Cam4s

) therefore people may never tell you they don’t drink. So here is my problem: I’ll have the odd glass of something, but Mr Thesis Whisperer doesn’t drink at all, so there’s no occasion to open the gifted bottles of wine at home.I don’t want to use them to cook with as that seems rude, so I have a shelf full of bottles of wine which lovely people have given me that I have never got around to consuming.As I highlighted in my story, experiencing the gift giving norms of another culture can be delightful.Wine / chocolates If you do decide to give a gift, in Australia wine is considered a safe, socially neutral choice.When I asked on Twitter what people were buying their Ph D supervisor I was surprised by the range of different responses.Some people had no idea what to buy and expressed interest in such a post because the etiquette for this situation is so opaque.It was pointed out that gift giving creates a sense of obligation and reciprocity, which can be awkward for a supervisor – especially if they have many students. Many people do not celebrate Christmas all because of their atheist stance, others routinely have their own religious holidays ignored by Australia’s Christian slant.

In Australia, being a non drinker is considered a weird thing (I know – it says something about our culture doesn’t it?Some people were not sure they wanted to give their supervisor a gift because the relationship was strained.Others thought that giving a gift to a person who is doing their job is not appropriate in any circumstances.If you feel this way you might consider a homemade, edible present which demonstrates you have taken time and care to make something special.Christmas is a great time to make edible gifts as there are so many ‘themed’ choices in the tasty treat department.First there is the question of taste, as illustrated in this clip from the Big Bang Theory where Amy gives Penny a huge painting for teaching her how to be ‘cool’: The rest of the episode revolves around Penny hiding her horrified reaction to the ugly painting and her efforts to avoid hanging it in her house, but in such a way that she wont hurt Amy’s feelings.However sometimes, like Amy, we want to give a gift that shows how much we care and value our teachers; store bought wine and/or chocolates can feel like a cop out.Nothing I’ll admit I was surprised when some people questioned the idea of buying a present at all.Some explained that in their culture it was not the done thing to give a gift to a teacher (make note all you students in Sweden).In countries like Australia, where gift giving ‘rules’ are largely unspoken and context dependent, it can be difficult to know what advice to give.So I thought I would just tell you about the four types of responses I got and leave it up to you to decide what to do!

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