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Thoughtful Gifting in Bangalore

December 2013

By Reshma Bachwani, Bangalore

As Diwali season starts well before Christmas in India, the gifting season can be exhaustingly long!

1. One of my personal favorite Diwali gifts was someone who sent, along with festive sweets, a little card that mentioned they had donated money on my behalf to a charity. That turned out to be much more meaningful than the stereotypical gifts exchanged during the season. It reflects an overall trend towards frugalism and against growing consumerism in India.

2. Indians tend to recycle holiday gifts, and quite unabashedly! There’s such a deluge of holiday gifts one that one may not really know what to do with it all. To counter that, a gourmet food store has come up with some unusual hampers. They slipped in, along with wine and spices, candies and jellies capitalizing on the nostalgia value of these sugar delights - so that people would be disinclined to recycle. It also ties in with another food trend that we are just beginning to see in India-- a resurgence of nostalgic Indian fare in reaction to the current wave of gourmet food.

3. Historically, gifts in Bangalore have not been tech-based. With e-tailers, like Amazon, setting shop in India, gifts that are popular in the West, such as the Kindle or Xbox, are now making it to the holiday wish lists here. In fact, Amazon India announced a special Diwali price for its Kindles. This trend is only going to grow, since small consumer electronics (iPads, ipods, tablets) becoming very popular amongst kids even as young as 3 and 4 at home and in school.

Drink of choice: With warm wishes and a cup of my favorite Bru Exotica by my side, here’s wishing everyone merry Christmas and very happy new year!

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