Exchanging of Gifts

Original BDWF archived information from James
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James Elsener
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:27 pm

Exchanging of Gifts

Post by James Elsener » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:49 pm

A couple of weeks ago, the Russian president Dmitry Medvedev paid a visit to Switzerland in honour of his great fellow countryman General Alexander Suvorov.

The Russian president was presented a dagger that had belonged to the Russian general when he crossed the Alps by the Swiss president. The two president had visited the world-famous Suvorov Monument in the Schöllenen Gorge together. This monument commemorates the crossing of the Alps by the Russian generalissimo with his troops in September 1799. Indeed no mean feat back then.

What struck me as odd was that the Russian president handed over a small coin to the Swiss president just prior to accepting the dagger.

A few days ago I spoke to my good old friend Wendelin Niederberger. Wendelin is one of Europe's foremost experts on and teachers of Taoism. We were talking about the upcoming Christmas and about exchanging gifts. During our conversation, I also mentioned the handing over of the coin by the Russian president. And suddenly Wendelin's voice started to lighten and brighten.

He told me that Russians as well as most peoples in Asia abhor receiving two particular gifts

- a knife (dagger, etc.)


- a watch or clock

Receiving a knife as a gift means that the person receiving the knife will come under a spell of bad luck.

If you are given a watch or clock in most Asian cultures this is synonymous to being told that your time on earth is up!

In Asian, Russina and probably in many other cultures people therefore receiving a knife or watch as a present hand over a coin to the person presenting them the gift. Thereby, they ensure that the evil associated with receiving a knife or a watch as a gift is 'banned' as they have 'paid for' the item. Wendelin told me that a Chinese cent is what the Chinese pay to the person giving the watch or the knife. It is seemingly best to 'pay' before one is given the knife or watch.

It is also interesting to learn that in Taoism the three main goals are to become

- wealthy and financially independent
- to be in good and ruddy health
- and to live a long life.

Some of you might be of the opinion that wealth does not matter. In Taoism, wealth does matter a great deal as it ensures that we are able to use our time for more than just survival the vagaries of daily life.

The second goal is to be in good health. Taoism proclaims that any illness is an un-balance of spirits. Thus is someone in ruddy health he or she is a well-balanced person.

The third goal of living a long life is important since the long life allows for accumulating as much wisdom as possible. Well, we human beings require a lot of time to grow up, learn a trade to ensure our economic survival and found a family. Just then, according to Taoism, are we ready to increase our store of wisdom. It would be a waste of mother earth's resources if it were over by the time we turn 60, wouldn't it? That is why in cultures like the Chinese or Russian old people are revered and looked upon as precious diamonds.

So do not despair if your loved ones are not putting a watch under the Christmas tree this year. They want to assure that you continue enjoying a long life and become wise in the process.
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