Are you an 'Indian' giver?

@barehugs (8985)
Canada
June 30, 2008 8:43pm CST
This is not intended to be a "Racial Slur," Please let me explain! Many Years ago, before Racial Discrimination was even thought of, a person who gave a gift, and then asked for it back, was referred to as an "Indian Giver." Other aspects of this quality are those who give a gift and act as if they still owned it. They gave it to you but expect you to use it in a certain way. A friend once gave me a wrist watch. I liked the watch a lot and later, on Vacation, I met a young man whom I admired very much. I noticed he had no watch and I gave him mine. Next time I saw the Friend, I got flack because I'd given away the watch he gave to me! Do you give gifts in Good Faith. Can you give, and relinquish ownership of the gift completely? Would you feel hurt if the giftee gave away your gift?
2 people like this
12 responses
• India
1 Jul 08
If someone gives something to you out of affection, he/she would indeed be happy to see their gifts being used by you. I don't know, perhaps this is just another sort of Western detachment you're talking about. In the so-called "developed" countries, family values are dwindling. Children, once they grow up, forget their parents, and go away to live somewhere else with their own family, caring to see their parents perhaps once a year,or not even that. Perhaps that is the "developed" perception of these countries, nuclear families is the "in" thing. Family values are outdated. Why am I telling all this, you may ask. But there's a connection. In our country, we value relations so much that we are indeed hurt if someone gives away our loving gifts to them to somebody else. We had given the gift to that person, not somebody else. Gifts bear the hallmark of our love for that person. Giving away that gift to somebody else just shows how lightly you take the relationship between you and that person. But of course, that's perhaps the "developed" mentality. Relationships are just a waste of time and money. Who cares if a relation breaks? It matters more that I didn't have to waste a single penny upon buying a new gift for the other person.
2 people like this
@barehugs (8985)
• Canada
1 Jul 08
My feeling about this "western detachment" is all about Love. Absolute Love demands Absolutely Nothing! when you love your relative absolutely you have no need for them to keep your gifts (which are given "absolutely")
• India
1 Jul 08
I suppose you have read the classic short story "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry. If you haven't I'd suggest you to read it. Just feel the pain which James and Della had to undergo in that story to buy gifts for each other, and the irony of it all when their gifts for each other turned out to be useless for both of them. But did they ever think even for a while to give them away to other people just because they cannot use them? NO! Because they "absolutely" love each other, as you so kindly pointed out. Let me quote the last few lines of this great story which hopefully, should be an eye-opener for all: "And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days, let it be said that of all who give gifts, these two were the wisest. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are the wisest. They are the magi." But of course, the modern "developed" persons are wiser. They know very well that money matters more than relations. They shall of course be mocking "underdeveloped" people like us who still value the greatness of the bond between person to person and wouldn't bargain with the love of our near and dear ones for saving our pockets.
@ajayrekha (491)
• India
1 Jul 08
I am sorry to say that all of you, not even the person asking the question, know the meaning of Indian Giver. Just read a famous book "Rich Dad Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki. I think I should Type it here for ou. " This a the power of getting something for nothing. When the first while settlers came to America, they were taken aback by cultural practice some American Indians had. For Example, if a settlet was cold, the Indian would give the person a balnket. Mistaking it for a gift, the settler was often offended when the Indian asked for it back. The Indian also got upset when they realized the settlers did not want to give it back. That is where the term "Indian Giver" came from. A simple cultural misunderstanding."
2 people like this
@barehugs (8985)
• Canada
2 Jul 08
Thanks for the explanation of the term,'Indian Giver!' Yes I can now understand the cultural thinking on both sides!
@mnsbizz (43)
• United States
1 Jul 08
My mom and dad bought us a picnic table that we all put together. After I was divorced and I took the table we moved next to some neighbors that helped me and my kids a lot. When I moved again, I decided to give them my picnic table as they really liked it. My mom was so upset that I gave it to them. Once I explained why I did, she was still upset but not so much. I feel if you give someone something, you need to tell them please don't pass this own like a family jewel or something but otherwise, once the gift is given, its out of the givers hands and you should let it go. I have a mother in law now that gives garage sale items, and thinks they are gold and if you don't want them or give them away to smeone else she gets upset. This makes me very upset as I didn't ask for these things anyways.
2 people like this
@barehugs (8985)
• Canada
2 Jul 08
Yes, I like the way you think! Why do we get so tied up with 'stuff?' For God's Sake give it away, and get it out of your system. Like the man who arranged to have a bottle of his Favourite Bourbon laid beside him in the coffin. Before fulfilling the arrangement his friend remarked. "I'll just run it through my kidneys first!"
• Singapore
1 Jul 08
If someone buys a gift for you, it meant for you. If you give it away to someone it like showing as if you do not like it and the person as well. You might feel that you did out of goodwill but yours might have worked hard to get that gift for you. So rather saying it is goodwill to give away just about anything to someone who doesnt have it, think about your friends feelings first. At the end of the day , you are likely to keep your friends and family happy first not cause agony. You could have bought that man you met and admired a wrist watch.
2 people like this
@barehugs (8985)
• Canada
2 Jul 08
First let me explain, it's not the material object that we are discussing here. Materiality does not enter in to this equation. The important thing here, is the thought behind the gift. The gift is just a material token of that Loving Thought. When that loving thought (the gift) is passed along to someone else it makes me doubly Happy!
@MsTickle (25050)
• Australia
8 Jul 08
I've always thought that it's not the done thing to give away a gift given you by someone you care about. But hey, people return Christmas gifts in droves theses days so I guess that idea has fallen by the wayside.
1 person likes this
@MsTickle (25050)
• Australia
17 Jul 08
I didn't get that message at all friend. I truly thought it was about the gift; as in keeping it, holding on to it or letting it go or giving it away. My oops!
@irishmist (3819)
• United States
1 Jul 08
When I give a gift thats it. I would not want it back. I might however feel a little bit bad if someone gave away the gift that I gave them.
1 person likes this
@barehugs (8985)
• Canada
2 Jul 08
A gift is forever as far as I'm concerned. The act of giving is a Gift from God. Receiving a gift is very special, but in the words of Jesus,"Its more blessed to Give than to Receive." Perhaps we should be more concerned with giving!
@irishmist (3819)
• United States
2 Jul 08
it's just that when someone gives me a gift it is special to me, even if I don't really like it, but it is a keepsake.I would rather give away something to someone that I have bought myself.
@cyntrow (8524)
• United States
2 Jul 08
If I give you something it is yours. I once gave a close friend a thousand dollars because he needed it. When he suggested that he should pay me back, I argued. In the end, I took his 20 dollars or what ever he can afford, because he wants to and his pride is talking. I do, however, resent "Indian Giver" as a description. I know it's not meant to be a racial slur, but if It offends, I make an effort not to use it. Like Dutch Treat. I didn't know that this was offensive to the dutch in that it can create the perception that the dutch are stingy. Welshing on a bet is another. The presumption that the Welsh people do not pay their bets. The truth is that The English who were indebted to bookkeepers often went into wales, which was the origination of welshing. So that is it. I will sit cross legged and not Indian style. I will not geri rig(sp) but rig my car to get me to the mechanic. And I'll insult no one.....This week. Take care.
1 person likes this
@barehugs (8985)
• Canada
2 Jul 08
The term was not meant to be offensive. Its your choice to make it so. I notice you describe racial slurs, (just as I did) I do not 'resent' it, nor do I take offense, so you did not insult me....this week! You take Care too!
@Bluepatch (2480)
• Trinidad And Tobago
1 Jul 08
I'll be honest. As a kid I used to do this with my father. I didn't think anything of it until he spoke to me saying it wasn't right. I guess I wanted to give him things but then needed them back. A friend of mine gave me his watch once and told me not to tell his wife since she wouldn't like it. I've nver heard of this expression before but I'll take your word for it. Lots of people have given me things and expected them to be used in a certain way. I remember all that.
@barehugs (8985)
• Canada
2 Jul 08
There is a thrill in Giving, which would be Greatly diminished when asking for the return of the gift. I can't imagine such a thing! After all a material gift is just an object, but the thought behind the Gift is very real and meaningful.
@dvschic (1796)
• United States
1 Jul 08
i know you didn't mean it as a racial slur, but by promoting it, you are in fact promoting the racial slur that is attached to it... from the phrase finder: "Indian giver derives from the alleged practise of American Indians of taking back gifts from white settlers. It is more likely that the settlers wrongly interpreted the Indians' loans to them as gifts. This term, which is certainly American, may have been coined to denigrate of the native race." .. as for gifts, once u give it, u should wash ur hands of it, the point is the giving, not the use by the person..
1 person likes this
@barehugs (8985)
• Canada
2 Jul 08
You have a good grasp of the topic! The Indians had no notion of 'personal possession.' They believed their possessions were owned by Everyone, and that the settler should 'give it back' as soon as he was not using it.
@zandi458 (27948)
• Malaysia
1 Jul 08
A gift is something sentimental to me. When someone give me a gift i will always treasure it and would feel guilty if i recycle it to somebody else.I don't receive that many gifts in my lifetime so when someone give me a gift it means a lot to me.
1 person likes this
@barehugs (8985)
• Canada
2 Jul 08
Those gifts are ever the most acceptable which the giver has made precious. ~Ovid~
@avidwhit (1492)
• Mexico
1 Jul 08
No I am not and Indian giver. The type of gifts I like to give are all. The best way I enjoy giveing is to not let the person I gave the gift to know that it was I who gave it. I dont like to recieve gifts for this reason. Seems like a gift always have sometype of string attatched. Personaly I will not eccept if in anyway I feel there is a string attatched. Its always better to give than recieve! Interesting post. Take care and enjoy the cool waether in can. :)
1 person likes this
@barehugs (8985)
• Canada
2 Jul 08
Yes it's a Great thrill to give anonymously, but in the end you usually get found out. It would be difficult to give a diamond and remain anonymous. And I agree with you about the strings attached. Why tie up your gift (in such a way) no one else could enjoy it?
• United States
1 Jul 08
I do my best not to be an "Indian Giver" because it is not right. If you give someone a gift, remember that it is a gift and you do not get that gift that you give back. I do not like the name it is given because I do believe that it is a racial slur, and I feel that Native American have been through enough without people having to add to the problem.