain cultures, both human and animal, have pretty specific requirements, where you need an understanding of the culture and the meaning, to not screw up. Here are some interesting gifts you should know about:

Interesting gifts from bonobos

Interesting gifts for the Maasai people of Kenya and Tanzania

Interesting gifts from cats

Interesting gifts from Japanese vacations

Interesting gifts from cavemen

Interesting gifts for the Día de Muertos

Interesting gifts for Asian brides

Interesting gifts from Bowerbirds

Interesting gifts from Hong Kong and the Pacific region

Interesting gifts from Inupiat culture



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10 Interesting Gifts in the Human and Animal Kingdom Full Text:

1.Interesting gifts from bonobos.

A Duke U. study proved that bonobos voluntarily share food, even with strangers from other groups because they enjoy social interactions. But they’ll share regardless of whether a new relationship forms.

Even more interestingly, the researchers found that bonobos will give food away to strangers – or help them get food that’s out of reach – even when they don’t expect social interaction. This is proof that humans aren’t the only ones who have evolved to exhibit this type of voluntary behavior that’s intended to benefit others. Rather, it’s possible that the common ancestors of humans, including the chimps and bonobos, already had this unselfish motivational trait.

2. Interesting gifts for the Maasai people of Kenya and Tanzania

The Maasai people of Kenya and Tanzania spit on the items they intend to give as gifts. The tribes people do it out of respect for each other. Spitting is interpreted as a blessing, not as an insult.

In fact, the Maasai spit on just about everything and everyone. They spit on people they meet; on newborn babies; on newlyweds; on newly acquired property; and toward the east, west, north, and south when they see something they’ve never seen before.

3. Interesting gifts from cats

Your cat’s not just giving you her kill out of thanks or sheer generosity. She probably noticed your poor hunting skills and is attempting to school you as she would her kittens.

Lesson #2 is bringing home partially dead prey. You ( or her kittens ) are then allowed to practice their skills and learn to kill the wounded, slow-moving prey themselves. Gradually more prey is brought home until the kittens become skilled at catching and killing them. Finally the kittens accompany the mother and learn to hunt and kill completely on their own.

4. Interesting gifts from Japanese vacations

Omiyage (the Japanese word for souvenir) is taken so seriously that it’s actually a social obligation to bring gifts back to family members and coworkers upon returning from vacation.

Although it’s not clear where the custom originated, it’s been said to be associated with making sacred pilgrimages to Shinto shrines. People traveling to shrines were expected to bring back items of religious significance for their families – charms or rice wine cups – as proof that they actually did visit the shrine. The protection given to those those who traveled is believe to be passed on in those gifts.

5. Interesting gifts from cavemen

It may have just been a nice looking rock, a bone, an animal tooth, a tree branch, or any other natural item, but the giving of gifts was common behavior long before we became an advanced civilization.

6. Interesting gifts for the Día de Muertos Tradition

For Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead), some families will spend more than two months’ income on gifts and decorations to honor their dead relatives, hoping their spirits will bring protection, good luck, and wisdom to their lives.

On October 31st, it’s believed that the spirits of ancestors passed descend from heaven and reuinte with their families. In return for gifts, the spirits bring protection, wisdom, and good luck.

7. Interesting gifts for Asian brides.

Giving a mirror as a wedding gift is to be avoided in Asian cultures. Marriage is supposed to last a lifetime and due to the fragility of a mirror and the resulting bad luck if one is broken, it’s considered to be a risky gift.

To bring good luck to the marriage, the first gift that the bride chooses to open at her shower should be the one she uses before using any of the others.

8. Interesting gifts from Bowerbirds.

During mating season, the male bowerbird must decorate his nest with properly hued décor. If the female isn’t impressed with his sense of style, she’ll move on to see what the next guy has to offer.

Once the main structure is complete, the male bird starts decorating it with as many brightly colored things as he can find – natural, and even manmade. From flowers and fruits, to plastic bottle caps and Bic pens, the bird arranges them in piles of matching colors or randomly scatters them around the area.

9. Interesting gifts from Hong Kong and the Pacific region.

When United introduced it’s new first-class service to Hong Kong, they gave white carnations to personnel and passengers as gifts not knowing that it meant death and misfortune in that region.

The company had to switch to red, a more positively interpreted color, upon realizing that their previous choice of flower gave the message that their flights were unsafe and possibly cursed with bad luck.

10.Interesting gifts from Inupiat culture.

It’s an Iñupiat tradition for whaling crews to share large portions of their bounty with the rest of the villagers. In turn, they earn respect from the villagers and secure higher status within the community.

The Iñupiat Eskimo people of Northern Alaska celebrate Nalukataq in June as their own version of Thanksgiving. But instead of turkey, they eat whale meat. The end of the spring whale hunting season is marked with a big festival to celebrate a successful season, and to distribute meat, blubber, and skin to members of the community.

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