Welcoming neighbors into the community has been a popular tradition in many parts of the world. They’re expressed in different ways. For example, in Colonial America, it was customary to give pineapple as it was the sign of hospitality. Of course, this tradition was heavily influenced by European nations.
New Neighbors, New Greetings
The following are customary traditions on how some countries say “welcome” to those who are new in the neighborhood.
The French will invite new neighbors for a short “l’apéritif” which is a late afternoon snack of cured sausages and cheese. Those who live in the countryside will often have a barbecue instead.
When it comes to this nation, a close relation with your neighbor is important. Small gifts such as hand towels are distributed to everyone in the community. It is best to keep the gift simple as some people feel that large gifts are meant to be returned.
While there is no rule book on what to give, the tradition is to gift a plate of baked cookies to the new neighbors. Others will cook up their most delicious meals and hand deliver them to welcome newcomers. Along with that, it’s customary to share takeout menus of their favorite local restaurant.
Italians will give a broom to new neighbors to sweep away old elements to make room for the new. It is also believed that doing so, it removes pesky spirits that linger in the home. When a new couple moves to their new home, many people will gift uncooked rice as a sign for “fertile” blessings. Others will give olive oil to keep the two together.
Russians and several parts of the world gifts a loaf of bread as a symbol for “never going hungry.” Along with this is salt so that their life is always “added with flavor.” Besides the symbolic gestures, it also helps newbies to stock up on their new pantry!