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The Dying Tradition of Welcoming New Neighbours

How does the rest of the world do it?

The Dying Tradition of Welcoming New Neighbours
Have you said hello to your new neighbour? (Image:

Unless you live in a tight-knit community, people would usually mind their own business when they get new neighbours. It’s not impossible to not even know your neighbours' names, and to only deal with them when a problem arises ("How dare you throw trash on my pavement!").

Take a look at some other countries' house warming traditions. Perhaps we'd be encouraged to bring the practice alive again in our very own neighbourhood.


It is a custom for them to bring small gifts of chocolate or flowers. Gifts shouldn't be wrapped in white or black colours, as they are considered unlucky. They also shouldn't be made of leather as the cow is thought to be sacred.

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Common housewarming gifts in Germany include gift certificates, something to drink, or homemade dishes.



New neighbours are usually invited over for l’apero, a late afternoon snack of cured sausages and cheese. Yum. Maybe we can import this tradition over? Free food is always good!



If you’re moving into a new neighbourhood in Japan, you’re the one who’s expected to gift your neighbours! Avoid giving expensive presents so that they won’t feel indebted to you—something akin to a small towel or cookies would suffice.



A loaf of bread with a salt holder on top is given to neighbours who just moved into their new home.