At work we have a tool, which you can use to send coworkers an appreciation, basically sending them a message that expresses what you appreciate and a text field to enter a message why you send this appreciation. Generally, a really nice tool to make each other feel their work being valued.
Now I got this morning such an appreciation from a coworker at our office in India (myself being at a central European location), praising me heavily for my professionalism and how they perceive my great work and... Such a long message with so many lovely words. Made me have a really great start in the day.
I had over the course of the last year with that coworker a training together like once to twice each month over a course of a few hours each(we are overall just 6 people in the training). I myself was very engaged in these training sessions and since the words being used were very personal in regards to my attitude in these training sessions I feel like it took them even quite some time wording it.
I would like to return this appreciation, but sadly I am neither really good in noticing strengths of others nor did that specific coworker talk that often, that I could write something personal in return.
Now I wonder, given that I regularly have interactions with coworkers from our India location, I already realized that their culture is much more about being kind and friendly, and they do a lot of praising (which I suspect sometimes isn't even meant as nice as it is being said) just to be polite.
And either way, it was a really nice gesture, which I want to give a corresponding response. But I am not sure if such a niceness, given the cultural background, might have a specific expectation of what I have to do in response.
So my question is:
Would it be enough to just expressively point out how much I appreciated it and that I am thankful, via email, or might something else be expected (for cultural reasons) so I won't be considered ingrate?