Money Envelopes as a form of gift-giving is predominant in most Asian Cultures

The first 12 years of my life was spent in Kobe, Japan.  Subsequently, I have a natural soft spot for Japanese people and their culture.  Gift-giving is integral in their culture which being on the receiving end as a  young child - I absolutely loved.  In their culture, money-envelopes are ubiquitous and are given for various occasions.  These envelopes have a generic term known as "kinpu".  Interestingly, these envelopes come in different symbolic forms.  There are specific "money-envelopes" that are used only at funerals, alternatively some are used only for weddings/birth of babies or house-warming events.  In addition, Japanese culture illuminates the concept of politeness even in the form of giving money to another individual.  What I found truly interesting was that locals tend to pay tutors in the form of a money-envelope as it is deemed more polite as opposed to handing money outright to someone.

After a literal earth-shaking experience in Japan (The Great Hanshin Earthquake 1995),  I moved to Singapore.  Singapore is a multi-cultural country and the atmosphere was very different from Japan.  A common thread that I observed was that Chinese people also gave "money-envelopes" in the form of "Red Packets" commonly known as "Hongbaos".  They tend to give this out during Chinese New Year and also when attending weddings.  In Singapore,  Malay culture has similar "green envelopes" known as "sampul hijau", which are given during Hari Raya and Weddings.  Similarly, in Pakistan these envelopes are given for Eid. I always wondered how money-giving became a social norm and growingly an cultural expectation in society. 

Being part of an Indian Society, money-envelopes as a gift is prevalent in our community.  Indians usually call envelopes "lafafa".  We give money for wedding (multiple times at various functions - Sagan, Doli, Reception), baptisms, birthdays, house-warming etc.  In addition, we get money for just existing and older people tend to call it "pyaar" which translates to love.  Children secretly love money as "pyaar" although their parents politely refuse the relatives who are giving it to them. It's an inevitable friendly argument that I have seen far too many times. As a child, I always loved receiving money and seeing how much I received.  The joys of being a child!  However, being older, I am less exuberant about money-envelopes, as now I am the one giving. I definitely see the pragmatic side of this culture.  Giving money as a gift is beneficial as the receiver can buy anything desired with the amount or even put the money aside for future usage.  

Interacting with both Australian Indians and British Indians I have noticed that this trend of money-envelopes in our society still evidently exists even under Western influence. I've yet to explore other cultures who engage in this form of gift-giving until then Envylope hopes to help all users organise their money-envelopes efficiently.