Sending flowers may be a typical gesture in most countries, but what do our flower-gifting habits tell us about international relations?
One of the simplest and most time-honoured of gestures, flowers remain the most popular gift in the world. Though important regional and cultural variations exist (those of you who have lived in Egypt, for example, would know better than to commit the faux pas of giving a congratulatory bouquet, as flowers there symbolise death), they are generally given to express a myriad of emotions.
With the advent of the internet, flowers have become a globalised commodity, keeping international flower deliveries busy across national borders. But what can European flower-gifting habits tell us about the state of our international relations? That question requires a more complex answer than one may expect.
For instance, research shows that people in the UK send the most flowers to Spain – but they spend the most on bouquets destined for their Swiss and Australian friends. In fact, the Spanish tend to be gifted the cheapest flowers around (and a lot of them)! Why this discrepancy? Could it be because Spain sends less flowers to the UK than the likes of France, Canada, Australia and the US? Or did Will and Kate just not leave enough in the ground for anyone else?
Have a look at our buying, selling and gifting habits and decide for yourself.