THE WHITE ELEPHANT Centuries ago, in the country of Siam, now known as Thailand, it was the custom of the rulers that displeased them by giving the…


Centuries ago, in the country of Siam, now known as Thailand, it

was the custom of the rulers that displeased them by giving the

offender a white elephant. Because the animal was considered to

be could not be made to work as other elephants did, but still had

to be fed hundreds of pounds of fruit and cared for in the most

lavish style. The recipient could not give the elephant to anyone

else, as it was the ruler, who would be greatly displeased should

the recipient not receive the gift graciously or care for in a grand

style. This monetary burden could be a major liability to the

recipient and in many cases they became impoverished.

This is the origin of the term “white elephant” as it is used today to

denote an unwanted gift. The way of gift exchange played during

the holiday season is an offshoot of this. In this game, everyone

brings and the gifts are exchanged by drawing numbers and

picking a gift in turn. The second person can choose or steal the

first one. It is all in good fun, and people enjoy giving silly gifts and

“stealing” someone else.

Why is an unwanted gift called a white elephant?

A. It is rare thing to get an unwanted gift.

B. It is a good gift to give at the party

C.Gifts are never unwanted

D.Siam’s rulers punished with the gift

My answer is D. Can you tell if I’m correct or wrong? If yes, can you please explain it to me?

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