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Submitted By Charmelle
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Visits and gifts

When visiting a home, it is considered good manners to bring a small gift for one's host, generally in the form of a dessert or other food item. As such, parties are usually in the form of potlucks. It is extremely common for guests to take their shoes off before entering a home. A shoe rack on the porch or footwear left outside a doorway of a residence indicate that shoes should be removed.
The offering of food is related to the gift-giving culture. The pidgin phrases "Make plate" or "Take plate" are common in gatherings of friends or family that follow a potluck format. It is considered good manners to "make plate", literally making a plate of food from the available spread to take home, or "take plate", literally taking a plate the host of the party has made of the available spread for easy left-overs.
It is considered gracious to take the plate, or make a small plate, even if you don't intend to eat it. In part, this tradition is related to clean-up, being a good guest by not leaving the mass of left-overs at the party-throwers house and making them alone responsible for clean up. In more recent times, this has also evolved into donating your left-overs to the homeless population, especially if you're having a get-together at a public park or similar location, as it is likely there is a homeless population living nearby as well.
It is also considered thoughtful to bring back gifts from a trip for friends and family. Some people use the Japanese name for such gifts, omiyage. Others use the Hawaiian word, "makana" or the Samoan term "oso." Gifts of special foods unavailable outside the region visited are particularly appropriate. For example, Krispy Kreme is not available on the island of Oahu and visitors to Maui, where the only franchise is located, often return with donuts for friends and...

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