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Gifts in Tunisia

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In Tunisia, everything that has been bought abroad, specifically in Europe, is popular - regardless of whether an item have been less expensive, of a better quality, or was even produced at all in Europe.

Among the most popular gifts for Tunisians are chocolate (German, Belgian, Swiss), clothing (t-shirt, jeans, etc.) and the latest electronic devices (cell / mobile / portable phones, DVD players, computers, etc.). For women, it is all types of cosmetics (lipstick, eyeshadow, powder, cream, etc.) and for children toys of all kinds.

Many men appreciate cigarettes and/or alcohole.

Even if someone has absolutely no use for an object, it still has a high value and can be given, sold or traded to family and friends.

Gifts are considered less a personal "treasure" as in many western countries, but also will be assessed according to their use and exchange value as well.

Many tourists are irritated when a gift will, after a few weeks, no longer be in the possession of the recipient - or has been passed on to family members or friends, but this is not necessarily a sign of disrespect, but rather a normal behavior.
The person who recives a gift does usually not worry about whether the person who made the gift had to save a long time for it, it will assume that a gift is only made when it can be afforded, and, accordingly, there is not really a significant difference between a "big", expensive and a small, inexpensive gift.

Gifts are usually unwrapped in the presence of the donor (other than in some Asian countries where gifts are unwrapped when a person is alone), but without displaying too much emotional response, or only for a very short while.

In summary, presents in Tunisia have a different meaning than in many western countries and one could get the impression that a gift is not really "appreciated".

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