Interpretation of Taboos in Giving Gifts to Chinese People

Semiotics Perspective

  • Liu Dan Dan Zhengzhou University China
  • Elvira Septevany Politeknik Negeri Bali
Keywords: Taboo, Signifier, Signified, Semiotics, Chinese People


Folk cultural activities are symbolic acts. Every activity, every instrument, every ritual, has a series of language symbols. Physical symbols, and even totem symbols, are programmed according to specific themes. The current research aims at describing the phenomena of taboos in giving a gift to Chinese people. Using the Semiotic methodology, it examined the association between signs and their roles in how Chinese people create meanings daily that related to taboos. The result shows that Wall clocks, Chrysanthemum flowers, fans & Umbrellas, Pears, Green hats, Glasses refer to the taboo gifts. It seems extremely irrelevant between signifier and signified. Moreover, this phenomenon reflects the arbitrariness and linearity of the signs, and depends on the uniqueness of the Chinese language system and history,  as well as the collective memory of Chinese people.


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How to Cite
Dan, L. D., & Septevany, E. (2020). Interpretation of Taboos in Giving Gifts to Chinese People. The International Journal of Social Sciences World (TIJOSSW), 2(01), 75-84. Retrieved from