Friday, November 30, 2007

How to Give Peace to Your Friends and Family

The Holidays are here and its time to wonder about what makes a good gift, particularly for those who you don’t know all that well but still need to give a gift to. Business associates are always difficult. They need something appropriate, not over the top but certainly not cheap or thoughtless either. When you know every little about a person gift giving can be challenging.

Luckily there is some Chinese culture that comes in handy here. In China one of the best gifts you can give is a vase. That’s because the words for “vase” and “peace” in Chinese are remarkably similar. So when you give a vase as a gift you are actually offering peace and friendship. Isn’t that what the holidays are all about anyway?

Now the really great thing about vases is they don’t have to be extravagant to be meaningful. This is one case where size really doesn’t matter. You can choose a vase that suits your budget, your shipping carton or a certain color scheme. No matter your choice you’re still giving peace.

The vase is also one of the 8 auspicious symbols from Buddhist and Taoist traditions. The symbols are thought to bring peace and good fortune and are often used as decorative elements in Asian arts. The vase in particular represents a container of health and wealth, from medicines to money, and is a symbol of the fulfillment of wishes.

Reorient has vases, more than we can count. Porcelain vases, cloisonné vases, ceramic vases and even stone vases, all of them symbolize peace and good wishes. Here are a few examples to consider.

A vase with a crackle finish has a stoic and stately look. When you want to add levity to a décor the crackling adds a touch of instant history. In Chinese arts however, there is another depth of meaning. The word “crackle” is a homophone, which implies “year after year.” Giving a vase with a crackle finish means you wish the recipient continuous peace and well being.

A vase with a Peony, the flower of wealth and rank in China, makes for a wish
of peace and prosperity. The example pictured is a cloisonné vase. Cloisonné is a metal ware and can extend the metaphor to mean an “unbreakable” peace and prosperity.

A vase with profuse bloom makes a play on words in Chinese and can mean "may everything be auspicious."

A vase with pomegranates adds hopes for future generations to the symbolism.

The China rose is a unique flower in that it blooms all year round so a vase with roses indicates a wish for peace throughout the four seasons.

But the most potent symbol to combine with a vase is a dragon. Dragons are among the most powerful forces for good that exist. Dragons bring wealth, stability and nobility. Reorient has some very special vases with dragons for the holiday season. Our newest addition is this cloisonné pair of vases with dragons depicted wrapping around the vase body. The workmanship is extremely fine, representing some of China’s best hand crafted art. The colors are rich and vibrant and the detail is truly beautiful. The set is a vintage production from the late 1970s and is a one of a kind item. If you know a collector who appreciates fine Asian arts this is a real find to consider. If dragons are your passion you can find many more dragon themed items at the store.